Pakistan summons Afghan envoy over army Major’s death

Islamabad, June 15 (IANS) Pakistan on Wednesday summoned Afghan Ambassador Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal and lodged protest over the death of an army Major in shelling by the Afghan forces.

Major Ali Jawad Khan, who was injured in cross-border firing at Torkham border on Saturday, died of wounds in a military hospital in Peshawar on Tuesday.

Both sides started trading fire after the Afghan government raised objections to the construction of a gate by Pakistan inside its territory.

“Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhary today called in Afghan Ambassador Hazrat Omar Zakhilwal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to lodge Pakistan’s strong protest over the shahadat (martyrdom) of Major Ali Jawad Khan, an officer of Pakistan Army, who was injured on 13 June due to unprovoked firing by Afghan security forces at Torkham border crossing,” a foreign ministry statement said.

“The Afghan government was urged to take immediate steps to bring this unprovoked firing to an end,” the statement stated.

The foreign secretary rejected allegations from Afghanistan that the construction of the gate by Pakistan was in violation of the agreements and understandings reached between the two countries.

“It was reiterated that these works are being undertaken on the Pakistani side and were started after the two sides had agreed on them during the meetings held last month.”

The foreign secretary stressed that the Pakistani side was undertaking the gate construction on its side to regulate the movements of people as well as of vehicles with the prior agreement of the Afghan government.

He expressed concern over the continued firing by the Afghan forces in the last few days with a view to disrupt the gate construction aimed at strengthening effective border management.

–IANS

ahm/vt

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