Pakistan summons Afghan envoy over Dir assault
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has made a strong demarche to Afghanistan over a deadly cross-border incursion by insurgents on a security checkpoint in Upper Dir district of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir summoned Afghan Ambassador Umar Daudzai to the Foreign Office in Islamabad on Thursday and lodged a strong protest over the brazen assault that killed up to 40 policemen.
"The foreign secretary has conveyed to the ambassador strong concern on the cross-border attack launched from the territory of Afghanistan in Dir by some 300-400 militants, who targeted villages and burnt schools," the foreign ministry spokesperson said.
In a statement issued late in the evening, the spokesman said: "The foreign secretary stressed the need for stern action by the Afghan army, US and ISAF forces in the area against militants and their hideouts in Afghanistan and against organisational support for the militants."
Pakistan's concerns were also being brought to the attention of the US and NATO-led forces in the neighbouring country, the statement added. About 45 Taliban militants were killed in retaliatory action by Pakistani security forces.
Separately, Minister of Interior Rahman Malik also alleged the use of Afghanistan's soil against his country. The insurgents poured over the frontier from eastern Kunar province to hit the checkpoint in Dir, he told reporters.
Approached for comments by Pajhwok Afghan News, the Afghan ambassador warned such allegations could have a negative impact on bilateral relations. Daudzai asked why his country, itself faced with a grave security situation, would aid the fighters.
"Exploiting such statements, the rebels may foment trouble between the neighbours, which should instead share intelligence and conduct joint operations against terrorists in areas along their common border," the Afghan diplomat suggested.
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