The Foreign Office on Friday summoned Afghanistan’s Ambassador Janan Mosazai to lodge a protest over Wednesday’s cross-border firing incident and the detention of a Pakistani consulate official in Kandahar by Afghan authorities.
According to a statement issued by the foreign ministry, the Afghan envoy was handed over a demarche regarding both the incidents. “He [the Pakistani official] was forcibly taken away and kept in detention,” the statement said.
As a result of the strenuous efforts made by the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul and the foreign ministry, the detained official was handed over to the embassy late last evening.
Serious concern was also expressed over the unprovoked firing by the Afghan border police at the Pakistani side of the Angoor Adda border gate, which resulted in injuries to two security officials.
It was emphasised that in view of close and brotherly relations existing between the two countries, which have significantly enhanced recently, such incidents should not have taken place, the Foreign Office said.
The Afghan ambassador assured that he would convey Pakistan’s concerns to higher authorities in Kabul.
Pakistan’s top envoy to Kabul was also summoned on Thursday by the Afghan foreign ministry over the cross-border firing incident. The Afghan foreign ministry accused Pakistani security forces of firing on the Afghan security officials, although Islamabad insisted that it only responded to the firing coming from across the border.
The latest incident suggests growing friction in ties between the two countries.
The Afghan government is apparently frustrated over the lack of progress in the reconciliation process and still believes that certain Afghan Taliban commanders are operating from Pakistani soil.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2015.