CHAMAN: Tension prevailed at the Pak-Afghan border in Chaman on the second consecutive day on Saturday as the administration directed residents of villages near the border to vacate the area and the troops took positions after the Afghan forces opened fire a day earlier, killing at least 11 and injuring several others.
Deputy Commissioner Chaman Qaiser Khan said that residents of Kali Luqman, Kali Jahangir and other villages bordering Afghanistan had been directed through loudspeakers and pamphlets to immediately vacate their areas and move to safer locations. He added that the flag meeting between senior army officials of the two countries to discuss the border situation was held at the Bab-e-Dosti gate for the second consecutive day, which also ended without any progress.
Gunship helicopters conducted regular aerial surveillance of the border area, while schools, offices and markets in the nearby areas remained closed. The Chaman border also remained closed for the second day on Saturday due to which long queues of vehicles were witnessed at the border. The four-kilometre area near the border has been declared the no man’s land.
Nineteen Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) trucks reached the site to aid those affected by the Afghan attack.
“Over 2,000 families near the Chaman border were affected by the firing of Afghan forces,” DG PDMA Tariq Hussain said. Distribution of relief supplies to the affected areas have started. Supplies include tents, blankets, tarpaulins, utensils and food items.
The PDMA has also established an emergency cell in Chaman to meet any emergency. Ambulances, medical staff and medicines are available at the centre.
Meanwhile, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zakaullah visited the injured at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Quetta, to express solidarity and solace with the victims and their families.
While expressing his profound grief and sincere sympathy on this tragic incident, the naval chief strongly condemned the gory incident of targeting innocent and defenceless civilians, including women and children. He pledged that in this hour of tragedy, the officers, men and civilians of Pakistan Navy stand firm with the nation and law enforcement agencies and in particular with the aggrieved families.
The naval chief also paid rich tributes to Sepoy Hassan Ali, who embraced martyrdom on Friday during the incident.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said that Afghanistan is doing such acts for diverting the attention from its internal situation, and that confrontation on the western border was the result of Delhi-Kabul collusion.
Talking to the media in Sialkot, Khawaja Asif expressed anger over the Afghan forces' cross border violation and warned them that any such action would be responded aggressively. He stressed the need to promote mutual cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan for eliminating terrorism and establishing durable peace. He said Pakistan wanted to have good relations with Afghanistan and would continue its sincere efforts for better relations with it. He added that the country had again offered its full cooperation to the Afghan government to eliminate terrorism besides establishing durable peace across the borders.
He said Pakistan was monitoring its border situation and ready to protect its territorial boundaries as well, adding that Pakistan would respond instantly and effectively in a befitting way to the enemy on borders’ violations.
Asif said Pakistan was successfully eliminating terrorism from the country besides continuously playing frontline role for establishing durable global peace. The minister said the CPEC project would open new vistas of socio-economic and human development in Pakistan. He said by the end December this year, 6,400MW electricity would be added to the national grid, adding that there was no unscheduled loadshedding anywhere in the country. He said the industrial sector had been made free from electricity loadshedding. The minister said there would be surplus electricity in the country by December 2017 and the government was committed to ending the inherited loadshedding before the next general elections in the country.
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