Pakistan troops responded to Afghan firing in self-defence: FO

Pakistan troops responded to Afghan firing in self-defence: FO
Islamabad: Pakistan troops responded to Afghan forces’s firing on civilians gathered towards Pakistan’s side at Chaman border crossing only in self-defence, said Foreign Office in a statement.

On Thursday, at least three people were killed on Pakistan side and several injured after Afghan troops resorted to what FO called it unprovoked fire.

“Pakistan troops deployed on the posts were also simultaneously engaged by Afghan posts. Pakistan troops responded to protect our local population and acted only in self-defence,” said the statement.

It is reiterated that Pakistan force did not open fire first and responded in self-defence only, the FO said.

“To de-escalate the situation, the Pakistan side immediately activated both military and diplomatic channels and it was after hectic efforts that the firing was stopped from Afghan side.

“It must be noted that the borders with Afghanistan were opened for pedestrian movement and trade, upon the request of the Afghan authorities,” it further said.

The FO highlighted that Pakistan is undertaking concerted efforts to ensure regulated movement of trade between the two countries, which are being challenged by elements opposed to such regulation.

Moreover, due to Eid ul Azha, pedestrians’ move was also allowed. People gathered for this purpose were deliberately targeted by Afghan forces for incomprehensible reasons.

This unfortunate incident resulted in numerous casualties and deliberate/serious damage to state infrastructure on the Pakistan side.

“There were, reportedly, unfortunate losses on the Afghan side as well. All this could have been avoided if fire had not been initiated from the Afghan side,” read the statement.

Pakistan reiterates its sincere readiness to further enhance fraternal relations with Afghanistan in the interest of peace and stability in the region. We hope our constructive efforts will be reciprocated.