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Monday May 08, 2017

Census activities resume in Chaman after cross-border firing


CHAMAN: Census activities suspended in urban areas of Chaman resumed on Monday, while the Bab-e-Dosti gate remained closed for the fourth consecutive day following border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

Joint activity by Pak-Afghan geological survey teams will resume today, security officials said.

The visa section, however, remained closed and all trade activities suspended on Monday after the attack that martyred 11 and injured 46 early Friday.

New batches of the Pakistan army and Frontier Corps deployed on the Pak-Afghan border remain on high alert following the Afghan show of aggression that solicited a strong response from the Pakistani border forces.

Meanwhile, Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that the Chaman incident is unfortunate.

While addressing a news conference at the Foreign Office, he said that Pakistan has responded to the firing from across the border. 

Read more: Army destroys five Afghan posts after forces attempt to enter Pakistan

On Sunday, Pakistan and Afghan military authorities agreed to determine the geographical border limits in the third Pak-Afghan flag meeting at the Bab-e-Dosti gate.

The geological teams accompanied by Pak-Afghan officials will survey different areas including the zero line and parts of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir today.

The survey exercise can take between one and two days to be completed, security officials said.

The decision to open the border will be taken after the survey report is sent to Islamabad and Kabul.  

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 the census in the areas that are situated on 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."

Read more: Chaman firing: Pak, Afghan authorities moot over control of border areas

'Afghan govt also wants peace'

The Afghan government too wants the relations between both countries to improve as over 50% of Afghanistan is not under the government's 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."


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