ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday asked the Afghan government to secure the Pak-Afghan border region and take stern actions against the individuals involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan, in the interest of peace and progress of the two brotherly countries.

Responding to media queries regarding recent incidents along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, the Foreign Office spokesperson said Pakistan, once again, strongly “condemns terrorists operating with impunity from Afghan soil to carry out activities in Pakistan”.

In a press release, the spokesperson said, “This is detrimental to our efforts of maintaining peace and stability along Pak-Afghan Border”.

In the last few days, incidents along Pak-Afghan border had significantly increased, in which Pakistani security forces were being targeted from across the border.

Pakistan and Afghanistan had been engaged for past several months through institutional channels for effective coordination and security along their long-shared border.

Pakistan has repeatedly requested the Afghan government over the past few months to secure the Pak-Afghan border region as the terrorists were using Afghan soil with impunity to carry out activities inside Pakistan, the spokesperson said.

Unfortunately, elements of banned terrorist groups in the border region, including the TTP [Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan], continued to attack Pakistan’s border security posts, resulting into martyrdom of several Pakistani troops. On April 14 as well, seven Pakistan Army soldiers were martyred in North Waziristan district by terrorists operating from Afghanistan, he added.

The spokesperson said Pakistan reaffirmed respect for Afghanistan’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Pakistan will continue to work closely with Afghan government to strengthen bilateral relations in all fields, he reiterated.

On Saturday, a statement from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Pakistan’s Ambassador in Kabul had been summoned over the recent attacks in Khost and Kunar provinces and given a diplomatic demarche to deliver to Islamabad.

While replying to a query after the Taliban authorities held Pakistan responsible for ‘military violations’, FO spokesman Asim Iftikhar on Saturday night said the government was looking into the situation and “will give its position accordingly”.

A spokesman for Pakistan’s embassy in Kabul also denied the Afghan claim.

Published in Dawn, April 18th, 2022

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