Army major killed in Afghan cross-border firing
PESHAWAR: An army officer, who was injured by Afghan firing at the Torkham border on Monday, succumbed to his injuries at the Combined Military Hospital in Peshawar on Tuesday.
Major Ali Jawad's funeral was attended by Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif in Peshawar Tuesday afternoon, after which his body was flown to his hometown – Quetta – for burial.
A skirmish between Afghan and Pakistani security personnel began on Sunday after "Afghan security forces resorted to unprovoked firing directed at the Pakistani side of the Torkham Gate," a statement issued by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) had earlier said.
The ISPR statement added that, in order to check movement of terrorists through Torkham, Pakistan is constructing a gate on its side of the border as a necessity to check unwanted and illegal movement.
Pakistan claims the Afghan government does not recognise the border and has always resisted attempts to regulate it including its fencing.
Since Sunday, intermittent exchanges have taken place between the two sides, injuring six Pakistani civilians and 10 security personnel, including a major and a lieutenant. The injured troops belong to the army, FC and Khasadar Force.
The Foreign Office had on Monday summoned the Afghan envoy to express anger over unprovoked firing by Afghan troops at the Torkham border crossing which left several Pakistani troops and civilians injured.
Know more: Afghan envoy summoned as border clash erupts again
The FO in a statement explained that the gate was being constructed for “facilitating cross-border movement” and that Kabul had been intimated about the government policy about regulating the crossings.
The FO said the Afghan government had been asked to investigate the Torkham incident and take steps to prevent its recurrence.
Meanwhile at a meeting in Kabul, Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah defended the action and said bilateral understandings required mutual consent before construction of new installations near the border, according to VoA.
“The Afghan security and defence forces retaliated to safeguard the territorial integrity and defend the country and its people ... armed forces are always ready to defend their country and people and to react against any kind of threats,” the Afghan foreign ministry said in a separate statement.
Major Ali buried in Quetta
The funeral prayers of Major Ali were also offered in Imambargah Nichari in Quetta on Tuesday evening.
Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Zehri, Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti, IG FC Major General Sher Afgun and other high level civilian and armed forces personnel attended the funeral.
The major was later buried in the presence of a large number of people.
The firing erupted again on Monday afternoon when Pakistani border forces restarted installation of the gate inside its own territory near the Torkham border’s zero-point.
Reports from across the border claim six have been wounded on the Afghan side, with one official having died.