Pakistan

KABUL – Pakistan has clearly told Afghanistan that it holds the right to respond to any terrorist threat from across the border, according to reports.

Islamabad’s stance was shared with the authorities in Kabul after Afghanistan summoned Pakistan’s envoy to lodge protest over a reported drone strike on Taliban hideouts in the Uruzgan province, which left at least four militants dead.

“Pakistan conducted a drone strike in response to an attack by Afghanistan based terrorists on a Pakistani border post this week,” Anas Mallick, Bureau Chief WION News said in a tweet.

“Pakistani deputy envoy, during the meeting with officials of the Afghan foreign ministry officials, took a firm stand and maintained Pakistan has reserved the right to respond,” he added.

Mallick further said that Afghan officials acknowledged its soil is being used for terror activities in Pakistan during the meeting.

However, Pakistan’s foreign office has not yet issued any statement on this development.

On May 1, 2019, Pakistan lodged a strong protest against Afghanistan over a cross-border terrorist attack in North Waziristan that killed at least three soldiers.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) then summoned the Afghan Charge d’ Affaires over the attack “launched by terrorist groups coming from Afghanistan” that resulted in the killing of three Pakistani soldiers and seriously injuring seven others.

The statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) urged the Afghan government to take immediate action against the terrorist elements on their side and ensure effective measures so that such incidents were not repeated in future. The Afghan envoy was also informed that Pakistan considers such provocations as detrimental to peace and stability along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Pakistan fenced a 1,000km border with Afghanistan and plans to cover the entire length of 2,400km by the end of 2019, Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor revealed in a recent press briefing.

A total of 300 border forts out of 823 have also been completed so far. The projected overall cost is estimated at over $500 million. “Pakistan has also recently announced to fence off its 960-kilometre border with Iran”, he added.

On March 17, 2019, Afghanistan summoned Pakistani diplomat to lodge protest over remarks by Prime Minister Imran Khan speculating about a new government in Kabul following a possible peace settlement.

The Afghan ministry objected PM Khan’s remarks that it deemed “explicit interference” in Afghan affairs, the ministry’s spokesperson, Sibghatullah Ahmadi, said on Twitter.

It marks the fourth time in about a month and a half that Kabul has demanded an explanation from Islamabad for comments related to peace talks aimed at ending 17 years of war in Afghanistan.