AYESHA FAROOQUI
The spokesperson of the Foreign Office (FO) has clarified that Pakistani troops had responded to protect the local population and acted only in self-defence when Afghan forces opened unprovoked fire on innocent civilians gathered at the Chaman’s Friendship Gate on July 30.

The FO spokesperson Aisha Farooqui said in a media statement that Afghan forces had opened unprovoked fire on innocent civilians gathered towards Pakistan’s side of the international border at the Friendship Gate Chaman on July 30.

She added that Pakistan troops deployed on the posts were also simultaneously engaged by Afghan posts.

‘Pakistan troops responded to protect our local population and acted only in self-defence. It is reiterated that Pakistan Force did not open fire first and responded in self-defence only.’

To de-escalate the situation, the Pakistan side immediately activated both military and diplomatic channels and it was after hectic efforts that the firing was stopped from the Afghan side.

It must be noted that the borders with Afghanistan were opened for pedestrian movement and trade, upon the request of the Afghan authorities.

The statement read, ‘Pakistan is undertaking concerted efforts to ensure regulated movement of trade between the two countries, which are being challenged by elements opposed to such regulation. Moreover, due to Eid ul Azha, pedestrians’ move was also allowed. People gathered for this purpose were deliberately targeted by Afghan forces for incomprehensible reasons.’

‘This unfortunate incident resulted in numerous casualties and deliberate/serious damage to State infrastructure on the Pakistan side. There were, reportedly, unfortunate losses on the Afghan side as well. All this could have been avoided if fire had not been initiated from the Afghan side.’

Pakistan reiterates its sincere readiness to further enhance fraternal relations with Afghanistan in the interest of peace and stability in the region. We hope our constructive efforts will be reciprocated, said the FO spokesperson.

Originally Posted on SuchTv

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