Friday May 05, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday strongly condemned the "grave incident" of firing by Afghan border police targeting personnel of the Frontier Corps and the population census team near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Chaman.
Terming the incident as "most unfortunate", the Prime Minister said the recurrence of such incidents was contrary to Pakistan's efforts for achieving peace and stability in the region.
The prime minister expressed his profound grief and sorrow over the loss of precious human lives and injuries caused to the civilian and personnel of law enforcement agencies.
He said it was the responsibility of the Afghan government to ensure that such incidents were permanently stopped.
Sharif extended his heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the affected families and directed concerned authorities for treatment of the injured.
At least nine civilians have lost their lives in the unprovoked cross-border firing incident, which took place near the Chaman border crossing in Balochistan earlier today. As many as 42 others have been injured in the attack.
Pakistan summoned Afghan chargé d’affaires Abdul Nasir Yousufi to the Foreign Office in Islamabad and handed over a demarche to record its protest over the unprovoked cross-border firing and shelling.
Earlier today, Pakistan warned the Afghan government of retaliatory action if Kabul fails to stop its forces from carrying out unprovoked firing and shelling on innocent Pakistani civilians.
Addressing a press briefing in Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said Pakistan was deeply concerned at Afghan forces opening fire on a census team and security personnel near the Pak-Afghan border at Chaman this morning.
"The census team was carrying out its duties on Pakistani side of the border. We had informed Afghanistan in advance about the census exercise. Census exercise was being carried out inside Pakistani territory," Zakaria told reporters in Islamabad.
He said that Afghan forces were continuously carrying out cross-border firing and shelling on Pakistani border villages since early Friday morning.
"We urge Afghan government to immediately halt firing on Pakistani villages. If Afghanistan does not stop this, then Pakistan reserves the right to carry out retaliatory action," he said in a clear warning to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's government in Kabul.