Border police vow to prevent Torkham gate at any cost
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Border police in the eastern zone say they will not allow Pakistani forces to construct a new gate at the Torkham border crossing as tension continued for a fourth day on Wednesday.
Afghan and Pakistani forces started exchanges of fire four days ago after Afghan border guards prevented the Pakistanis from constructing a gate at the border crossing allegedly at a disputed territory.
Pakistan insists the gate is being constructed on their side of the border to check cross border movement of terrorists and drug smugglers to either side.
"Border management is aimed at addressing the common concern of infiltration and hence to enhance mutual security of both the countries and their peoples", advisor to Pakistani prime minister on foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz said in a statement, adding the two sides should resolve issues through dialogue.
But Afghan officials say the gate’s construction is against international laws. Afghan 301 border zone official Col. Mohammad Ayub Hussainkhel on Wednesday said Pakistani forces once again fired at the Afghan forces last night and the clash continued for several hours.
To a question, Hussainkhel said: “We will not allow the Pakistanis to construct the gate at any cost because their action is against international laws and we will prevent them.”
The border security official said the morale of their forces was high and were ready for any possible provocation from the Pakistani side.
Meanwhile, 301 border police quick reaction unit commander Balkh Jamal said they would not allow the Pakistani paramilitary forces to construct the gate.
He said the Afghan border forces had been effectively responding to attacks from the Pakistani side and had an upper hand so far.
An injured border police official, Mirwais, told Pajhwok Afghan News he wanted to fight until his last breath in the defence of the country.
“Last night I got injured during the clash with the Pakistanis and after first treatment, I returned to the line of duty. Our commander granted me leave, but I refused to go home.”
The spokesman for Nangarhar governor, Attaullah Khogyani, said the forces at Torkham had been well-equipped. “The governor wants the issue to be resolved through political means, but if the Pakistani side continues the conflict, they will receive a befitting response every moment.”
The situation along the border remained tense for a fourth day on Wednesday and the border crossing remained closed for as many days, bringing to a halt all kind of businesses.
In line with a decision of the National Security Council, Afghan ambassador and President Ghani’s special representative for Pakistan Dr. Omar Zakhilwal was expected to hold talks with Pakistani officials on the border issue today.
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