Dawn News

Afghanistan warns Pakistan over cross-border shelling

Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul. — Photo by AFP

UNITED NATIONS: Afghanistan has called on Pakistan to halt cross-border shelling, warning the UN Security Council that the attacks could jeopardise already tense relations between the two countries.

A UN envoy meanwhile said that there were a growing number of “uprisings” against the Taliban in areas of Afghanistan under the group's control.

Afghanistan's Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul said Thursday that attacks from Pakistan into his country were “a matter of deep and serious concern” and had caused “unprecedented anger and frustration among Afghans.”

Afghanistan has accused Pakistan of staging repeated shelling barrages across the poorly policed border into Kunar province.

“We reiterate our call for an immediate and complete end to these acts, which have taken the lives of dozen of Afghans, mainly civilians, while leaving many wounded,” Rassoul told the 15-nation council during a meeting.

He said the Afghan government was in contact with Pakistan to end the attacks “holistically and resolutely.”

Rassoul said that Afghanistan wants “close and fruitful relations” with its neighbour, which has frequently been accused of backing Taliban militants seeking to overthrow President Hamid Karzai's government.

Pakistan in turn says groups of Pakistani Taliban sheltering in Afghanistan have infiltrated the border to resume attacks on its security forces.

The UN special representative in Afghanistan Jan Kubis meanwhile told the meeting that “reports of uprisings against the Taliban in various parts of the country are a new development requiring greater analysis”.

He added, however, that the causes of the new violence are “complex”.

“Desire for local communities to have security and justice led them to taking the situation into their own hands. There is a risk of even greater fragmentation of the security environment,” Kubis said.

“Many of these localised conflicts would appear to be resistance to the Taliban, but not necessarily in support of a greater government presence.”

Kubis told reporters that most of the “uprisings” were in the south of Afghanistan and could be a protest against Taliban policies against, for example, schools.

“This is an invitation to the government to increase support for the communities, to increase the delivery of law and order, to increase delivery of government services,” he added.

A US-led international force of some 110,000 troops are in Afghanistan helping the Karzai government fight Taliban insurgents. The force is due to leave by the end of 2014.

Comments (8) Closed

Sep 21, 2012 10:38pm
And don't get caught : )
Ihsan Nabi Khan
Sep 21, 2012 08:09am
Love Thy Neighbour
Sep 21, 2012 01:41pm
Well said.
Peter Brown
Sep 21, 2012 10:04am
what about attacks inside Pakistan from Aghan side by terrorists and drone attacks from Afghan soil? does that not concern Afghans?
Abdur Razzaque
Sep 22, 2012 04:06am
Materialize the common peoples dream first and ultimately the problem and frustration will be gone away forever!
Sep 22, 2012 02:16am
Unfortunately Pakistan has paid a heavy price for the love of its neighbour and has been repaid by hate and back stabbing with our other friend indai
Sep 22, 2012 12:47am
We are loving our neighbourer for the last 30 plus years and still providing love to millions living in our home at the cost of our own childrens. Now is the time to remind our neighbor to take care of themselves and leave us alone to take care of problems created by them
Tariq Ahmed
Sep 21, 2012 03:17pm
First take back all your Afghans from Pakistan, and then we can discuss other issues.