FATA/Gilgit-Baltistan

At least 19 Pakistanis injured in Afghan firing at Torkham

torkham

PESHAWAR/RAWALPINDI: Afghan forces resumed unprovoked firing across Torkham border crossing on Monday evening resulting in causing injuries to at least 19 Pakistani soldiers and civilians.

The wounded include two officers and seven soldiers of Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps (FC), Khasadar Force and Levies. Besides these, 10 civilians were also injured due to the unrestrained fire by Afghan forces.

Afghan Foreign Office also called Pakistan’s Ambassador Syed Abrar Hussain, who explained that it was a mistake of Afghan forces that mounted tensions and resulted in exchange of fire at Torkham.

The ambassador defended Pakistan’s policy on border management and noted that the gate being erected at Torkham border crossing is well inside the Pakistani territory.

A source told this correspondent that Kabul had been informed about the construction of a gateway at the border crossing, but it kept silent and took no action over unprovoked firing by Afghan security men.

During last 24 hours, Afghan security forces fired gunshots targeting Pakistani security personnel at a gateway 37 meters inside the Pakistani territory at Torkham, described the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).

Afghan forces fired at an under-construction gate aimed at preventing terrorists and miscreants from intruding into Pakistani territory, said the ISPR spokesman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa. The gate is located 37 meters away from the Durand Line, on the Pakistani side.

The unprovoked firing by Afghan forces left two Pakistani soldiers and nine civilians wounded on Sunday evening.

“This gate is considered essential to check and verify documentation of all border crossers. It will check move of terrorists,” Bajwa said on Twitter.

Map of the under-construction gate at Torkham border crossing - ISPR

Map of the under-construction gate at Torkham border crossing – ISPR

Afghanistan does not recognize the Durand Line that often leads to such kinds of incidents along the border.

Earlier today, Pakistan lodged strong protest with Afghanistan over unprovoked firing by Afghan forces at Torkham border crossing.

Afghan charge d’affaires was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad and told that the firing incident was contrary to the spirit of friendly relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, said the Foreign Office (FO) in a statement today.

The FO said that the firing was aimed at disrupting the construction of a gate well inside Pakistani territory at the border. The gate is being constructed to facilitate the cross-border movement of people and vehicles.

“It was further emphasized that all steps should be taken for avoiding recurrence of such incidents in the future,” it added.

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