Census resumes in Chaman after Pakistani, Afghan troops exchange fire

The speaker expressed his views in a media talk in Lahore

The speaker expressed his views in a media talk in Lahore

Last year, Pakistan started building a barrier at the main border crossing in the town of Torkham, near the Khyber Pass, angering Afghanistan which has never formally recognised the colonial-era Durand Line border drawn up in 1893.

"We are not pleased to announce this but the Afghan commanders are responsible for this", he said while briefing the media on the Chaman border firing issue.

A senior Pakistani military officer said Sunday that the country's security forces had killed over 50 Afghan security personnel in the recent cross-border firing.

Pakistan's Balochistan Frontier Corps Inspector Major General Nadeem Ahmed announced the news on Sunday, adding that more than 100 members of Afghan security forces had also been wounded in the cross-border operation.

Balochistan personnel were also among the injured.

He claimed that 4 Afghan policemen and 2 civilians were killed and 37 wounded by fire from Pakistan forces.

The security officials had instructed all the truck drivers and vehicle owners to remove their vehicles from the unsafe border area and clear the place at the earliest. They routinely get caught in the middle when tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan escalate.

The Pakistani army said the Afghan border guards' opened fire despite the fact that Afghan authorities had been informed in advance about the census exercise in Pakistan.

Meanwhile, an Afghan truck driver was killed after a rocket fired from across the border on Friday hit him in Nangarhar province, said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

"There is no movement of people and vehicles in the border areas", an official of the Chaman administration said. Being a peace loving country, Pakistan has a policy to maintain good relations with all its neighbouring countries, he said, adding that some foreign elements were creating hurdles in the peace process between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Villages straddling the frontier have mosques and houses with one door in Pakistan and another in Afghanistan.

Totally unprovoked, malicious and senseless attack on Pakistani villagers is tantamount to drowning the goodwill and sincerity shown by Pakistani officials in the blood of innocent civilians. Asif warned that Pakistan would respond "fittingly" to Afghanistan if any further violations were committed along the border.

To a question about Afghan attack on Pakistani bordering areas, he said the Afghan government had been informed through diplomatic channels that national census is being conducted in Pakistan, and the teams would be visiting the border areas for the goal.

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