Afghanistan cancels army officers’ Pakistan visit over ‘shelling’

Published: March 27, 2013
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File photo of army personnel. PHOTO: REUTERS

File photo of army personnel. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: Afghan Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that a visit of Afghan army officers to Pakistan has been cancelled over the recent ‘Pakistani shelling’ in parts of eastern Kunar province.

An 11-member team of Afghan National Army officers were scheduled to travel to Quetta at the invitation of the Pakistan Army to take part in a simulation military exercise and headquarters drills at the Quetta Staff College, an Afghan Foreign Ministry statement said. A copy of the statement was emailed to The Express Tribune.

“This visit will no longer take place due to the resumption of unacceptable Pakistani artillery shelling against different parts of Kunar province from across the Durand Line on Monday and Tuesday (March 25 and 26),” the statement said.

A Pakistani official said they will discuss a possible response.

Cross-border shelling and attacks have been a source of tension between the two uneasy neighbours for years. Pakistan denies any shelling on civilian areas in Afghanistan and that they target those specific locations from where the militants in Afghanistan fire on Pakistani positions.

Pakistan says that militants, who had fled military operation in the tribal regions, are now operating from Afghanistan border regions and routinely launch attacks on Pakistani posts and villages. Nearly 100 Pakistani security personnel and civilians have been killed in militant attacks from Afghan side of the border, officials say.

Afghan forces arrested a senior Pakistani Taliban leader Maulvi Faqir Mohammad last month in eastern Ningarhar Province last month.

The Pakistani Foreign Ministry says that Afghan Foreign Minister Dr Zamai Rasoul had confirmed Faqir’s arrest in his telephonic call. Faqir, the former of Taliban chief in Bajaur tribal region, was among the TTP leaders operating from Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

Pakistan had sought the TTP leader’s handover however Kabul rejected the request on the notion that the two countries have no extradition treaty.

The military says that Maulvi Fazalullah, the former Swat Taliban chief, has regrouped his fighters in Afghanistan. The government has on a number of occasions asked Kabul to extradite him to Pakistan.

On Tuesday the country’s security agencies submitted a report in the Supreme Court, which said the Afghan government was colluding with the Swat chapter of TTP and that the collusion could lead to a surge in cross-border attacks by Taliban militants in the bordering districts of Chitral, Dir, Swat and tribal regions of Bajaur and Momand.

This is the first time Pakistani security forces openly blamed the Afghan government for colluding with the TTP.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Shumaila
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:07PM

    I dont get surprised at what the Afghan government is upto, but i dont understand why did Pakistan handed over the held Taliban to Afghanistan? where was the extradition treaty then?

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  • Shumaila
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:11PM

    I dont get surprised at the Afghan government’s response but i don’t understand why did Pakistan handed over the held Taliban to Afghanistan? where was the extradition treaty then?

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  • Mullah Omar
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:14PM

    Pakistan did not hand over the Taliban to Afghanistan, they just released them from their prisons.

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  • Abdullah
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:56PM

    Pakistan didn’t hand over the prisoners to the afghan government but they released the detainees so they join again resistance groups. this is a good excuse for afghans… If pakistan is not willing to cooperate then don’t expect cooperation from the afghan side.

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  • S. Israr Ali
    Mar 27, 2013 - 7:43PM

    Given the large scale death and destruction across Pakistan due only to Afghanistan since its war began with abundance and spread of arms, ammunition, all types of subversive and exploding materials coupled with bad reputation the war of Afghans brought to Pakistan as otherwise Pakistan and its people were peace loving people and at the most could fight with hockeys or sticks, the Government of Pakistan should ask Afghanistan for the War reparations. Besides it should also levy tariffs on whatever goods to and from Afghanistan pass through Pakistan’s territory and enforce strict protocols on borders. The Afghans should be forced to acknowledge and respect sovereign nation of Pakistan and better search alternate routes of their fighting machines and materials on different borders elsewhere instead of making Pakistani nation sacrificial goat for ungrateful Afghans.

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  • cautious
    Mar 27, 2013 - 7:54PM

    Blindly firing artillery into Afghanistan gets you what? Maybe good chest thumping for the military but undermines all the public statements about supporting Afghanistan. Time to demonstrate self control on the border or perhaps punishing those responsible for authorizing these attacks.

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  • shumaila
    Mar 27, 2013 - 8:42PM

    @Abdullah:
    The Taliban were handed over to the Afghan authorities after a request made by the Afghan Government who wanted to hold peace talks with the held Taliban.
    here is a link for you http://www.dw.de/pakistan-hands-over-taliban-prisoners-to-afghans/a-16380200
    and Pakistan is not willing to support? What else is Pakistan supposed to do? what has Afghanistan done so far to improve the ties?

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  • nnnn
    Mar 30, 2013 - 2:22PM

    @S. Israr Ali
    you say the bad image came from Afghanistan! but i say that the war and problems that we see in Afghanistan is because of Pakistan it is ISI that created taliban for their own benefit and helping Afghan Mujahideen to be against Afghan government (Dr Najeebullah) Pakistan always say that peaceful Afghanistan means peaceful Pakistan, pakistan have never wanted a peaceful Afghanistan Pakistan support all the insurgents such as Afghan taliban now they are facing the same problem because we say if you burn your neighbor’s house that flame will come and burn your house too.Recommend

  • nnnn
    Mar 30, 2013 - 2:24PM

    Pakistan never want peace in that region they have proved it by not helping Afghan government and also by firing artillery towards Afghanistan.

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  • S. Israr Ali
    Mar 30, 2013 - 7:16PM

    Whatever you say needs analysis in the context of historical background. The sub-continent from time immorial faced real threats from its western borders. What you will say about Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna invasions of India several times and after making loot and plunder went back. It is one aspect that if at least once he would have been given a good thrashing on his invasion he would never have dared to repeat his expedition. Second aspect that despite repeated looting and plundering, he failed to build Afghanistan or to raise monuments even from that loot and always remained pauper and even today living in caves, mud houses and eating bread with onions. Other invaders from Afghanistan were Shershah Soori, Khiljis etc., in the Sub-Continent. Don’t we see that much maligned Taliban are being offered meditation by Gulf States like Qatar and to become host for the talks, apart from places like Paris. Does this aspect not hint some sort of connections of those states with waring factions of Afghanistan. It is not Pakistan alone now who simply is a coalition partner but world’s formidable forces of NATO with vast resources at their command who are directly involved and physically fighting for over a decade now and without making any progress or gaining anything retreating after having hard times at the hands of Afghans. We are witnessing the fall back of this continued confrontation, the economies of North American and European countries, comprising NATO, are in doldrum and in very bad shape.

    Other important points to be noted, similar conditions are not existing in Iraq for over more than ten years with death, blasts and destructions uncontrolled. So is the position in Libya, Syria, Yemen. Is there also Pakistan working with its limited resources. For every ill anywhere it is wrong to put blame on others and honest assessments should be made. The problem is common to all be it Pakistan or anyother country of the world, everybody on this planet want peace, prosperity, happiness, tolerance, compassion, tranquility, peaceful co-existence, brotherhood and love with each other. Instead of pointing fingures, we should with all sincerety strive and pray to achieve that common goal.

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