At least one killed, 16 injured as Afghan Taliban again shell Chaman border area


QUETTA: The Afghan Taliban again skirmished with Pakistani security forces at the Chaman border crossing on Thursday and fired mortars at civilian areas, killing at least one while injuring 16 others as tensions at the international crossing remained high.

Two shells fired by the Afghan Taliban landed in the Changaiz post area of the border among civilian residences.

Security sources said indiscriminate and intermittent firing continues from the Taliban side of the border. The response from the Pakistani side has been measured and care has been taken to avoid civilian casualties on the Afghan side, added the sources.

The injured, including women and children, were brought to DHQ Hospital Chaman for medical treatment, Dr Malik Achakzai, the medical superintendent of the hospital told The Express Tribune.

Further, Dr Achakzai said that an emergency had been declared in the hospital to provide medical treatment to those injured in the attack.

This is the second attack launched by the Afghan Taliban across the Chaman border.

Pakistan has hoped for reciprocity from the interim Taliban government after playing its due role in the peace talks and facilitating the current regime. However, the Afghan side has not held up to its commitments.

The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has continued to launch attacks from Afghan soil after the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban. The regime in Kabul has not given due diligence to Islamabad’s apprehensions and has failed to comply with its obligations towards the international community.

The Taliban government has also not approved the 40 visas requested for the diplomatic security staff and approved 10. India, however, has been allowed visas for a significant staff presence including security personnel.

Pakistan has exercised restraint to avoid any escalation, as other elements can exploit such events to worsen the situation. Pakistan considers Afghanistan a “brotherly state” and has always been welcoming towards Afghans

Islamabad expects IEA to fulfil its international obligations and commitments and ensure that Afghan soil is not used for any hostile activity against Pakistan and such incidents are not repeated in future.

Last week, the Afghan forces fired rockets across the Chaman border into Pakistani territory, killing six civilians while injuring over two dozen as the rockets landed in Killi Sheikh Lal Muhammad.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement that the Pakistani forces gave a measured response to the aggression to avoid any civilian casualties.

Pakistan approached the Afghan authorities in Kabul to highlight the severity of the situation and demanded strict action to obviate any such recurrence of the incident in the future.

The Afghan Taliban regime did not apologise for the unprovoked attack.

These incidents of violence across the border are further escalating tensions between the two neighbours since the Taliban’s return to power in Kabul.

The relationship between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban government is already tense due to the recent resurgence of terrorist attacks.

Pakistan says the Afghan interim government is not taking action against the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its affiliates.

Since the Taliban’s return to power, Pakistan has seen 51% more attacks as the TTP ended the ceasefire with Pakistan on November 28 and resumed its attacks.

There has been a surge in terrorist attacks in the country particularly in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Balochistan where the TTP has targeted the security forces.

Earlier this month, the head of the Pakistan diplomatic mission in Kabul narrowly survived an assassination