CHAMAN: The Pakistan-Afghanistan Chaman border remained closed for the second consecutive day on Saturday, after Afghan forces opened fire on Frontier Corps Balochistan soldiers a day earlier killing at least 11 and injuring several others.
19 Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) trucks reached the site to aid those affected by the attack.
Border to remain open at Torkham
The Pak-Afghan border will remain open in Torkham in Khyber Agency on Saturday. Trade and other activities will continue as per routine.
On Friday, the Torkham border was closed for an indefinite period after 11 were martyred and 46 injured early Friday as a result of firing from Afghan border forces.
The Afghan border forces opened fire on Frontier Corps Balochistan soldiers deployed for security of census team near the Chaman border.
Earlier, the Inter-Services Public Relations statement said one civilian was martyred and at least 18 injured in the cross-border firing and shelling. The injured included four FC soldiers who were on security duty of the population census team.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Medical Superintendent at Civil Hospital Dr Akhtar confirmed nine civilians had died and 42 had been injured as a result of the firing and shelling.
Funeral prayers offered for martyred soldier
The funeral prayers for Shaheed Sepoy Hasan Ali were offered at Quetta Garrison. Sepoy Hasan embraced martyrdom today due to Afghan Border Police firing in Chaman, the ISPR said in a statement.
Commander Southern Command, Lieutenant General Aamir Riaz, IG FC, General Officers Commanding and a large number of military personnel attended the funeral prayers, it read.
The body of the martyred soldier will be taken to his native town for burial with full military honour, the statement added.
Hotline contact between Pak, Afghan DGMOs
According to the ISPR, a hotline contact between Pakistan and Afghan Director General Military Operations was established later in the day.
During the conversation, Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Pakistan Army Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza condemned unprovoked firing on Pakistani villagers and security forces which caused casualties.
The Pakistani DGMO told his counterpart that the villages are divided i.e. situated on both the sides, but Pakistani forces and civilians are present on their own side of the border, said the ISPR statement.
Maj Gen Mirza asked Afghan DGMO to keep its forces on its side of the border and defuse the situation. He further said that Pakistan Army would continue work on its side of the border.
Afghan Director General Military Operations acknowledged that the border lies in between villages. He agreed to take up the matter and issue necessary orders accordingly.
The ISPR said that a local commanders’ level border Flag meeting took place, following the hotline contact.
Serious concerns over firing by Afghan forces: FO
Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria voiced concerns over the firing by Afghan forces at Chaman border, which martyred nine civilians and injured over 40 earlier today.
In his weekly briefing, Zakaria said the FO has serious concerns over the incident. The census team was performing its duty when the firing started, he said.
The spokesperson said that Afghanistan had been informed of the census activity before, and the census was being conducted in Pakistan’s territory.
Pakistan has the right to retaliate, he said, adding that a negative role by India was creating issues in Afghanistan.
The injured were taken to the district hospital, where two critically injured persons were referred to Quetta, where emergency has been imposed at hospitals.
The doctors and paramedics at Bolan Medical Complex have been alerted, while additional staff was called for Quetta Civil Hospital.
However, there was a lack of ambulances in Chaman, where casualties are likely to increase