Kabul seeks explanation for cross-border shelling

Staff reporter

Islamabad

The Afghan government summoned on Saturday Pakistan’s Ambassador Abrar Hussain in protest of recent shelling in Afghanistan’s eastern provinces.
Afghanistan’s foreign ministry summoned the Pakistani ambassador in Kabul, where Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai asked for an explanation but also gave his condolences regarding recent suicide attacks in Pakistan.
When contacted, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakarya told media that the FO is currently gathering more information on this development and Pakistan’s Embassy in Afghanistan has been contacted.
At least two people were killed and two others wounded in the shelling from Pakistan, according to reports on Afghan media. Karzai also said the Afghan government wants Pakistan to take strict action against terrorists that are hiding in Pakistan. The Afghan minister expressed concern over the closure of the Torkham and Chaman border crossings and asked for the reopening of the gates.
Pakistani officials say a second key Chaman border crossing into Afghanistan has been closed, halting trade supplies to the neighbouring landlocked country.
The border closure in Balochistan comes after a suicide bombing at the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine that killed 88 people. The closure was seen as a tactic to pressure Kabul to act against militants who Pakistan says have sanctuaries in Afghanistan.
Earlier, the border crossing at Torkham, which connects Pakistan to Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, was also shut.
The militant group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack. A nationwide operation against terrorism was launched all over the country.

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