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Thursday July 25, 2024

Islamabad warns Kabul: Any illegal structure built inside Pakistan unacceptable

It was made abundantly clear that Afghanistan would not be allowed to be used as launching pad to attack Pakistan

By Mariana Baabar
September 12, 2023
Two guards stand outside of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Islamabad, Pakistan. — AFP
Two guards stand outside of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Islamabad, Pakistan. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Monday sent a strong message to the Afghan interim government that it will under no circumstances accept any structure built by Kabul inside its territory since it violated its sovereignty.

It was also made abundantly clear that Afghanistan would not be allowed to be used as a launching pad to attack Pakistani territory.

“On 6th of September, instead of a peaceful resolution, the Afghan troops resorted to indiscriminate firing, targeting Pakistan’s military posts, damaging infrastructure at the Torkham border terminal, and putting the lives of both Pakistani and Afghan civilians at risk when they were stopped from erecting such unlawful structures”, said the Foreign Office.

The Foreign Office was reacting to media queries about the Afghan foreign ministry’s statement on the closure of Pak-Afghan border at Torkham, in which it erroneously blamed the border closure on Pakistan.

Trucks lie parked on both sides of the border for the past few days and even the citizens are no longer allowed to cross over.

At the same time, the authorities have clamped down on smuggling of wheat, dollars, fertilisers etc to discourage smuggling.

“The statement of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs comes as a surprise, as the interim Afghan authorities know fully well the reasons for the temporary closure of the Pak-Afghan border at Torkham. Such unprovoked and indiscriminate firing on the Pakistani border posts cannot be justified under any circumstances”, the Foreign Office added. Also Kabul was warned that Pakistan will under no circumstances allow the misuse of bilateral trade agreement.

Sending a warning, Kabul was reminded that the unprovoked firing by their border security forces invariably emboldened terrorists.

“These elements are enjoying sanctuaries inside Afghanistan as confirmed by the UN Security Council’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team in its latest report”, said the Foreign Office without naming the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which is continuously carrying out terrorist activities in Pakistan.

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also informed that its statement about the closure of borders included some irrelevant comments and unsolicited advice about Pakistan’s economy and foreign trade.

“For the last several decades, Pakistan has facilitated the Afghan transit trade and will continue to do so. However, Pakistan cannot allow the misuse of the transit trade agreement”, added the Foreign Office.

Pakistan reiterated that it wished the border with Afghanistan to be a border of peace and amity between the two countries.

“We have welcomed our Afghan brothers and sisters with open arms for decades. Pakistan has continued to exercise restraint and prioritize dialogue in the face of persistent unwarranted provocations by the Afghan troops deployed along the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border. Temporary closures take place only in extreme cases such as the 6th September 2023 incident on the border or when the Afghan soil was used to launch terror attacks inside Pakistan”, was the reminder from Pakistan.

Not only are millions of Afghan refugees taking advantage of Pakistani hospitality since the time of the Soviet invasion but recently after the Afghan Taliban took over Kabul, daily Afghans have been crossing over, many wanting to leave for foreign shores.

“Pakistan stands ready to resolve all bilateral issues and concerns through constructive dialogue so that both countries can reap the dividends of economic connectivity and resultant prosperity. We expect the Afghan interim authorities to be mindful of Pakistan’s concerns, respect the territorial integrity of Pakistan and ensure that the Afghan territory is not used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks against Pakistan”, said the Foreign Office.