Pakistan, Afghanistan authorities to hold flag meeting at Chaman border crossing: ISPR

Pakistan, Afghanistan authorities to hold flag meeting at Chaman border crossing: ISPR
CHAMAN: The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) has said that the Pakistan and Afghanistan authorities is holding flag meeting at the Chaman border crossing in a while. Whereas Afghanistan announced a ceasefire after more than 12 hours of trading fire with Pakistani forces across the border in which nine civilians embraced martyrdom.
According to security sources, Afghanistan announced a ceasefire after retreating. The Afghan forces, who had opened unprovoked fire, vacated their posts and retreated after Pakistani forces retaliated.
Earlier, the ISPR had stated that Afghan Border Police had been creating hurdles in conducting census in villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jehangir in Chaman area on Pakistani side of the border since 30th April.
ISPR stated, “This was done despite the fact that Afghan authorities had been informed well in advance and coordination was carried out through diplomatic and military channels for the conduct of census.”
At least nine people were killed and 42 others, including four Frontier Corps (FC) soldiers, injured as Afghan forces fired at a census team in Chaman early Friday.
The Afghan forces used heavy artillery to fire at the Pakistani side of the border, an official said, adding that border forces retaliated to the firing in Kali Luqman and Kali Jahangir areas of Chaman.
“Afghan border police opened fire on FC detailed for security of population census team,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement. “One civilian killed and 18 others injured, including four FC soldiers.”
Mortar shells fired from the Afghan side also hit houses in a village of Kali Luqman. At least three children were among the injured, who were shifted to Civil Hospital Chaman, where an emergency was imposed.
The gunfight prompted authorities to shut the Chaman border crossing, one of the two major crossing points along the disputed frontier.
“Since April 30, Afghan border police has been creating hurdles in conducting census in divided villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Chaman area on Pakistani side of the border,” the military’s media wing added.
“This was done despite the fact that Afghan authorities had been informed well in advance and coordination was carried out through diplomatic and military channels for conducting census.”
The country embarked on the enormous task of conducting its first census in almost two decades in March.
At his weekly news briefing in Islamabad on Friday, spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said the border between the two countries is clearly demarcated and Pakistani teams were conducting the census drive in their own area, which is the country’s sovereign right.
If such incidents do not stop, Zakaria said, Pakistan reserves the right to respond to preserve its sovereignty and protect its civilians.
The Afghan Charge d’ Affairs was also summoned to the Foreign Office to lodge strong protest over the unprovoked firing.

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