Afghan security fires on census workers, killing 9

Cheryl Sanders
May 8, 2017

Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif today said his country would respond instantly and effectively to borders violations, a day after nine persons were killed in firing by Afghan forces at border villages in Balochistan.

And while official Afghan maps reflect the so-called "Durand Line", many nationalists believe the true border of their country ends at the River Indus that runs though Pakistan and gave India its name.

A Pakistani Frontier Corps official, Maj.

Ethnic Pashtuns living along the border have traditionally paid it little heed, with villages straddling the frontier that have mosques and houses with one door in Pakistan and another in Afghanistan. This is where the conflict reportedly erupted on Friday when Pakistani security forces wished to conduct its ongoing census exercise.

During a BBC interview, the President's deputy spokesperson Dawa Khan Mina Pal said Ghani was invited by Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar and parliamentarians to visit the country. He also laid out in a media briefing that at least five Afghan check-posts were destroyed and at least 100 wounded.

On its part, Pakistan had been taking measures for the border management, but Afghanistan had taken no step in that regard, he said.

Pakistan also apprised that firing from Afghan side not only led to the loss of precious lives, but also disrupted the census process in areas on the Pakistan side of the border and caused damage to properties.

It is not the only area of dispute between the neighbours: They accuse each other or harbouring armed groups who carry out attacks across their borders.

Recent efforts by Pakistan to build a barrier at the main border crossing in the town of Torkham, near the Khyber Pass, had also angered Afghanistan a year ago.

The Chaman crossing into Afghanistan's Kandahar province is one of two main crossing points on the border.

Tension has been increasing in recent months amid new exchanges of accusations of not doing enough to tackle militants engaging in cross-border raids.

The two sides agreed to conduct a geological survey of the border villages to "remove discrepancies".

Sediqi further added that the Afghan troops prevented the illegal movements of the Pakistani militia forces inside the Afghan soil and it was the Pakistani troops who launched the attack first.

General Aamir Riaz would not say whether Pakistan plans to reopen the crossing as it has stranded hundreds of transit and trade convoys.

Other reports by iNewsToday