Afghan Govt Moves to End Pakistan Border Gate
Kabul–Afghanistan’s Ministries of Defence and Interior on Monday said that they will take immediate action to stop Pakistan’s military buildup along the Durand line near eastern Nangarhar province, suggesting it may be encroaching on Afghan territory. The ministries declared Pakistan’s actions contrary to international law, arguing that any activity along the border needs to be approved by both nations. m”Establishing a gate by Pakistan on the Durand Line and inside Afghanistan is against all international norms,” Defence spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi told a press conference Monday.”The Security Council has decided to stop [Pakistan’s] actions and we will use all options and take any action to remove the works which are being done,” he added.
The comments follow President Hamid Karzai’s order for the gate and other “Pakistani military installations near the Durand Line” to be removed immediately at a meeting of the Afghan National Security Council on Sunday. The council also called on the coalition forces to give details of the circumstances in which it helped Pakistan develop 11 military checkpoints along the border 10 years ago. ISAF spokesman Brig Gen Günter Katz responded on Monday, saying the coalition was reviewing the statement. “ISAF continues to monitor the situation at the border and we remain in dialogue with the Afghan and the Pakistani side on a constructive way ahead. We are also aware of the statement the palace put out yesterday evening concerning the establishments of border posts years ago and we are reviewing the statement as we speak,” he said at a press conference in Kabul. The Ministry of Interior spokesperson told TOLOnews that the increase of Pakistan security forces along the border was a national concern. “This action is a clear violation and the government will prevent this action by putting some pressure… ISAF also helped Pakistan to build these check points along the Durand line,” Sediq Sediqqi told TOLOnews. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the government is employing diplomatic efforts to resolve the issue. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is seriously investigating the establishment of a [military] gate near the Durand line and our talks are continuing with Pakistani officials. We have talked with Pakistan’s ambassador in Kabul and the efforts are continuing,” spokesman Janan Mosazai told TOLOnews.
Meanwhile, students in eastern Nangarhar province took to the streets to protest against Pakistan’s military amid reports of ongoing shelling into Afghanistan’s east from across the border. In the latest shelling, 14 Afghan soldiers were reportedly killed Friday after multiple rockets hit an army outpost in eastern Kunar province’s Nari district. Karzai’s warning against the gate being established on the border between Pakistan and Nangarhar’s Gosht district has further incited tensions. The protestors closed the Kabul-Jalalabad highway to traffic for several hours. The Ministry of Defence said that the weapons used in the Nari attack – 120mm mortars – are not accessible to the Taliban, which means that either Pakistan’s military are behind the attacks or they are supplying insurgents with such weapons.
“There were 14 soldiers killed at the outpoint in an attack which was supported from beyond our borders by intelligence agencies, and the outpost collapsed,” Azimi said. The Durand Line is the 1893 British-drawn border between the two countries which has been recognised by Pakistan, but not by Afghanistan. (tolonews)