Pak clerics’ delegation to visit Afghanistan to talk on border clashes: Report

A four-member delegation of Pakistani clerics will visit Afghanistan this week to hold talks to end the cross-border clashes in the Chaman border region. The Chaman district administration said the delegation of the Pakistani Ulema will hold meetings with officials from Afghanistan’s defence ministry and key Taliban leaders in Kandahar and Kabul, according to a report by The News International on Sunday. 

The administration added that the Pakistan-Afghanistan border security forces’ flag meeting has been postponed upon the departure of the Ulema delegation. However, routine operations in civilian areas were restored on both sides of the border, the report added. 

The news of the upcoming dialogue this week comes two days after Pakistan summoned a senior Afghan diplomat over the repeated cross-border clashes. 

“Afghan Chargé d’Affaires in Islamabad was called into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Pakistan’s strong condemnation over recent incidents of unprovoked cross-border shelling by Afghan Border Security Forces in the Chaman-Spin Boldak area, resulting in loss of life, injuries and damage to property, was conveyed,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday. 

”It was reiterated that protection of civilians remained the responsibility of both sides and that recurrence of these incidents must be prevented,” the ministry said. 

The ministry added that Pakistan remains committed to maintaining fraternal relations with Afghanistan. 

Pakistan and Afghanistan have had territorial disputes for decades and the recent cross-border clashes and other attacks have strained the relations between the two countries. 

Eight Pakistani civilians and one Afghan soldier were killed in cross-border shelling and gunfire near the Chaman border crossing on December 11. And on Thursday (December 15), clashes erupted again near the same crossing killing one person and injuring more than a dozen people. 

 

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