Deepening mistrust: Pak-Afghan border politicking heats up

Published: July 2, 2011
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Afghan Border police aims his AK-47 rifle towards the Gorbuz highway from a guarding tower as he monitors trucks loaded with goods coming from Pakistan's border to Khost province. PHOTO: AFP

Afghan Border police aims his AK-47 rifle towards the Gorbuz highway from a guarding tower as he monitors trucks loaded with goods coming from Pakistan's border to Khost province. PHOTO: AFP

KABUL/BOWRI TANA: 

A barrage of 40 rockets was reportedly fired into eastern Afghanistan from Pakistan on Friday, an Afghan senior official claimed, as the top border police commander for the region offered his resignation over the government’s response to what he termed ‘weeks of attacks’.

General Aminullah Amar­khil, head of the border police in the eastern region, said he was not able to return fire and could not stand by ‘as people were killed by the shells’.

Pakistan last Monday rejected the Afghan allegations of large scale cross-border shelling, saying only that “a few accidental rounds” may have crossed the border when it pursued militants who had attacked its security forces.

The Afghan foreign ministry said in late June that four children were allegedly killed in eastern Kunar province by Pakistani artillery shells, while Afghan President Hamid Karzai claimed that Pakistan had fired 470 rockets over the border that month.

“I have submitted my resignation to the interior ministry because I can’t see my people being killed by shells fired from Pakistan,” Amarkhil told Reuters.

“I have promised my people here that the shelling would be stopped, but people are still dying because we have no order from the central government to respond,” he added.

Amarkhil’s spokesman said the resignation had not been accepted, but an interior ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, said the ministry had not received a resignation letter.

Gul Agha Sherzai, the governor of eastern Nangrahar province, said around another 40 rockets were fired across the Pakistan border and hit both residential and non-residential areas. Sherzai has sent a letter to the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad asking for an immediate halt to the attacks, and warned that the attacks could damage ties.

“Such attacks from the Pakistani side, and the absence of actions to prevent them, could hurt relations between the two neighbouring countries,” his spokesman said in a statement.

Fighting across the border overshadowed talks when the two countries met last week, along with the United States, to map out plans for talks with the Taliban.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Mirza
    Jul 2, 2011 - 8:35AM

    Aghan general resign because he failed to protect his people. Thank God Pakistani army is protecting the civilians and there is never a need to resign. Recommend

  • Talat
    Jul 2, 2011 - 8:44AM

    The picture has a wrong caption. That is not an AK 47. It is a light machine gun of some sort. Recommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Jul 2, 2011 - 10:13AM

    Two corrupt nepotist governments each trying to out weigh the other, making fodder of their own poor masses,each being tutored by their mentor as their survival depends on how many
    each can slaughter to please their demagogs.Recommend

  • Malik
    Jul 2, 2011 - 11:05AM

    Appropriate reaction from Pakistan, if Afghan govt can not stop militants crossing border in hundreds of number then they must bare this loss or stop militants.
    They want to play fire game but without being hurt…..Recommend

  • Karim
    Jul 2, 2011 - 12:10PM

    @Malik: You meant If the pakistan government cannot stop militants from crossing the border.

    The only solution to this pakistani menace is the complete and unconditional independence and unification of pashtoon areas with what is rightly their motherland – Afghanistan.

    The sooner it happens the better it would be – For the Pakistanis, for the pashtoons, for afghanistan and for the americans.Recommend

  • sam
    Jul 2, 2011 - 1:08PM

    @Malik:
    couldnt agree more.. the loss of innocent lives is regretable BUT.. every action has an equal and opposite reaction and the pakistani army has had enough………Recommend

  • Jul 2, 2011 - 3:08PM

    Vienna,02-07-2011
    It is that Afghan Armed Forces are now under training.They will train with battle engagements
    against Pakistani forces,mind you.A war is going to be fought mostly on the sovereign soil of Pakistan, unless Pakistan makes amends to the United States and co-operates.Watch the
    fun. This is only a curtain raiser.
    Kulamarva BalakrishnaRecommend

  • Ali
    Jul 4, 2011 - 7:33AM

    @Mirza:
    typical indian attitude.Why dont afghan army generals resign when American Fighter jets kill AFghan civilians ? the truth is Afghanistan is run by the northern alliance,all the people against pakistan in afghanistan are Northern alliance . Haqqani network will win and take over afghanistan :) then you 8 consulates for a country of 30 million will all be shut down.Funny how the western media reporting of this ignored than 100 pakistan troops have been killed in cross border raids from afghanistanRecommend

  • Ali
    Jul 4, 2011 - 7:35AM

    @Karim:
    LOL more like Eastern Afghanisan will acede to Pakistan.Just as Kashmir will.Recommend

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