Islamabad: The Spokesperson, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said, “The statement of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs comes as a surprise as the Interim Afghan authorities know fully well the reasons for the temporary closure of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Torkham.
Pakistan cannot accept the construction of any structures by “Interim Afghan Government”(IAG) inside its territory since these violate its sovereignty. On the 6th of September, instead of a peaceful resolution, Afghan troops resorted to indiscriminate firing, targeting Pakistan military posts, damaging the infrastructure at the Torkham Border Terminal, and putting the lives of both Pakistani and Afghan civilians at risk, when they were stopped from erecting such unlawful structures.
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. These elements are enjoying sanctuaries inside Afghanistan as confirmed by the UN Security Council’s Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team in its latest report.
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. Pakistan has continued to exercise restraint and prioritize dialogue in the face of persistent unwarranted provocations by Afghan troops deployed along the Pakistan-Afghanistan Border. 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 statement of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs also includes some irrelevant comments and unsolicited advice about Pakistan’s economy and foreign 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.
Pakistan stands ready to resolve all bilateral issues and concerns through constructive dialogue so that both countries can reap the dividends of economic connectivity and resultant prosperity. We expect the Afghan interim authorities to be mindful of Pakistan’s concerns, respect the territorial integrity of Pakistan and ensure that the Afghan territory is not used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks against Pakistan.”