Afghanistan-Pakistan Border Shelling Kills Seven

Pakistan's military has said that at least seven people died and 16 others suffered injuries in Chaman on Sunday, reportedly as the result of heavy gunfire and artillery shelling by Afghan border forces.

Afghanistan-Pakistan Border Shelling Kills Seven
Image credit: Getty Images [via BBC]

Facts

  • Pakistan's military has said that at least seven people died and 16 others suffered injuries in Chaman on Sunday, reportedly as the result of heavy gunfire and artillery shelling by Afghan border forces.
  • In response to the incident, Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif tweeted that this "unprovoked shelling" at the Friendship Gate of Chaman border crossing "deserves the strongest condemnation." Sharif also called on the caretaker Afghan admin. to prevent similar incidents.
  • It is unclear what sparked the clash along the British-drawn Durand Line. Anonymous Afghan gov't. officials have claimed that it came after Afghan forces tried to cut off a fence Pakistan has been building since 2017, while Reuters has reported allegations made by Afghan security sources that claim the incident followed a Pakistani request for Afghan border forces to stop building a checkpoint on their side of the border.
  • While the Chaman border crossing was reopened on Monday morning, tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan's Taliban leaders have mounted recently amid a string of deadly attacks and incidents.
  • This latest incident comes less than a month since the border crossing at Chaman's Friendship Gate reopened, following a terrorist attack that claimed the life of a Pakistani Frontier Corps soldier.
  • Pakistan's Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar also came under gunfire last month as she traveled to Kabul, with Pakistani officials blaming the Taliban for the "assassination attempt." Islamabad also accuses Afghanistan of sheltering Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants, a group ideologically aligned with the Afghan Taliban.

Sources: Dawn, Khaama, BBC News, Abc, Tribune, and Al Jazeera.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by WSJ. Pakistan is trying to maintain peace on its side, yet this is the latest of many recent unprovoked Taliban attacks on Pakistani land. Whether it be the TTP's attacks on Polio vaccination envoys or border checkpoints, the Afghan Taliban government needs to step up and fulfill its promise not to allow international attacks to emanate from its soil.
  • Narrative B, as provided by Outlook India. The increase in Taliban attacks in Pakistan is ironic given that Islamabad welcomed the US withdrawal from its neighboring state. Both countries have a history of promoting radical Islamic militarism, which is why it's no surprise to see a surge in such attacks on their border. If Pakistan wishes to maintain a peaceful society, it must take a strong stance against the Taliban.

Predictions