Pakistan says inflicted heavy losses on Afghan border forces

Laura Christensen
May 8, 2017

Pakistan's military said its forces killed more than 50 Afghan soldiers and destroyed five checkpoints in heavy fighting along their disputed border, a claim quickly rejected by Kabul.

Afghanistan on Monday rejected "celebratory" reports of a Pakistani paramilitary force claiming that it had killed 50 Afghan soldiers in border clashes last week, saying only two Afghan soldiers had died.

The IG FC was addressing the media over a recent cross-border attack in Chaman, in which 12 people were killed and 40 injured when Afghan border forces opened fire on security personnel guarding a census team.

Afghanistan had blamed Pakistani census enumerators accompanied by soldiers for straying across the border, a charge denied by Islamabad.

Two "flag" meetings Saturday between local Afghan and Pakistani commanders failed to reach any resolution to the dispute.

Every time Islamabad is criticized by the worldwide community or angered by close ties between its archrival India and Afghanistan, it closes the border to pile pressure on the Afghan government, says Faizullah Zaland, a lecturer at Kabul University.

The line runs through the traditional homeland of the Pashtun ethnic group, which dominates Afghanistan and the border provinces of Pakistan.

In March this year former Afghan President Hamid Karzai again said that Afghanistan would never accept the Durand Line as an global border, stoking fears on the Pakistani side.

Zakaria stressed the need for resolving issues through dialogue between the two countries.

Since then, the Pakistani authorities have closed the Chaman border crossing with Afghanistan.

Partly cloudy, a few scattered afternoon showers Sunday
After a frosty start, temperatures will rebound into the lower 60s Monday afternoon under mostly sunny skies. The average temperature in Windsor Locks was 53.4 degrees, which is 4.0 degrees warmer than normal.

Zakhilwal said that even the death of the two Afghan soldiers was too many for "our claim for seeking good neighbourly relations is genuine & if we mean well for each other".

The survey of the areas has already started and will be completed in two to three days.

"It will remain closed as long as Afghanistan does not mend its unwise way".

Ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan have deteriorated in the past few months, with Kabul becoming increasingly wary of Islamabad's alleged support to Islamist militants.

India and Afghanistan have been extremely critical of Pakistan's role in Afghanistan.

Islamabad dismisses Kabul's objections over the demarcation and maintains Pakistan inherited the worldwide frontier when it gained independence from Britain in 1947.

The so-called Durand Line, a 2,400-km frontier drawn by the British in 1896 and disputed by Kabul, has witnessed increased tension since Pakistan began patrolling along it a year ago. In late March, Pakistan launched construction of a border fence to prevent cross-border attacks.

"Residents are anxious that fighting could start any minute because security forces remain in the area".

But Afghan provincial police chief General Abdul Raziq maintains the villages are located in a disputed part of the border between the two countries, and his forces had warned Pakistani officials against conducting census or any other activity.

Other reports by My Hot News

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