Karzai Discuses Pakistani Shelling With Nawaz

News - Afghanistan


President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday evening in a phone conversation with Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raised his serious concerns over Pakistan's cross-border shelling on eastern Kunar province, the president's office said.

During the conversation, President Karzai told his Pakistani counterpart "terrorists are crossing the Durand Line into Afghanistan for years, but the Afghan forces have never fired on civilians across the Durand Line". Mr Karzai said that Pakistan continuously fire artillery shells on the eastern parts of Afghanistan, the statement said.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Sharif said that that "terrorists come from Afghanistan to Pakistan and conduct terrorist activities". However, Mr Sharif promised to discus the cross-border shelling with responsible institutions within his government.

President Karzai discussed the shelling with top US commander in Afghanistan General Joseph Dunford who promised to discuss it with Pakistani authorities.

During the meeting, according to a presidential palace statement, Gen Dunford said media reports about the shelling are exaggerated, While Afghan Defence Minister Gen Bismillah Muhammadi said that more than 300 missiles landed in Kunar province in two days.

Pakistan's military has denied its role in the shelling.

Previously, local villagers in both districts had warned the central government that they would react to the shelling if it was not addressed immediately.

Some senators have criticized the government's silence over the issue and argue that the Afghan government has not yet retaliated properly.

The Pakistani military has been targeting some regions in eastern provinces of Nangarhar, Kunar and Nuristan for about three years. The issue has led to more tensions in Afghanistan and Pakistan's already rocky relationship.

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