New Clashes Erupt at Pakistan-Afghanistan Border

Following cross-border shelling and gunfire that killed eight Pakistani civilians and one Afghan soldier on Sunday, fresh clashes at the Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing have once again killed at least one person and injured more than a dozen.

New Clashes Erupt at Pakistan-Afghanistan Border
Image credit: AP [via The Canberra Times]

Facts

  • Following cross-border shelling and gunfire that killed eight Pakistani civilians and one Afghan soldier on Sunday, fresh clashes at the Chaman-Spin Boldak border crossing have once again killed at least one person and injured more than a dozen.
  • After heavy artillery fire erupted in the Pakistani city of Chaman on Thursday, the city's main hospital declared an emergency around midday. According to a hospital official, four civilians in critical condition have been transported to the city of Quetta for additional care.
  • According to an official in the Pakistan province of Balochistan, fighting began after Pakistani soldiers repairing a border fence came under fire from the Afghan side. However, Afghanistan's ministry of defense on Twitter said Pakistani forces opened fire first.
  • Meanwhile, an official from Chaman has said that the clashes are ongoing and the injured include women and children.
  • These latest incidents come 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.
  • The cross-border fighting is also part of a decades-long conflict between the two nations over territorial disputes, with Chaman-Spin Boldak being the second busiest border crossing and a key trade route for essential commodities.

Sources: Canberra Times, Al Jazeera, Reuters, Perth Now, and Improve the News.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by Wall Street Journal. 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.