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MPs blast govt mum over Pakistani shelling, Durand Line fencing

MPs blast govt mum over Pakistani shelling, Durand Line fencing

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Nov 19, 2017 - 19:25

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A number of Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon (upper house of the Parliament) members on Sunday condemned the recent Pakistani shelling in eastern Kunar province and asked the Afghan government to clarify its stance over the aggression by Pakistaninfo-icon and on the issue of fencing along the Durand Lineinfo-icon.

As per the reports, the Pakistani military has fired approximately 1,500 artillery shells into the bordering districts of Kunar province from across the Durand Line in the past seven days. The shelling has forced hundreds of families to flee their homes, and have also resulted in civilian casualties.

Lutfullah Baba, a legislator at Meshrano Jirgafrom the eastern Nangarhar province, said about the issue, “Kunar people are fed up, the government should take steps in this regard. The Pakistani government has no authority; all of this is the handiwork of the country’s intelligence agency ‘ISIinfo-icon’. Our government should resolve the issue with the ISI.”

Mohammad Jan Mangal, another member of the upper house, also said that many people of Kunar have been displaced due to Pakistani shelling and the Afghan central government has done nothing so far in this regard.

Tayyab Ata, the Meshrano Jirga secretary, said,“The central government has neither responded to the shelling by Pakistani side and nor it has taken measures in this regard.”

He added that hundreds of families from the bordering districts have been displaced.

NajibaHussani, another lawmaker, said, “If Afghan government cannot give a tit-for-tat response to Pakistan then it should register a complaint at United Nations against Pakistan.”

She said that the Pakistani shelling should be documented and then shown as a proof of Pakistan’s misdoings to the international community.

She added that Pakistan has never acted sincerely in supporting Afghanistaninfo-icon and combating terrorism, and therefore, Afghans shouldn’t expect any support from Pakistan.

Meanwhile, some representatives of the house also criticized the government for its silence towards the fencing of the Durand Line and urged the government to prevent the fencing.

The Durand Line is the 2,430-kilometre de facto border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was established in 1896  by a pact signed between Sir Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat and civil servant of the British Raj, and then Emir of Afghanistan, Abdur Rahman Khan, to fix the limit of their respective spheres of influence and improve diplomatic relations and trade.

The line, after it was slightly modified by the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919, was inherited as the border by Pakistan following its secession in 1947.

The Durand Line cuts through the Pashtun tribal areas and further south through the Balochistan region, geographically dividing ethnic Pashtuns, as well as the Baloch and other ethnic groups, who live on both sides of the border.

Fazal Hadi Muslimyar, the Meshrano Jirga chairman, while addressing the government, said: “The fencing should be brought to a halt through every way possible. It is not acceptable to us. Afghan government should discharge its responsibility towards its nation and prevent the fencing. If it cannot do so, then the government should ask international community for help.”

Muslimyar also promised that a delegation would visit the province for assessing the situation of the displaced soon.

He added that he would also discuss the issue of shelling and fencing with the leaders of the National Unity Government (NUG), as the continuation of the current situation was not acceptable to the Afghans.

He asked the government to have clear position against the two serious issues.

This comes after the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon (the lower house of the Parliament) on Saturday similarly denounced the Pakistani shelling, asking the Afghan government to clarify their stance in this regard.

sns/ra

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