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Editorial: Protests against Pakistan shelling

Hundreds of people from the political activists, members of civil society and other Kabul citizens gathered Friday to protest rocket firing by Pakistani army on the eastern areas of Afghanistan. The protesters demanded immediate stop of the shelling which has been reportedly targeting villages in the provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar after a terrorist attack killed and injured scores of innocent civilians recently at a Sufi shrine in Pakistan’s Sindh province.

Local people say that rockets fired from Pakistan still crash in their villages, although the government has said it was stopped. The protesters called on the government as well as the United Nations to stand against the shelling which was called by the former president Hamid Karzai as “blatant violation” against the Afghan national integrity.

Actually, this is not the first time that our national integrity is violated by the government of the neighboring country. Pakistan army had attacked residential areas in Nangarhar and Kunar with no reasons through the past years. But this time, they say that the Sindh shrine attack was planned in Afghanistan, which was followed by the closure of the Torkham and Spin Boldak cross points by the Pakistani troops.

This is clear to the government of Pakistan and to everyone involved in Afghanistan conflict that Afghanistan does not interfere in the neighboring countries’ affairs and does not let anybody use its territory against the neighbors. This is a principle of Afghanistan’s foreign policy.

Why does Pakistan carry out these attacks? Because everybody knows that Pakistan’s soil is a safe haven for terrorist groups. Terrorists from different countries and with different nationalities have sanctuaries in Pakistan and organize attacks against Afghanistan and other countries from there.

So, Islamabad is trying to deny this very clear fact and divert the international community’s attention toward other states.

Afghan people and the world community are well informed now where the terrorist groups are hidden. The former head of al-Qaeda terrorist network, Osama bin Laden was killed by a US military operation near Islamabad. The two Taliban leaders Mullah Omar and Mullah Akhtar Mansoor also died there (the later one was killed by a US drone attack).

Afghans are the first and old victims of terrorism. They need a lasting peace not only in Afghanistan, but in the region and in the world more than any other one.

If Pakistani authorities want to put an end to the civilian killing in their own country, they must start real cooperation with Afghanistan in battling terrorism. This is only way, otherwise, more helpless and innocent people will be victimized by terrorism like their Afghan brothers and sisters.

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