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Five Pakistanis killed in Zhob as Afghan forces open fire

19 September, 2013

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QUETTA: At least five Pakistanis have reportedly been killed and three others, including a Levies Force official, were injured in firing by Afghan security forces into Pakistani area of Qamaruddin Karez of Zhob District late on Tuesday.

Official sources said on Wednesday that Afghan security forces opened indiscriminate fire towards Pakistani area of Qamaruddin Karez from Afghanistan, which resulted in the killing of five Pakistani nationals and injuries to three others, including a Levies Force official. The indiscriminate firing by Afghan security forces killed five tribesmen of "Loion" tribe living in area of Zhob District located along Pak-Afghan border, official sources said.

A district administration officer confirmed the incident and feared that the number of casualties might rise. He said the incident took place between the night of Tuesday and Wednesday and the cause behind the firing could not be ascertained. as a sheer violation of Pakistan's borders. The Pakistani law enforcement agencies have reached the area and shifted the bodies and injured to hospital. Further investigation was in process.

The deceased were identified as Noorullah, Fatehullah, Muhammad Haleem, Zahir Shah, Mir Dad and Molvi Faqir. An official of the local administration in Zhob confirmed to our sources the murder of the Pakistani citizens on condition of anonymity. "After the incident Afghan forces swiftly escaped from the area," he added.

The Youth Action Committee blocked the main Zhob-Dera Ismail Khan highway after the incident to protest the attack. The protesters burnt old tyres and chanted slogans against the Afghan forces. It may be recalled that in January 2010 the Afghan forces had intruded into Pakistan and killed three Pakistanis in the same area. After the protest by the local tribes the government had raised the issue with senior Afghan officials.

The Afghan charge d' affaires was summoned to the Foreign Office and a strong protest was lodged over the indiscriminate firing. According to the Foreign Office spokesperson‚ the Afghan envoy was summoned to the Foreign Office and a strong protest was lodged over the firing. Serious concern of the government of Pakistan was conveyed to the envoy.

While taking serious notice of the killing of Pakistanis, Balochistan Chief Minister Dr Abdul Malik Baloch strongly condemned the incident and said such incidents could spoil Pak-Afghan ties. He vehemently condemned the violation of Pakistan's border by the Afghan forces. Baloch said it was not the first incident of its nature, as Afghan forces had violated Pakistani border in the past too and many human lives had been lost in such firing incidents.

"Such incidents are regrettable and can harm the ties of the two countries," the chief minister remarked, adding that a strong protest will be recorded against it at the Foreign Ministry. He said we have always tried to establish friendly and brotherly relations with the neighbouring countries and still adhered to this agenda.

"We want ties with all neighbouring countries, including Afghanistan, to be strengthened because it is inevitable for the peace, stability and bright future of the region," Dr Malik Baloch said. He said violation of the national borders and massacre of innocent people will not be tolerated.

The chief minister also said the relations between Pakistan and Afghan governments never remained pleasant despite the fact that people of both countries enjoyed old historical, culture and geographic ties. "Due to tensed relations and misunderstanding the process of development has almost stopped," he added. Baloch said Pakistan always wanted the process of development to be strengthened as peaceful relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are essential.

He said a detailed report had been sought from the authorities concerned about the incident and the security forces have been directed to tighten the security at Pak- Afghan border. He categorically stated that violation of border was unbearable and concrete measures would be taken to further improve security at border. The chief minister stressed that forces of both the countries should play an active role for the stability of peace in the region and avoid such incidents.

End.

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