News / Asia

Afghanistan-Pakistan Border Tensions Flare Amid Bombardment Claims

Afghan border policemen discovered a cache of ammunitions and missiles at a weapons cache in Goshta district, Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, police officials said, January 14, 2012.
Afghan border policemen discovered a cache of ammunitions and missiles at a weapons cache in Goshta district, Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, police officials said, January 14, 2012.
Sharon Behn
Afghan forces say they are ready to retaliate against Pakistan for cross-border shelling along the country's northeastern border. Analysts in both countries are extremely concerned about what the situation means for the future of the region.

Afghanistan Defense Minister General Bismillah Mohammadi said that if diplomacy fails to stop Pakistan’s alleged shelling of Afghan soil, his forces are ready to react accordingly.

“Afghan forces,” he said, “are ready to sacrifice their lives and properties to defend their homeland,” said Mohammadi.

Trouble at Durand Line

The general was speaking to a gathering of elders in the border district of Goshta. According to local officials, Afghan residents were being asked by Pakistani border forces to leave their homes along the disputed border known as the Durand Line.

Attacks Continue on Afghanistan-Pakistan BorderAttacks Continue on Afghanistan-Pakistan Border
x
Attacks Continue on Afghanistan-Pakistan Border
Attacks Continue on Afghanistan-Pakistan Border
Mohammadi’s statements were echoed by Afghan Interior Minister Mujtaba Patang and taken one step further by the Nangarhar province's Governor Gul Agha Sherzai.

“We have decided by ourselves: if someone fires on us, we will return fire,” said Sherzai.

Pakistan has denied it is shelling Afghanistan. Islamabad has said Pakistani military forces have launched several offensives inside its border against militants, however, who then have escaped into Afghanistan.

The Durand Line border, established in 1893 by India’s then-colonial ruler Britain, is one of many contentious issues between Islamabad and Kabul.

Simmering disagreement

Afghan military expert and former deputy interior minister General Abdul Hadi Khalid said that as long as international forces are in Afghanistan, he doubts the border dispute will erupt into a conflict.

“If Afghan forces, especially border forces, react against the attacks, I think it does not mean the two countries fall into military conflict. But at least it is a response to the interference of Pakistan,” said Khalid.

Once the coalition combat forces leave, Khalid said, Islamabad would likely continue its support of Afghan insurgents, but would change its tactics. Both U.S. and Afghan officials say militants who attack international forces inside Afghanistan take refuge in Pakistan.

Flip sides of coin

Pakistani analyst and retired Brigadier General Mehmood Shah countered that militants attacking and killing Pakistani soldiers and civilians are given a safe haven in Afghanistan. Shah denied accusations of intentional cross-border shelling.

“It is all propaganda,” he said.

Afghanistan raised the issue of cross-border shelling at the United Nations Security council last week, saying the attacks have killed dozens of Afghans, mostly civilians.

You May Like

Hezbollah Chief Says Does Not Want War But Ready for One

VOA's Jerusalem correspondent reports that with an Israeli election looming and Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, neither side appears interested in a wider conflict More

Multimedia VOA SPECIAL REPORT: Despite Danger, Best US Minds Battle Deadly Virus

Scientists at America's premier biological research center race in military confinement to find effective drugs, speedier tests and a safe vaccine amid the deadliest outbreak of Ebola in history More

Kurdish Poet Battles to Defend Language, Culture

Kawa Nemir's work is an example of what he sees as an irreversible cultural and political assertiveness among Kurds in Turkey More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Barekzai
October 03, 2012 8:47 PM
So what's the US going to do about it, play observer status while Pakistan continues to murder Afghans? This is the state that aids, abets and directs the Taliban terrorists against Afghanistan and NATO, while having been caught red-handed proliferating nuclear technology and subsequently, hiding Osama Bin Laden!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unresti
X
Heather Murdock
January 30, 2015 8:00 PM
Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Mobile Infrared Scanners May Help Homeowners Save Energy

Mobile photo scanners have been successfully employed for navigational purposes, such as Google Maps. Now, a group of scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology says the same technology could help homeowners better insulate their houses and save some money. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid