Islamabad lodged a strong protest with Kabul on Wednesday after Afghan security forces killed at least five Pakistani citizens close to the Pak-Afghan border in Balochistan.
“The Afghan charge d’affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office and a strong protest was lodged over indiscriminate firing by Afghan border police near Godwana village, Zhob district, which resulted in the martyrdom of five innocent Pakistanis,” said a statement issued by the foreign ministry spokesperson.
Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said Pakistan conveyed its ‘serious concern’ to the Afghan diplomat and demanded an inquiry into the incident.
“The Afghan government was asked to hold an inquiry into the incident, adhere to the border coordination and cooperation mechanisms, and prevent the recurrence of such incidents, which are detrimental to the friendly relations and undermine goodwill between the two brotherly countries,” the statement added.
According to Pakistani security officials, three vehicles of the Afghan border police infiltrated Pakistani territory late Tuesday night and opened fire on tribesmen living close to the border. The incident took place in the Qamar Din Karez area near Zhob city, some 330 kilometres away from Quetta.
“Five men from Loion tribe were killed and a woman was injured in the indiscriminate firing by Afghan police” they said, adding that a levies official was among the dead.
A district administration official confirmed the incident which took place around 11pm on Tuesday. He added that the Afghan policemen escaped after the attack. He said it was not immediately known what triggered the cross-border raid.
Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch condemned the attack and said that not only was the incident a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty but could greatly damage Pak-Afghan ties.
“We want brotherly ties with all our neighbouring countries… [However] we will not tolerate the violation of our border and the massacre of innocent Pakistani citizens,” he said.
The chief minister recalled that the incident was not the first of its kind and many innocent lives had been lost in earlier border violations by Afghan forces. Three Pakistani citizens were killed by Afghan forces in the same area in January 2010.
“Such incidents are regrettable and can harm the ties of both countries,” he said, urging the security forces of both Afghanistan and Pakistan to avoid such occurrences in the future and ensure stability in the region.
The chief minister added that he has asked for a detailed report regarding the incident from authorities concerned and has directed forces to tighten security near the Pak- Afghan border.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 19th, 2013.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ