FO says Pakistani troops responded to protect people in self-defence
Pakistan said on Friday that Afghan forces opened fire on innocent civilians on Pakistan’s side of the international border on Thursday. “On 30 July, 2020, at the Friendship Gate Chaman, Afghan forces opened unprovoked fire on innocent civilians gathered towards Pakistan’s side of international border,” the foreign official said in a statement. According to the statement, the Afghan troops also targeted Pakistani check-posts in Chaman, forcing the Pakistani soldiers to respond to protect the local population in “self-defence”. On July 30, at least five people were killed and 15 others sustained injuries after the protesters came under fire near the Pak-Afghan border crossing. The traders, who have now called off their sit-in for, were protesting against the Chaman border closure for the past two months. The foreign office said that several people were killed in the incident and the state infrastructure on Pakistan’s side was also damaged by Afghan firing. “There were, reportedly, unfortunate losses on the Afghan side as well,” added the foreign office. “All this could have been avoided if fire had not been initiated from the Afghan side.” According to Afghan media, at least 15 people were killed and 80 others wounded after Pakistani troops opened fire on Afghan check-posts in Spin Boldak district. “The Afghan Air Force and the special forces were ordered to stay alert for similar actions against Pakistani forces,” Tolo News quoted the Afghanistan defence ministry as saying. Pakistan’s Information Minister Shibli Faraz said his government wants to improve its relationship with Afghanistan but, he added, some miscreants are trying to disturb the law-and-order situation in the border areas.