ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Sunday sent out a clear message to Afghanistan, strongly condemning terrorists operating with impunity from the Afghan soil to carry out activities in Pakistan.
"This is detrimental to our efforts of maintaining peace and stability along Pak-Afghan border. "We request the sovereign government of Afghanistan to secure the Pak-Afghan border region and take stern action against the individuals involved in terrorist activities in Pakistan, in the interest of peace and progress of the two brotherly countries," said the Foreign Office as the Taliban interim government summoned Pakistan’s ambassador in Kabul and gave him a demarche.
While the ISPR has remained silent, it was only on Sunday that the Foreign Office came up with a response but made no mention of Kabul’s claims that Pakistani jets allegedly flew over Khost and Kunar provinces and carried out attacks in the area.
However, in what Kabul said was a strong demarche for Pakistan’s leaders, Kabul has not mentioned any deaths or people wounded as has been carried in several media reports. The Afghan Foreign Office said that along with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi, the session with Pakistan’s ambassador also included Deputy Defence Minister Alhaj Mullah Shirin Akhund, where the Afghan side condemned the recent attacks on Khost and Kunar provinces, stressing prevention of such acts. “Minister Muttaqi said all military violations including that in Khost and Kunar must be prevented as such acts deteriorate relations between the two countries, allowing antagonists to misuse the situation leading to undesired consequences,” said the Afghan statement.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office, meanwhile, informed Kabul that in the last few days, incidents along the Pak-Afghan border have significantly increased, wherein Pakistani security forces are being targeted from across the border.
“Pakistan has repeatedly requested the Afghan government in last few months to secure Pak-Afghan border region. Terrorists are using Afghan soil with impunity to carry out activities inside Pakistan,” added the Foreign Office.
Pakistan says that it has been engaged with Afghanistan for the past several months through institutional channels for effective coordination and security along its long shared border. “Unfortunately, elements of banned terrorist groups in the border region, including TTP, have continued to attack Pakistan's border security posts, resulting into martyrdom of several Pakistani troops.
“On April 14, 2022 as well, 7 Pakistan army soldiers were martyred in North Waziristan district by terrorists operating from Afghanistan; however Pakistan also takes this opportunity to reaffirm 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,” said the Foreign Office. AFP adds: Pakistan Sunday called on the Taliban government in Kabul to take "stern actions" against militants launching attacks against the country from inside Afghanistan. Taliban deny harbouring Pakistani militants.
"Unfortunately, elements of banned terrorist groups in the border region, including TTP, have continued to attack Pakistan’s border security posts, resulting in the martyrdom of several Pakistani troops."
Meanwhile, Kabul alleged on Sunday that the death toll from Pak military air strikes in the provinces of Khost and Kunar had jumped to at least 47, officials said Sunday. The air strikes hit residential houses in Khost and Kunar along the border, Afghan officials said. Earlier officials had said Pakistani forces had fired rockets.
"Forty-one civilians, mainly women and children, were killed and 22 others were wounded in air strikes by Pakistani forces near the Durand line in Khost province," Shabir Ahmad Osmani, director of information and culture in Khost told AFP.
Najibullah, an official with the Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Khost said the death toll in the province was 48. "Twenty-four people were killed from one family itself," he said. Jamshid, a tribal leader from Khost, also confirmed that more than 40 people had died.
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