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Pak protests Afghan allegations, cross-border firings

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Islamabad: Pakistan today summoned the Afghan Ambassador here and conveyed its concerns over the recent spate of allegations made by the war-torn country accusing Islamabad of supporting militants while also lodging a protest over cross-border firings.

Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry met Afghan Ambassador Janan Mosazai and said such allegations undercut mutual confidence and affect bilateral ties both countries had been working hard to improve, the Foreign Office said.

“Pakistan has been acting with maximum restraint and avoiding any blame-game,” the Foreign Office said.

It said a strong protest was lodged on cross-border firing from Afghanistan on August 16 and 17, which resulted in the death of three Frontier Corps personnel and injured two.

“The Afghan Ambassador was conveyed that, as a matter of policy, Pakistani authorities do not initiate fire and return fire only in self-defence,” it said.

Afghanistan recently has accused Pakistan of supporting the militants who attack the war-torn country.

On August 10, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani called on Pakistan to crackdown on Taliban militants after a suicide car bombing near Kabul’s international airport killed five people.

Ghani, in a televised address, blamed Pakistan for supporting insurgents who have waged war against Kabul for nearly 14 years.

Afghanistan’s chief executive Abdullah Abdullah and its premier spy agency also issued statements accusing Pakistan and its military of providing implicit support to Taliban.

Two days after the Kabul blasts, top Afghan officials had visited Pakistan.

However, Chaudhry today conveyed to Mosazai that Pakistan would continue its policy of restraint and responsibility and constructive engagement with Afghanistan.

“We expect that the Afghan government would also reciprocate by taking effective measures to obviate recurrence of such incidents on the border, and work with Pakistan to build mutual trust and good-neighbourly relations,” said the foreign office.