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Pakistani envoy summoned over artillery shelling

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has lodged a strong protest over shelling of areas across the Durand Line by summoning Pakistan’s ambassador Syed Ibrar Hussain.

According to a media statement issued by the MoFA, the foreign ministry’s first political chairman Muhammad Musa Arifi had conveyed serious concerns over Pakistani troops shelling in Sarkani district of Kunar and Maroof district of Kandahar provinces.

Arifi told the most senior Pakistani diplomat in the country that such attacks are harming relations between the two countries. He warned that the shelling in such a sensitive time when relations between Kabul and Islamabad are at an all-time low would exacerbate tensions.

Pakistani paramilitary forces, also known as the Frontier Corps (FC), have resumed shelling in Sarkani and Maroof districts on Wednesday. The unprovoked shelling was halted after formation of the National Unity Government in Afghanistan. In July 2015, Pakistani military fired 16 rockets into Paktika province. Last year on July 23, the deputy minister of foreign affairs Hekmat Khalil Karzai summoned the Pakistani ambassador over the cross-Durand Line shelling.

Recalling the attacks of Pakistani military forces on Afghan territory, Deputy Foreign Minister said: “In the last few days, Pakistani military forces have shelled 53 rounds of heavy weapons on Speen zhay, Dwa Khula, Chunchro Tangai, and Kamary Lakar areas of Nazyan District of Nangarhar Province, and Batash, Dolay Khor and Chogam areas of Naray and Sheigal Districts of Kunar Province that resulted in the killing of three civilians including a woman and also injuring two civilians. The continuity of such attacks is against the principles of good neighborhood and International law and norms, and can significantly harm the friendly relations between the two nations.”

Pakistan’s security officials have long denied the attacks and occasionally claimed they were in retaliation to attacks by militants coming from Afghanistan. Pakistan’s hysterical spree of shelling rockets into Afghanistan’s volatile east and south had continued undeterred, spawning mayhem, with residents living under constant fear of death.

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