Islamabad: Pakistan has lodged a strong protest against Afghanistan over a cross-border terrorist attack in North Waziristan that killed at least three soldiers.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) on Wednesday summoned the Afghan Charge d’ Affaires over the attack “launched by terrorist groups coming from Afghanistan” that resulted in killing of three Pakistani soldiers and seriously injuring seven others.
The statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) urged the Afghan government to take immediate action against the terrorist elements on their side and ensure effective measures so that such incidents were not repeated in future. The Afghan envoy was also informed that Pakistan considers such provocations as detrimental to peace and stability along Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Describing the incident, Pakistan’s FO said that “On the night of April 30/May 1, 70-80 terrorists based in Gayan and Bermal districts of Paktika crossed Pak-Afghan border, and launched fire raids and physical attacks on Pakistani military troops operating in North Waziristan district to fence the border.” Pakistan military immediately responded and repulsed the attack, killing scores of terrorists and forcing others to flee, according to the official statement. “These terrorists were able to escape due to lack of appropriate response by the Afghan security forces” the statement read.
Pakistan, however, is determined to continue fencing its borders despite the challenges and threats to restrict terrorist infiltrations and illegal migration and offer safety to its citizens, especially those living near the border areas.
Pakistan has already fenced a 1,000km border with Afghanistan and plans to cover the entire length of 2,400km by the end of 2019, Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor revealed in a recent press briefing. A total of 300 border forts out of 823 have also been completed so far. The projected overall cost is estimated at over $500 million. Pakistan has also recently announced to fence off its 960-kilometer border with Iran.
“Fencing has benefited us a lot, cross-border attacks, firing and IED (improved explosive device) incidents have reduced enormously and the number of these attacks will continue to decline as the fencing continues,” according to the military spokesperson.