According to the army’s media wing, Afghan Border Forces unleashed “unprovoked and indiscriminate fire” on the civilian population in Balochistan’s Chaman area on Sunday, resulting in at least six deaths and 17 injuries.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) claims that Afghan forces engaged in firing using heavy weapons, such as mortars and artillery.
“Pakistani border troops have given befitting albeit measured response against the uncalled for aggression but avoided targeting innocent civilians in the area,” the statement said.
In order to emphasize the “severity” of the situation and urge “strict steps to prevent any such recurrence of the incident in future,” it was also stated that Pakistani authorities had contacted their Afghan colleagues.
A mortar shell was fired into Pakistani territory, according to Chaman District Police Officer (DPO) Abdullah Ali Kasi, who informed that the shooting started as a result.
All of the injured, according to the DPO, were carried to District Headquarters Hospital Chaman, with the exception of four who were assessed to be “critically” hurt and were sent to Quetta.
In accordance with the instructions of Health Secretary Saleh Muhammad Nasir, an emergency was declared at the Quetta Civil Hospital.
Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, the chief minister of Balochistan, expressed worry about the incident. “I hope the federal government will provide a speedy and successful diplomatic solution to this issue.” He gave the district administration of Chaman the directive to support the impacted parties fully.
Noor Ahmad, an Afghan official, told Reuters that the incident was accidental and that everything was back to normal when the two sides met in Kandahar, the province on the Afghan side of the border. Regarding any Afghan side casualties, he provided no additional information.
The Pakistani-Afghan border at Chaman was shut down for an indeterminate period last month when an armed Afghan approached Pakistani security personnel at Friendship Gate and opened fire, killing one soldier and injuring two others.
According to official sources, the Pakistani and Afghan forces engaged in a firefight for more than an hour after the incident, during which five Afghan personnel were said to have been killed and 14 others injured.
Following the incident, the border was closed, which led to the suspension of trade between the two nations, including transit trade through Afghanistan.
After being closed for a week, Pakistan reopened its border with Afghanistan at Chaman on November 22. At a meeting between Taliban representatives and Pakistani border guards, the decision to reopen the crossing was made.
In light of the rise in cross-border attacks from Afghanistan, the Foreign Office (FO) had stated on November 25 that Pakistan was having consultations to resolve the situation.
Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, the FO’s spokesperson, acknowledged that there were problems at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. She had stated that “the two sides are engaging in talks at various levels, including Kharlachi Border Crossing Point,” and that “the two sides are holding regular border flag meetings.”
Officials condemn attack
PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari also strongly condemned the attack and regretted the loss of those martyred.
“The peaceful policy of the Pakistan Army in the region should not be considered a weakness,” he warned.
Rana Sanaullah, the interior minister, expressed worry over the situation and strongly condemned the assault. He asked the Balochistan government to support and assist the impacted citizens fully.
“Details are being collected regarding the tragic incident that took place on the Pak-Afghan Chaman border,” the interior minister said. He said news about the deaths of Pakistani citizens was “extremely painful and saddening”.
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said the “unprovoked shelling” was a “shameful act”.
“Pakistani forces took the best action by not targeting the Afghan civilian population as part of retaliatory action.
“The Afghan government should bring the reasons for the attack forward and bring those responsible for the tragedy to justice,” he tweeted.
Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said the PTI was drawing attention to the alleged deterioration of relations with Afghanistan, adding that the incident was only further evidence about that.
Condemning the incident, he questioned who was responsible for the state of relations with Afghanistan and the rise in terrorism.