Decoding the cross-border firing in Afghanistan-Pakistan border

Shooting At Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Kills Three, Injures 17

Three killed as troops open fire at rally in Pakistan: Activists

People gathered for this goal 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". The border crossing where Friday's clash occurred was open briefly earlier this week but closed again Thursday, prompting crowds of people to gather on both sides in hopes of crossing for Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday that began Friday, Reuters reported.

The governor of the southeastern Afghan province of Kandahar, Hayatullah Hayat, said the shells fell in residential areas of Spin Boldak and that women and children were among the 15 dead and 80 wounded.

The FO said that despite the unfortunate incident, "Pakistan reiterates its honest readiness to further enhance fraternal relations with Afghanistan in the interest of peace and stability in the region".

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters that the matter had been taken up with Afghan authorities and hoped it would be resolved amicably.

The minister said that it was a few rogue elements among those who had stayed behind who incited the others to violence. He said the PTI government was committed to sticking to the established global practices with regard to its border with Afghanistan.

Movement between Afghanistan and Pakistan has been restricted recently due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. "Our posts along the Pak-Afghan border in Chaman were targeted and damaged due to which we retaliated".

He explained that before Eid borders had to be closed but movement of essential items to Afghanistan was allowed and for this an understanding was reached with them that one side of the border would be opened for movement of supplies to the landlocked country.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, the Faraz said that the borders of Torkham, Ghulam Khan, and Angor Ada were closed on account of Eid and in the light of the prevalent situation of coronavirus.

"We have always taken steps for the betterment of Afghanistan".

This, he explained, was in line with the global practices to secure and monitor borders and certain vested interests were unhappy over these measures.

"About 3,000 people used to come and go from the border every day", Faraz said. The local authorities have now sounded a high alert in the border city and deployed heavy contingents of police on the important routes of the city.

"We will increase our relations with the Afghan government and its people". Shibli requested the Afghan government to also cooperate in the fulfillment of this global obligation of facilitation in ensuring transport of essential goods to their country as per rules and regulation.

Balochistan Home Minister Zia Langove and other senior officials met leaders of the sit-in in Chaman.

Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said certain people had tried to cross the Chaman border forcibly and at the same time gunshots were fired from the Afghan side.

Security forces had fired aerial shots to disperse the protesters. Pakistani officials did not immediately return a request for comment on the incident.

The whole of Chaman gave a curfew-like look as the security forces cordoned off of all the areas in an attempt to avoid further protests by the traders.

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