ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan summoned Pakistan’s top envoy in Kabul to lodge a protest over the alleged cross-border firing that killed at least four Afghans, officials said on Thursday.
Afghan officials claim that the cross border attacks took place over a period of 48 hours.
“Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai summoned the Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Kabul, Sayed Ibrar Hussain, and expressed the protest and concern of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in relation to the mortar and artillery shelling of Pakistani military forces over the Afghan territory along Durand Line,” an Afghan foreign ministry statement said.
Karzai told the Pakistani ambassador that “Pakistani military forces have shelled 53 rounds of heavy weapons on Speen Zhay, Dwa Khula, Chunchro Tangai, and Kamary Lakar areas of Nazyan District of Nangarhar province, and Batash, Dolay Khor and Chogam areas of Naray and Sheigal districts of Kunar province in the last few days.”
The Afghan ambassador claimed that up to three civilians, including a woman, were killed and two others injured.
“The continuity of such attacks is against the principles of good neighbourhood and international law and norms, and can significantly harm the friendly relations between the two nations,” the Afghan foreign ministry said.
Claiming that Afghanistan is making efforts to improve bilateral relations through confidence building measures, Karzai termed the continuity of these attacks a “violation of national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan” and asked for the “immediate cessation of attacks.”
“These attacks not only cause financial and physical losses to the people of Afghanistan, but also raise the concern, hatred, and protest of the people, National Assembly and the government of Afghanistan that can affect relations between the two countries,” the statement further read.
Sayed Ibrar Hussain promised to convey the concerns of the Afghan government to the relevant officials in Pakistan.
Though no official statement has been issued over the claims, officials insist that Pakistani forces fired at militants who try to target them.
Afghan security officials further claimed that Pakistani militants have crossed the border into Afghanistan as a result of the military operations.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2015.