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Saturday, July 13, 2024  
06 Muharram 1446  

FO rejects Afghanistan’s ‘unsolicited’ comments over Pakistan’s economy

Adds that Pakistan will not allow construction by Afghanistan within its borders
File photo.
File photo.

The Foreign Office has rejected ‘irrelevant comments and unsolicited adive’ by Afghanistan over Pakistan’s economy and trade. It has added that actions against Pakistan’s sovereignty will not be tolerated.

In a strongly worded statement issed on Monday, the Foreign Office, expressed surprise over a recent statement from Afghanistan’s foreign ministry and said that Afghan authorities were ‘fully aware’ of the reasons of closure of the Torkham border.

The Foreign Office said that when Afghanistan was stopped from building unlawful structures inside Pakistani territory, the Afghan side resorted to ‘indiscriminate firing’.

“Such unprovoked and indiscriminate firing on Pakistani border posts cannot be justified under any circumstances. The unprovoked firing by Afghan border security forces invariably emboldens the terrorist elements,” the statement said.

The FO also expressed surprise over Afghanistan’s statement saying that the other side fully knew the reasons for the border closure.

“We have always said that we wish the border with Afghanistan to be a border of peace and amity between the two countries. We have welcomed our Afghan brothers and sisters with open arms for decades,” the FO said. It added that Pakistan has preferred dialogue and shown restraint in the face of Afghan provocations.

Temporary closures take place only in extreme cases such as the 6th September 2023 incident on the border or when Afghan soil is used to launch terror attacks inside Pakistan.

The FO said that the statement from the Afghan foreign ministry had made ‘unsolicitated’ remarks about Pakistan’s economy and trade.

“For the last several decades, Pakistan has facilitated Afghan transit trade and will continue to do so. However, Pakistan cannot allow the misuse of the transit trade agreement.”

The Torkham border was closed after an exchange of fire between troops on Thursday when the Afghan forces tried to construct a border post in the area that Pakistan believes falls in its territory.

Afghanistan had termed the border closure ‘contrary to good neighborliness’ and called for reopening as dozens of trucks were stuck.

“The closure of Torkham gate can adversely affect bilateral and regional trade, and cause trade and financial losses to common mercantile class on both sides,” the Afghan foreign ministry had said.

Disputes linked to the 2,600 km (1,615 mile) border have been a bone of contention between the neighbours for decades.

Pakistan’s foreign office in the statement reiterated its longstanding concern over rising militant attacks and called on Taliban authorities to prevent its territory from being used by militants against other nations.

The Taliban administration denies it allows the use of Afghan soil for militancy and says Pakistan’s security is an internal matter for the Pakistani government.

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