• Sun. Mar 5th, 2023

Pak-Afghan border forces clash in Chaman’s Killi Sheikh Lal

Residents gather after Taliban forces fired mortars at Pakistan´s border town of Chaman on December 11, 2022. — AFP
Residents gather after Taliban forces fired mortars at Pakistan´s border town of Chaman on December 11, 2022. — AFP 

At least one person was killed and 15 others injured as Afghan forces once again targeted civilian settlements along the border with Pakistan, with border security forces on both sides engaged in clashes in Chaman’s Sheikh Lal Muhammad, Geo News reported Thursday, citing Pakistani authorities.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in a brief initial statement, confirmed that “indiscriminate and intermittent” firing was continuing from inside Afghanistan on the civilian population of Chaman. Women and children are among the injured.

The clash started over the intervention of Afghan forces in repairing of a barrack along the border by Pakistani authorities in Sheikh Lal Muhammad sector, authorities said.

Levies officials said that several artillery shells were fired in the Boghra and Custom House area.

The officials said that a befitting response was given by the Pakistani forces by using heavy artillery in retaliation.

Meanwhile, Chaman deputy commissioner said that the District Headquarters Hospital, Chaman has been put on high alert and the citizens have been directed to vacate Mall Road, Boghra Road, Bypass and Border Road.

PM Shehbaz asks Afghan govt to ensure Chaman-like attacks aren’t repeated

On Monday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the “unprovoked shelling and firing” by the Afghan border forces at the Chaman border and stressed the Afghan government should ensure that such incidents are not repeated.

The latest incident of cross-border firing by the Afghan border security forces at the Chaman border martyred six people and injured 17 others.

Taking to Twitter, PM Shehbaz said that the unfortunate attack on civilians “deserves the strongest condemnation”.

“The Afghan interim government should ensure that such incidents are not repeated,” the premier wrote.

Earlier, the Foreign Office, too, condemned the firing incident on Pakistan’s behalf, saying that incidents like this are “not in keeping with the brotherly ties” between the two countries.

Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that the Afghan border forces resorted to “unprovoked and indiscriminate firing” onto the civilian population in Chaman.

The FO’s press statement stated that the Afghan authorities have been informed that the recurrence of such incidents must be avoided and the “strictest possible action” must be taken against those responsible.

The spokesperson said it is the responsibility of both sides to protect civilians along the border.

The FO spokesperson said the concerned authorities of both countries remain in contact to ensure that there is no further escalation of the situation and recurrence of such incidents is avoided.

The attack

Using heavy weapons, the Afghan border forces opened unprovoked and indiscriminate fire at the civilian area in Balochistan’s Chaman city resulting in the martyrdom of six people and injuries to 17 others, a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

According to the military’s media wing, the Afghan border forces used artillery and mortar in the attack.

The ISPR said that Pakistan’s troops at the border gave a befitting albeit measured response against the uncalled-for aggression, but avoided targeting innocent civilians in the area.

The statement added the Pakistani border forces have also approached Afghan authorities in Kabul to highlight the severity of the situation and demanded strict action to avoid any such recurrence of the incident in future.

Attack on Pakistan embassy

On December 2, Pakistan’s Head of Mission to Kabul Ubaid-ur-Rehman Nizamani escaped an assassination bid.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) had said the embassy’s compound in Kabul came under attack targeting the head of mission, but “by the grace of Allah Almighty, the head of mission is safe”.

However, a Pakistani security guard Sepoy Israr Mohammad had been critically injured in the attack while protecting Nizamani, the Foreign Office said.

It said that Pakistan’s government strongly condemns the assassination attempt and attack on the embassy demanding the Afghan government conduct an immediate investigation into the incident.

Attack on border security personnel

Last month, a Frontier Corps soldier embraced martyrdom and two more sustained injuries in the midst of a cross-border attack from neighbouring Afghanistan to the Chaman district.

Afghan security officials allegedly opened fire on the FC personnel while they were deployed on duty on the Pakistani side of the Bab-e-Dosti near Chaman, as per Levies officials. Following the incident, the Pakistani authorities contacted the Afghan government for a ceasefire in the area.

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