Pak-Afghan border firing dominates UN talks
27 September, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Cross-border firing and infiltration dominated interactions between Pakistani and Afghan officials on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, diplomatic sources said on Wednesday.
They said that Afghan officials were of the view that serious resent were found in Afghanistan over the shelling that affect the ongoing close ties between the two countries.
However, Pakistani side clarified that its shelling targets only the areas from where rockets are fired into Pakistani border areas or from where attacks against Pakistani posts are harboured.
Foreign Office also said that Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session on Wednesday.
They also discussed the issue of cross-border infiltration and resultant shelling, and the importance of working closely to effectively address border management issues.
Khar underlined the importance of peace and stability in Afghanistan and reiterated Pakistan's full support for an Afghan-owned, Afghan-driven, and Afghan-led reconciliation process.
Taking up the issue of cross-border shelling which has resulted in death of innocent villagers, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in his address to the UN on Tuesday, said that such incidents risks his country's relationship with Pakistan. Karzai raised the issue of cross-border shelling days after his foreign minister cautioned the UN Security Council against the continuation of shelling from Pakistan.
The issue of infiltration from Afghanistan and shelling from Pakistani side caused at least verbal tensions between the two countries in mid of the current when militant raids killed Pakistani security personnel in their attacks in June and August in Upper Dir and targeted anti-Taliban militia in Bajur. In June, the militant group allegedly led by Fazlullah, the Swat-based Taliban chief who is hidden in Afghanistan, attacked Pakistani posts in Upper Dir and killed more than six soldiers.
After series of such incidents, Pakistani security establishment decided to retaliate the attacks and target the militants across the border whenever it is possible. But the attacks and shelling from Pakistani side caused anger in Kabul and the Afghan officials started raising the issue with Pakistani officials.