An Afghan sentry at Chaman Border Crossing in Balochistan Province opened unprovoked firing at pedestrians moving from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Two Pakistani citizens, including a 12-year-old child, were martyred. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the incident occurred at the outbound gate located on the zero line.
The dead bodies of the deceased have been shifted to DHQ Hospital Chaman, and the injured child, who was immediately evacuated by security forces, is under treatment. Pakistani troops showed extreme control and avoided any exchange of fire in the presence of innocent passengers to avoid collateral damage.
Afghan authorities have been approached to inquire about the reason for such an irresponsible and reckless act, apprehend it, and hand over the culprit to Pakistani authorities. The interim Afghan government is also expected to exercise control over its troops and impart discipline to act responsibly in order to avoid the recurrence of such incidents in the future.
“Pakistan remains committed to contributing towards peace, prosperity, and development through positive and constructive bilateral relations; however, such unpleasant occurrences have the potential to harm the sincere intent and purpose,” the ISPR said.
The incident on October 4th came a day after the caretaker government gave an ultimatum to all undocumented immigrants, including Afghan nationals, to leave Pakistan. There was no immediate reaction from Afghanistan. However, condemnations by the current Interior Minister, Sarfaraz Bugti, were released immediately after the attack.
Tensions between the two countries escalated on Tuesday after Pakistan announced it would deport illegal immigrants living in the country starting Nov. 1 after a steep rise in militant attacks in the country. The move is likely to impact over a million Afghan refugees who have been living in the country for decades now.
Hamza Shafqat- DC Quetta Division, said, “Pakistan is ready to face any backlash from Afghanistan’s forces after the government’s policy to deport illegal immigrants.”
Last year, six people were killed and 17 others suffered severe injuries in firings by the Afghan Border Forces at the Chaman border. The cross-border attack had also led to the closure of the busy Chaman border crossing used for trade and transit.
Last month, the Torkham border crossing between the two countries remained closed for eight days after clashes between Afghanistan and Pakistan’s border forces.