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Monday December 05, 2022

De-escalating border tension challenge for new military leadership

The issue of continued tension on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border was raised at the Foreign Office

November 25, 2022
In this photograph taken on January 7, 2017, Pakistan security personnel look on as travellers wait to cross the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan at Chaman. — AFP
In this photograph taken on January 7, 2017, Pakistan security personnel look on as travellers wait to cross the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan at Chaman. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: As the new military leadership, notified on Thursday, take their offices, of great urgency is the unrest on Pakistan’s western borders.  

The issue of continued tension on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border was raised at the Foreign Office during the weekly media briefing to which the spokeswoman responded: “It is true there were some issues at Pakistan-Afghanistan border. You must have seen statements from the local administration. The two sides are holding regular border flag meetings and are engaged in discussion at various levels, including Kharlachi Border Crossing Point. We remain seized of the matter and will share further details as the situation evolves.

“The Chaman Border Crossing Point, it was reopened on Monday following discussions between the two sides at Border Flag Meetings. Key focus of these meetings was to clear pedestrian traffic and trade consignments. The Afghan side has communicated its serious regret over the incident and has constituted a high-level committee comprising e Afghan ministries of Foreign Affairs and Border and Tribal Affairs, local Chambers of Commerce and tribal elders to investigate the incident and avoid recurrence. Further details on the matter will be shared.

“We continue to engage with the Afghan side including through our Embassy in Afghanistan and the Afghan Embassy in Islamabad.”

The FO expressed apprehensions at the situation in IIOJ&K which the spokeswoman said did not show any signs of improving.

“It remains under military siege and Indian oppression there continues unabated. Carrying on with their spree of extrajudicial killings, last week the Indian occupation forces killed two Kashmiri youth in fake encounters in Islamabad and Shopian districts of IIOJ&K. Indian occupation forces are also engaged in killing innocent Kashmiri youth while in custody. These developments are of serious concern for Pakistan. We are also deeply concerned about the welfare of Kashmiri political prisoners including APHC leaders and human rights defenders. It is important that their rights are protected and they are immediately released.”

India, she underlined, must end its gross and systematic violations of human rights in IIOJ&K, revoke its illegal and unilateral actions of

5th August, 2019, and free all political prisoners including the true Kashmiri leaders.

Commenting on the Kishanganga hydropower project, she pointed to the World Bank which has a special responsibility with respect to the Indus Waters Treaty.

“We believe that India has developed this project in violation of the Treaty.

Pakistan is very closely engaged with the World Bank (WB) on this issue.

We have noted the recent progress on nomination of a court of arbitration and look forward to a judicious settlement”, she said.

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