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Taliban Vow Defence of Territorial Integrity

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KABUL – The Taliban on Monday denounced the killing and wounding of Afghan workers by Iranian border guards, calling last week’s shooting a violation of the human rights good neighbourliness. A day earlier, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was dispatching a delegation to Iran to investigate the reported casualties among Afghans at the hands of Iranian guards at their shared border.

Four Afghans were reportedly killed and 10 others injured when the Iranian guards opened fire at them while the workers were attempting to cross the border into the neighbouring country from northwestern Farah province on Friday. Musazai said his ministry was tracking the incident and that it had been decided to send a delegation, headed by Farah Governor Mohammad Akram Khpalwak, to Iran for an investigation.

He said Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul on Saturday summoned Iran’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Abul Fazl Zuhra and lodged with him a strong protest over the shooting.

Reacting to the incident, the insurgent movement said: “The Afghans might have illegally crossed the border, but there are various other techniques to halt unauthorised crossings…”

In a statement, the group also condemned the border skirmish between Pakistani and Afghan forces in the Goshta district of eastern Nangarhar province. “It is a conspiracy, just like the Durand Line, of the new colonial power to create new troubles between Afghanistan and Pakistan…” the statement added.

While condemning the clash, the Taliban expressed their willingness to safeguard the national interests, sovereignty and territorial integrity. “Our priority is to defend our beloved homeland and its people as we did in the past.” They asked all neighbouring countries, especially, Iran and Pakistan, to pursue the norms of good neighbourliness and peaceful co-existence with Afghanistan. (PAN)

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