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Senators want effective response to cross-border attacks

Senators want effective response to cross-border attacks

Oct 16, 2011 - 19:16

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Members of Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon, or upper house of Parliament, on Sunday condemned cross-border attacks from Pakistaninfo-icon and Iran, asking the government to respond effectively to such aggression.

In recent weeks, hundreds of artillery shells have been fired from Pakistan into eastern Kunar province, killing and injuring a number of people and forcing many others into leaving their houses.

But the Pakistan government denies its forces have fired rockets into Afghanistaninfo-icon. The Pakistan Army says a few rounds may have accidentally fallen in the neighbouring country during counterinsurgency operations.

Four days ago, Iranian border guards fired six rockets into southwestern Nimroz province after Afghan forces resisted their move to dig a canal in a disputed border region.

Senator Salehi Meharzad from Nimroz told the house Iranian forces had warned residents of the Barchi area to leave their homes; otherwise military action would be taken against them.

She alleged when residents refused to vacate the area, Iranian forces launched attacks, killing one Afghan and injuring another. The residents suffered heavy financial losses, she claimed. Iranian forces strayed into Afghan territory, the lawmaker claimed.

"The area is called Meelak because it separates the two countries through steel poles that delineate their border. Iranian forces have now removed the posts," she said, asking the government not to hesitate in taking action over border violations.

Another lawmaker from western Farah province, Gul Ahmad Azami, said Iran had a long history of interfering in Afghanistan's internal affairs. However, he did not go into details.

Azami called for urgent measures to prevent both neighbours from attacking Afghan villages. He urged the international community to provide assistance to Afghan forces to enable them to deal with such attacks.

Hidayatullah, who represents central Bamyan province, said Iran was more dangerous than Pakistan. He said Pakistan was only shelling some remote border villages, but Iran was trying to occupy Afghan territory.

He accused Iran of fueling sectarian tension and tribal clashes in Afghanistan. "Iran does not want a strong government in Afghanistan, something it views as a threat to its interests," the legislator said.

Chairman Fazl Hadi Muslimyar insisted the Afghan government should respond effectively to cross-border incursions. He said it was the responsibility of Afghan forces to defend the country's frontiers. "If the government cannot deal with the situation alone, the people of the country are ready to help it."



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