Clashes after Afghans muscle into Pakistan

Two children and three FC personnel among eight injured in cross-border firing in Kharlachi area of Kurram


Our Correspondent November 20, 2022
An exchange of fire took place between Afghan citizens and tribal residents of Kurram district in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. SCREENGRAB

PESHAWAR:

Eight people, including two children and three FC personnel, were injured in Kurram district on Sunday as Afghans from across the border opened fire on them over a dispute over the construction of a road.

According to reports, Afghans crossed the border into the Kharlachi area of Kurram district and “illegally” tried to build a road. The locals there tried to stop them from building a road on their farmlands.

This led to an exchange of fire and unrest there. The Afghans fired mortar shells inside Kharlachi, Borki and other localities of the area, injuring eight people, including two children and three FC personnel.

According to an official at Parachinar District Headquarters Hospital, the condition of the two children was serious. Many livestock in the area were also killed because of the shelling from Afghanistan.

Three Afghans also suffered injuries in the clashes.

In a statement on Twitter, Human Resources Minister Sajid Turi condemned the Afghans’ trespassing of the Pakistani border in Kharlachi, their atrocities and targeting of the civilian population.

He demanded an immediate end to these transgressions. He said that the residents of Kurram and the security forces of Pakistan were well aware of how to protect their homeland.

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The minister emphasized that violence had never achieved anything and that the best way to resolve disputes between neighbouring countries was to hold talks.

Turi added that Pakistan wanted good ties with Afghanistan and its other neighbouring countries and was willing to iron out differences with them through the process of dialogue.

The minister stressed the need for resolving territorial disputes between the two countries, using two-sided jirgas and diplomatic sources so that such incidents could be prevented in the future.

Turi also emphasised the importance of a brotherly relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan. He said that the government had already held talks with the neighbouring country on the territorial dispute through a jirga and further negotiations were underway.

“Therefore, the people living on the other side of the border should not try to unnecessarily take over our lands,” the minister said.

Tribal leader Inayat Turi said the clashes had erupted a day earlier between the locals and the Taliban on the Pak-Afghan Borki-Kharlachi border over the construction of a road by Afghanistan.

He added that a ceasefire was reached with the cooperation of local tribal leaders of the Turi and Bangash tribes, Afghan officials and the Pakistan Army.

However, he added that the clashes resumed on Sunday after the Afghan side continued its work with a pair of excavators at the same site.

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