News / Asia

    Pakistan, Afghanistan Tensions Flare Cross-Border Attacks

    Women protest NATO helicopter attacks on Pakistani troops, Islamabad, Dec. 1, 2011.
    Women protest NATO helicopter attacks on Pakistani troops, Islamabad, Dec. 1, 2011.
    ISLAMABAD — Tensions are rising between Pakistan and Afghanistan over deadly cross-border attacks on both sides of the porous border.

    Each country accuses the other of harboring militant groups that easily cross the border and launch deadly attacks.

    Kabul says the Pakistan military has been shelling areas inside Afghanistan, displacing and killing civilians. Islamabad says it is defending itself from militants who are crossing the border from Afghanistan and killing Pakistani soldiers and civilians.
     
    According to Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Janan Mosazai, both governments are discussing the situation. But on Monday he warned that continued rocket attacks from Pakistan would threaten the already fragile relationship between the neighboring countries.

    “We have said the continuation of any kind of rocket or artillery attacks on eastern Afghanistan, or any part of Afghanistan, could have a serious negative effect on relations between our countries," said Mosazai.

    Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik has accused Afghanistan of harboring a top Pakistan Taliban leader known as Fazlullah. He said the Taliban leader had orchestrated a number of killings inside Pakistan.
     
    Officials representing Afghan and international forces say Pakistan is not doing enough to eliminate Taliban and militant groups like the Haqqani network, which regularly lead assaults inside Afghanistan.
     
    NATO spokesman Brigadier General Gunter Katz said Monday that talks were underway on a regional solution.

    “Stability in this region rests on the strength of the partnership of ISAF (International Security Forces - Afghanistan), Afghanistan and Pakistan," he said.
     
    But mistrust between Islamabad and Kabul runs deep.

    Analysts in Islamabad have said it appears that neither country is willing nor able to control the militant fighters within their borders.
     
    Rasul Bakhsh Rais, a political science professor at Lahore University, warns that all those involved in Afghanistan will lose if cross-border security issues are not settled before international forces leave.

    “If they leave a relationship between Afghanistan [and Pakistan] that is hostile and unfriendly, and where both countries use militant groups as a lever, much of the good work that the international security forces have done will be lost," he said.
     
    NATO’s senior civilian spokesman, Dominic Medley, said Monday the whole aim of the mission in Afghanistan was to leave a secure and stable country that would never again become a safe haven for terrorists.

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Jag Nathan from: USA
    August 06, 2012 1:13 PM
    Are we any surprised? Pakistan has ulterior motives, being directly related to their army’s concept of strategic depth. Simply put, the Pakistani army believes they can run and hide in the mountains of Afghanistan in the event of war with India. In fact, in a future war with India (which they expect to lose and hence the strategic depth concept), they will have no second thoughts about spilling Afghani blood to suit their agenda. Pakistan was never a friend of the Afghan people and can never be for they have from the day Pakistan was put together had aspirations on Afghan territory. Any surprise why there is very little love lost between Afghanis and Pakistanis.
    In Response

    by: question from: London
    August 07, 2012 8:07 AM
    @ Jag .. if that is what you think that pakistan has no love for afghanis .. then can you please come to pakistan and take your millions of afghan refugees back to afghanistan .. i think we have looked after millions of them since the soveits left givend millions of them pakistani citizenship and goverment documents so they can work... also can you please ask the afghanis to stop coming to peshawar and using are hospitals after all we are horrible people no need to come to our schools and universities, hospitals and go to the main cities and take our jobs.... we would be ever so grateful.... you are completely lonney if you think we startegic depth in afganistan lolol .. wow what a joke without pakistan afghanist will fail ... u need us more then we need .. lets not give you access to our sea ports u can just melt away .. or please just use iran for access i see how the tajeks and uzbeck will charge u a arm and a leg for access... its funny i bet you never have even lived in afganistan did you even know that the pakistani ruppe is your main currency its used even in kabul ... hahah a country which usues our currency talks like they can order us around .. instead of sending a rocket maybe we should send something a little bigger
    In Response

    by: Ahmed from: malaysia
    August 06, 2012 10:11 PM
    where do u get this crappy info... from the lame stream media??... oh sorry i mean the main stream media.... how abt u ask ur government to stop funding the syrian rebels, the terrorists in libya, Egypt and the list goes on....
    In Response

    by: a4hr from: pakistan
    August 06, 2012 7:16 PM
    its the same as USA they wanted oil therefore they invaded Afghanistan

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