Sunday May 07, 2017

Army destroys five Afghan posts after forces attempt to enter Pakistan

CHAMAN: Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Amir Riaz, on Sunday, said that the Pakistan army had to destroy four to five Afghan posts after Afghan forces attempted to enter Pakistan.

"Anyone who tries to make Pakistan's territory disputed will face similar consequences," Lt. General Riaz said while speaking to media outlets in Chaman.

The commander said that attempts to enter Pakistan were a "foolish mistake," which was not beneficial for both countries.

"The border will remain closed till Afghanistan changes its behaviour," Lt Gen Riaz said.

The general also visited those injured in the attack at the Chaman Civil Hospital.

50 Afghan soldiers killed, over 100 injured: IG FC 

Over 50 Afghan soldiers were killed and more than 100 injured when Pakistan retaliated to unprovoked firing and shelling by Afghan forces at Chaman border, Balochistan Frontier Corps Inspector General Major General Nadeem Ahmed said on Sunday. 

"We are not pleased to announce this but the Afghan commanders are responsible for this," he said while briefing the media on the Chaman border firing issue. "We had informed them about our census activity."

He added they carried out census in the areas that are situated within the Pakistani border.

While talking about the Afghan forces' attack, the IG said the census was carried out in Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir for four days until April 29 when they started to hinder the process. "But we restrained so that peace is not disrupted."

The next day a meeting between border forces was held where the Afghan authorities told their Pakistani counterparts to resume the census process after three to four days.

"We informed them, but our positive attitude was misused," he said. "The Afghan forces entered villages on Pakistan's side and used locals as human shields so that they could make a position for attacks."  

However, on May 4 the Frontier Corps personnel started the operation and by May 5, got hold of their areas back.  "We could have done this earlier, but we knew civilians reside in the villages on the border."

When the Afghan forces found out they were losing their position, they started firing, killing over 10, including one pregnant woman and injuring more than 40, the IG added.

The FC official said he was thankful to the tribal people of Chaman as they were ready to help and also donated blood. He told the media another flag meeting would be held in the evening, to discuss the border situation.  

'Afghan govt also wants peace'

Even the Afghan government wanted the relation between both the countries to improve as over 50% of Afghanistan is not under their control, said National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq on Sunday.

"They said there are [many] areas in Afghanistan that are under control of the Taliban and Daesh," the speaker said, talking about the meeting held between the Pakistani authorities and Afghan government officials after firing and shelling at the border on May 5. "Peace in Afghanistan is essential for peace in Pakistan."

Whatever happened was not right, he added, but it is important to move forward. "However, when the Afghan parliamentary delegation will come to Pakistan we will demand an answer from them."

With additional input from our correspondent in Lahore