• Thu. Mar 30th, 2023

Ulema delegation to visit Afghanistan for dialogue over cross border hostility

Smoke rising from the border after firing from Afghan side. — Reporter
Smoke rising from the border after firing from Afghan side. — Reporter

A four-member delegation of Pakistani Ulema will visit Afghanistan for reconciliation dialogue to halt the cross-border hostility in Chaman after two attacks by Afghan forces within five days, killing one civilian and injuring 15 others, the district administration said Sunday.

The Afghan border forces opened unprovoked and indiscriminate fire for the second time in five days, in Balochistan’s Chaman city.

According to Levies officials, Afghan forces fired multiple artillery rounds upon the civilian population around the Boghra Road and Custom House areas, to which the Pakistani authorities responded befittingly.

The delegation will hold meetings with Afghan ministry of defence officials, and key Taliban leaders in Kandahar and Kabul, the Chaman district administration said.

They added that the Pak-Afghan border security forces’ flag meeting was postponed upon the departure of the Ulema delegation.

However, routine operations in the civilian areas were restored on both sides of the Chaman border.

At least nine civilians were killed and over 45 civilians were injured in the firing of artillery shells by Afghan forces from December 11 to 15, told the media superintendent Chaman.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Friday summoned the Afghan Chargé D’affaires Sardar Ahmed Shakeeb and expressed its ”strong condemnation” of the recent incidents of ”unprovoked cross-border” shelling by the Afghan border security forces in the Chaman-Spin Boldak area, resulting in loss of life, injuries and damage to property.

Clash over Pak-Afghan border fencing

The clash at the Pak-Afghan border was initiated during the repair of the fence in the Sheikh Lal Muhammad sector.

During the previous attack, six people were martyred and 17 others were injured, a statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

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 the future.

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) 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.

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