Responding to statements by Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday, Islamabad said that authorities in Kabul know that the Pak-Afghan Torkham border is closed due to illegal construction activities by Afghanistan on Pakistan’s territory.
In a statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch accentuated that Afghan authorities are well aware that the temporary closure of the Pak-Afghan Torkham border is attributed to the “unacceptable” violation of Pakistan’s territory via illegal construction on its territory.
Commenting on cross-border firing, the spokesperson said: “On September 6, instead of a peaceful resolution, Afghan troops resorted to indiscriminate firing, targeting Pakistan military posts, damaging the infrastructure at the Torkham Border Terminal, and putting the lives of both Pakistani and Afghan civilians at risk, when they were stopped from erecting such unlawful structures.”
“Such unprovoked and indiscriminate firing on Pakistani border posts cannot be justified under any circumstances. The unprovoked firing by Afghan border security forces invariably emboldens the terrorist elements. These elements are enjoying sanctuaries inside Afghanistan as confirmed by the UN Security Council’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team in its latest report,” she added.
Speaking about the relationship with Afghanistan, Baloch said that Pakistan has always wished for a border of peace and amity between the two countries.
“We have welcomed our Afghan brothers and sisters with open arms for decades. Pakistan has continued to exercise restraint and prioritise dialogue in the face of persistent unwarranted provocations by Afghan troops deployed along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border,” she said.
The FO further said that these temporary closures take place in extreme cases like September 6 — which left a Frontier Corps soldier injured.
Meanwhile, responding to the “irrelevant comments” made by the Afghan Ministry about Pakistan’s economy and foreign trade, the FO spokesperson said: “The statement of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs comes as a surprise as the Interim Afghan authorities know fully well the reasons for the temporary closure of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Torkham.”
“The statement of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs also includes some irrelevant comments and unsolicited advice about Pakistan’s economy and foreign trade. For the last several decades, Pakistan has facilitated Afghan transit trade and will continue to do so. However, Pakistan cannot allow the misuse of the transit trade agreement,” the FO said.
“Pakistan stands ready to resolve all bilateral issues and concerns through constructive dialogue so that both countries can reap the dividends of economic connectivity and resultant prosperity. We expect the Afghan interim authorities to be mindful of Pakistan’s concerns, respect the territorial integrity of Pakistan and ensure that the Afghan territory is not used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks against Pakistan,” the statement added.
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