Afghan and Pakistani military official held talks for the second time in just a few days to discuss “incursions by Pakistan” against Afghanistan along the Durand Line.
Clashes erupted between Afghan border forces and Pakistani military in Khost and neighboring Paktia provinces earlier this week.
At Wednesday’s meeting, which was held in Dand-e-Patan district in Paktia, Afghan officials said Pakistani authorities admitted that they have built “structures” on Afghanistan’s soil.
Officials also raised the issue of Pakistan misleading the public by reportedly saying the Afghan security forces along the border are being backed by Indian troops.
“Your intelligence is promoting wrong propaganda against us (Afghan government forces) and saying that Indian forces are with Afghan border forces. This is not good,” said Colonel Mohammad Osman Janbaz, the commander of the army’s 2nd battalion in Paktia.
At this meeting, Afghan officials asked Pakistani military authorities to remove the structures built on Afghanistan soil.
“You have built a number of outposts on Afghanistan’s soil. Let’s visit the outposts closely and take them back,” Lieutenant Colonel Fraidoon Faiza, executive officer of the 2nd border division said.
The Pakistani delegation meanwhile promised to remove the structures in Afghanistan territory.
“We will not claim even one inch of your territory. We respect our soil as much as you respect yours. We will sit and meet once again,” said Brigadier Akhtar, the head of the Pakistani military delegation.
Paktia governor Shamim Katawazi assured Pakistan’s delegation that Afghanistan’s soil will never be used against the neighboring country.
“We do not have any problem with those living on the other side of the Durand Line. They are our own people. There is no need to call for the help of Indian military forces. We have enough forces. This is untrue propaganda by Pakistan’s military,” he said.
The Pakistani delegation meanwhile asked the Afghan authorities to return Pakistani soldiers who were arrested by Afghan forces in Zazai Maidan district in Khost three days ago.
The arrests were made after a clash broke out in the Zazai Maidan district, in Khost, which borders Parachinar district in Kurram Agency in Pakistan, on Sunday.
Clashes between Khost residents and Pakistani military personnel broke out in Zazai Maidan district when Pakistani troops tried to take control of an Afghan check post.
According to reports, at least three Pakistani soldiers were killed during the skirmish and three others were arrested by the Afghan security forces. Pakistan has asked for the return of their nationals.
This clash had been preceded by another, on Saturday, in nearby Dand-e-Patan, in Paktia, which also borders Parachinar district.