ISLAMABAD: Pakistan dismissed Afghan allegations that it was constructing a new checkpost along the border, claiming that the activity in question was renovation of an old checkpost, a statement from the foreign ministry read on Tuesday.
Afghanistan had on Monday expressed grave concern about what it claimed the ‘Pakistani military’s unilateral construction and physical reinforcement activities’ along the border in the eastern Ningarhar province.
It had also lodged a formal protest, as diplomatic tensions between the two uneasy neighbours continue to grow.
However, responding to the Afghan claims, the foreign office spokesperson said that Pakistan has an old post called Gursal well inside Pakistani territory bordering Ningarhar province of Afghanistan, which is under routine renovation.
“Under the recently signed Tripartite Border SOP, both sides are supposed to inform any new construction closer to border areas,” he said before adding that despite it being routine renovation work, Pakistan had shared this information with the Afghan side and with the Afghan delegation that visited Mohmand Agency on January 24, 2013.
“The renovation of the post is primarily meant to interdict terrorists and criminals as well as better management of the border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
About the Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin’s recent concerns about construction and physical reinforcement along the Afghan border, he said that they are “not in keeping with the spirit of the understanding on good border management and the recently signed Tripartite Border SOP.”
“Better management of the border through strengthening border posts located in each other’s territory are in the interest of the two countries to have an effective check over terrorists and criminals.”
Cross border attacks
Responding to a query about the Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister’s concerns over rocket and artillery attacks in different areas of Kunar Province, the spokesperson said that these complaints have not been found to be correct as “no rocket or artillery shells have been fired by Pakistan Army in recent days.”
The spokesperson added that Pakistan remains committed to extending all possible support and facilitation for peace, reconciliation and stability in Afghanistan.