1. Pakistan summons top Afghanistan envoy over cross-border firing

Pakistan summons top Afghanistan envoy over cross-border firing

Pakistan today summoned a top Afghan diplomat after security forces of the two countries exchanged gunfire over the contentious fencing issue at north-western Torkham border crossing.

By: | Islamabad | Published: June 13, 2016 6:42 PM
cross-border firing Pakistan alleged that “unprovoked” firing was started by Afghanistan’s security forces when construction work began on a new gate on the Pakistani side. (Reuters)

Pakistan today summoned a top Afghan diplomat after security forces of the two countries exchanged gunfire over the contentious fencing issue at north-western Torkham border crossing.

Afghan Charge d’Affaires was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey Pakistan’s strong protest over “unprovoked firing” by the Afghan forces at Pakistani forces on Torkham border crossing, foreign office spokesperson said.

The Afghan diplomat was told that the overnight firing incident was “contrary to the spirit of friendly relations” between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“The Afghan side was urged to thoroughly investigate the incident and share the findings with Pakistani authorities. It was further emphasised that all steps should be taken for avoiding recurrence of such incidents in the future,” the official said.

In the firing, an Afghan border guard was killed while two Pakistani soldiers and nine civilians were injured.

Pakistan alleged that “unprovoked” firing was started by Afghanistan’s security forces when construction work began on a new gate on the Pakistani side.

“The gate is being constructed to facilitate the cross-border movement of people and vehicles. It was conveyed to the Afghan side that the regulation of movements at Torkham is part of government’s policy to strengthen border management. Therefore, Afghan government’s cooperation was needed as it would enhance mutual security and help combat the threat of terrorism,” the spokesperson said.

Last month, the border crossing was sealed for several days over the construction of the gate, causing hardships to thousands of people who cross it every day.

Afghan government does not recognise the border, which is also known as Durand Line, and it opposes permanent structure.

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