Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, September 21st, 2020

Pakistani Forces Suffer Casualties in Border Clash: Officials

Pakistani Forces Suffer Casualties  in Border Clash: Officials

KABUL - The Afghan and Pakistani forces have resumed clashes in Ghosta district of eastern Nangarhar province early Monday, inflicting heavy casualties on Pakistani forces, local Afghan officials said.

The clashes broke out yesterday morning about 08:00am, when the Pakistani military forces tried to rebuild the gate of the check-post in Goshta district of Nangarhar, the provincial governor spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said.

The clashes ended at about 10:30am and there were no Afghan border police casualties, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai said.

He said that the Afghan officials had officially asked the Pakistan government to stop the building of the military check-posts in Gostha district of the province.

“We have already asked Pakistan to stop the building of the military check-posts and we had also summoned the Pakistani Consular officials.

But they did not care and started the building of the gates in the district again [today],” Abdulzai said.

“The Afghan forces reacted to the move of the Pakistani military and clashes broke out,” he said.

More Afghan security forces have been deployed in the area and they are put on alert, he added.

Meanwhile, the Afghan border officials said that at least 30 Pakistani forces were killed or wounded in the clashes. There are no exact figures of how many Pakistani forces were killed and how many got wounded.

The Afghan forces have destroyed a Pakistani military tank and removed two of Pakistani check-posts during the clashes in which both sides used heavy weapons, the Afghan commanders said.

The Pakistan government has not yet commented about today’s clashes.

The clashes between the Afghan and Pakistani military forces had also taken place last Wednesday over building of the check-posts in Ghosta district of eastern Nangarhar province. At least one Afghan border police was killed in the incident.

Two Pakistani soldiers were also wounded in the exchange of fire.

Earlier this week, the Afghan Interior Minister Mojtaba Patang warned that Pakistan will face military reaction “if it tries to rebuild military installations in border areas.”

He said that Afghanistan owns modern equipment for defending border areas. Mr Patang stressed that until foreign hands continue to work in Afghanistan, the country will never reach lasting stability, the Interior Minister said.

The building of the Pakistani military check-posts in the Afghan border areas has deteriorated relationship between the two countries as both sides’ border forces engaged on Wednesday night in Ghoshta district of eastern Nangarhar province, but finally Afghan border police succeeded to clear Pakistani installations from Afghanistan’s soil, according to officials.

Meanwhile, the Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday said that Afghanistan has never recognised the Durand Line.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul after the recent border clashes between the Afghan and Pakistani forces, President Karzai said Pakistani military installations across the Durand Line in the Afghan territory was a “futile attempt” to push Kabul to discuss the border issue with Islamabad, something President Karzai said his government “will never be ready for it.”

"They [the Afghan people] should stand with this young man who was martyred in defending his soil,” Karzai said, referring to the Afghan border policeman, Mohammad Qasim, who was killed Wednesday night in a border gunfire with Pakistani forces.

The Afghan president praised a nation-wide reaction of the Afghan people in encouraging their armed forces to defend their country, calling on the Taliban to “turn their weapons against the enemies of their properties.”

Afghanistan and Pakistan have had strained relations since Pakistan was formed in 1947, at the end of British colonial rule over India. (Tolo News)