‘US silence on cross-border attacks against strategic pact’
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday strongly criticised the United States for what it called silence over the cross-border attacks from Pakistan on border villages in eastern Afghanistan, saying Kabul had on table the option to militarily respond to the aggression.
Officials say more than 800 missiles have been fired by Pakistani troops into border areas along the Durand Line over the past one week, causing life and material losses.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Shakib Mustaghni told reporters in Kabul that efforts to end the hostility through diplomatic channels had failed to yield any results. As a result, he said, Afghanistan was preparing for a response to the Pakistani attacks.
“We are pondering to use diplomatic, political, economic options and finally the military one,” he warned.
Last week, the Foreign Ministry summoned the Pakistani ambassador in Kabul and lodged a protest with him over the cross border attacks and the Pakistani attempt to build a post at the Zero Point area along the Durand Line. The ministry warned the Pakistani envoy such acts could damage bilateral relations.
Mustaghni said the Pakistan ambassador, Ibrar Hussain, had assured he would share the issue with senior officials in Islamabad.
A memo delivered to the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul says: “The aerial and ground assaults by Pakistan army are a clear violation of Afghanistan’s territorial integrity and international law. These should be halted as soon as possible.”
Mustaghni said a similar memo had been delivered to the US Embassy, in which the Pakistani attacks were described as a clear violation of Afghan territorial integrity.
He said the US had made a commitment under the strategic partnership agreement with Afghanistan that it would extend defensive cooperation in case of any foreign aggression.
He said the US had agreed under the strategic agreement’s article 9 that it would consider a serious concern any foreign aggression against Afghanistan.
“Afghanistan and the US should take and implement appropriate steps on political, diplomatic, economic and military fronts in line with their commitment if the foreign aggression continues.”
About Pakistan’s move to summon the Afghan charge d’affairs in Islamabad over a militant attack on a Pakistani security post in the Bajaur tribal region, Mustaghni said the Afghan diplomat had unnecessarily been called.
Pakistan has claimed about 200 armed rebels sneaked into Pakistan from a village in Kunar province and attacked a military post, killing one soldier.
Media reports in Pakistan said the military responding to the attack killed 16 militants and chased the fleeing ones into Afghanistan, where gunship helicopters were sent.
But Kunar governor Shujaul Mulk Jalala said the Pakistani airstrike killed five civilians and destroyed several homes.
The foreign ministry spokesman said cross border attacks from Pakistan had long been ongoing.
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