ISLAMABAD: Rejecting Afghan allegation of shelling along the border, the Foreign Office on Wednesday said that Pakistani troops only responded in self-defence when attacked by terrorists based on Afghan soil and asked Kabul to fulfil its commitment for elimination of terrorist hideouts along the Pak-Afghan border.
“As a matter of policy, Pakistan does not fire across the Pak-Afghan border. Cross-border attacks by terrorists on army/FC posts are responded to in self-defence only,” a foreign ministry statement said.
The statement was issued in response to a letter written by Afghan Permanent Representative at the United Nations Adela Raz to the president of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). The Afghan envoy in the letter alleged “continued violations of the territory of Afghanistan by military forces of Pakistan”. It further said that these violations were in the form of shelling of districts in eastern parts of Afghanistan; construction of military posts and barriers on Afghan territory; and violation of Afghan airspace by Pakistani military aircraft.
“Pakistan regrets the Afghanistan government’s twisting of facts about some recent incidents of firing along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,” the FO said in its rejoinder.
Regrets twisting of facts by Afghanistan about recent incidents of firing
It further said: “As a matter of policy, Pakistan does not fire across Pak-Afghan border. Cross-border attacks by terrorists on army/FC posts are responded to in self-defence only.”
The location of these terrorist camps along the border, the FO said, had been formally shared with the Afghan government.
“The Government of Afghanistan had been asked to deploy its forces in these areas to bring it under their effective control,” the FO added.
Kabul was asked to address the issue of cross-border sanctuaries in accordance with “mutual understanding on these issues”.
Meanwhile, Indian deputy high commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia was on Wednesday summoned to the Foreign Office for receiving the protest over the latest ceasefire violations by India in which two civilians lost their lives.
Abdul Jalil and three-year-old Nausheen were killed and four others suffered serious injuries in the most recent ceasefire violations by the Indian forces in Nekrun Sector and Chirikot Sectors.
The Indian occupation forces along the LoC and the Working Boundary have continuously been targeting civilian-populated areas with artillery fire, heavy-calibre mortars, and automatic weapons.
“The deliberate targeting of civilian-populated areas is indeed deplorable and contrary to human dignity, international human rights and humanitarian laws. The ceasefire violations by India are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” the FO said.
Published in Dawn, August 29th, 2019