Chaman firing: Standoff continues after second day of talks

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CHAMAN: Pakistani and Afghan authorities mooted over the control of areas Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir  which were affected during firing and shelling by Afghan forces on Friday, as yet another flag meeting between the officials of the two countries ended in a stalemate.

During the second meeting after the firing incident at the border, Afghan authorities were of the view that Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir fell under their jurisdiction. But Pakistani authorities said the areas were situated within the Pakistani territory which could be verified from Google maps.

Earlier, neither Frontier Corps nor Afghan forces were present in the villages situated near the border. However, electricity and infrastructural facilities present in the areas belonged to Pakistan.

At least 11 people were martyred and 46 injured early Friday when Afghan border forces opened fire on Frontier Corps Balochistan soldiers deployed for security of census team near the Chaman border.

Residents evacuate villages near border

People living in villages situated near the Chaman border started to move out to safer places after authorities advised it was no longer safe for them to stay.

 

According to officials, nearly 10,000 locals have left their houses so far. There are around 8-10 villages situated on the border belt. According to the Provincial Disaster Management Authority, 2,000 homes were affected by the shelling and firing. PDMA also distributed relief goods among the affected people.

Locals have been travelling to safer spots on self-help basis. The areas they are migrating to are situated to the east of Chaman, to Pishin and Quetta, where they have friends and relatives who will provide them with shelter.

 

Bab-e-Dosti remains closed

The Bab-e-Dosti gate situated on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Chaman remained closed on the third day following the firing incident.

Pakistan Army and FC personnel were deployed at the border to monitor the situation and also stop people from crossing the border. Even trucks carrying goods are not being allowed to cross the border.

The Pakistan military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations, had stated the Afghan Border Police have been creating hurdles since April 30 in the census process in the divided villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Chaman, on the Pakistani side of the border.

“This was done despite the fact that Afghan authorities had been informed well in advance and coordination was carried out through diplomatic and military channels for the census process,” the ISPR statement read.

Chaman shares a border with the Afghan province of Kandahar and is home to a busy international border crossing between the two countries.