Pakistan summons Afghan envoy over cross-border shelling

Islamabad : Pakistan summoned the Afghan ambassador in Islamabad on Friday and lodged a protest over a recent cross-border shelling which injured two Pakistani security personnel, officials said.

Security officials say Afghan forces fired at Pakistani security personnel who were building a gate on their side of the border in South Waziristan tribal region. Kabul, however, alleged the construction was on Afghan territory. The Afghan interior ministry says an Afghan border police commander was killed in Pakistani firing late Tuesday.

The Pakistani foreign ministry said the protest was also lodged with Afghan Ambassador Janan Mosazai over the detention of a Pakistani consulate official in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Serious concern was expressed over the unprovoked firing by the Afghan Border Police at Angoor Adda (South Waziristan) gate on Pakistan side, which resulted in injuries to two security personnel,” a foreign ministry statement said.

“It was emphasised that in view of close and brotherly relations existing between the two countries, which have significantly enhanced recently, such incidents should not have taken place,” the statement said.

The foreign ministry said a demarche was made regarding detention of an official of the Pakistan consulate in Kandahar by Afghan authorities, who was “forcibly taken away and kept in detention”.

“The ambassador assured that he would convey our concerns to higher authorities in Kabul,” the statement said.

As a result of the efforts made by the embassy of Pakistan in Kabul and the ministry, the detained official was handed over to the embassy of Pakistan in Kabul late Thursday evening.

The Afghan government had also summoned Pakistani Ambassador Abrar Hussain on Thursday over alleged firing from the Pakistani side of the border.