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Kabul to Lodge Protest Over Alleged Pakistani Shelling (UN General Assembly)

Posted by on Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 11:39
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Afghanistan Border

Afghanistan Border

Afghanistan will raise the issue of ‘Pakistan’s shelling on the Afghan side of the border’ at the United Nations General Assembly, the country’s foreign ministry said on Monday. Pakistan denies firing into civilian areas across the border and insists that forces fire when militants launch attacks on Pakistani border posts. However, Afghan officials claim that the Pakistani rockets ‘cause civilian casualties’.

“Foreign Minister Zarar Ahmad Osmani will share concerns about the rocket firing from Pakistani soil and will lodge a strong protest to the Pakistani military shelling on the Afghan side of the Durand line during his UN speech at the 69th UNGA session,” Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Ahmad Shakib Mustaghni said during his weekly briefly.

Mustaghni said the foreign minister will also inform the UNGA session of trenches dug by Pakistan along the border between Balochistan and Afghanistan. The trenches, aimed at cracking down on illegal movement and drug trafficking, are being investigated by a commission and President Hamid Karzai has asked for a report into the digging.

The investigation has been initiated as President-elect Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai vowed to build strong relations with all neighbours, including Pakistan.

In his message to the Afghan president-elect, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invited him to visit Pakistan and added, “I fully share your view that Pakistan and Afghanistan should have a ‘special relationship’. A visit to Pakistan would enable the two leaders to ‘chart a new course in our relations’, the PM added.

The incidents of cross-border shelling have become an increasing source of tension between the two neighbouring countries. Last week, Pakistan said a group of nearly 100 militants from the Afghan side of the border attacked a post in North Waziristan’s tribal region, killing four soldiers. Islamabad says many Pakistani Taliban leaders have crossed the border into Afghanistan and continue to operate from there.

Pact between Rivals

Afghanistan’s Taliban militants on Monday decried a pact by rival election candidates to form a government of national unity as a “sham” orchestrated by the United States and unacceptable to the Afghan people.

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