No tension on border, says ISPR
* US-led coalition investigating Pak-Afghan border firing incident
RAWALPINDI: An Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) spokesman on Wednesday denied reports of tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan after a clash took place between Pakistani soldiers and unidentified Afghans on January 2 and January 3.
Clarifying the incident, the spokesman said that unidentified men from within Afghanistan fired across the border and killed one Pakistani soldier and injured three others. He said Pakistani soldiers exercised maximum restraint, but responded to the firing in self-defence, after which the firing from Afghanistan stopped. He said, “We are not sure of the damage caused to the attackers by our firing.” He said the situation after January 3 was normal and no such incident took place thereafter. The media must report events “as they are” and avoid misinterpreting and blowing up the incident out of proportion, he said, adding that such reporting only caused undue anxiety and conveyed different meanings.
Meanwhile, ISPR Director General Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan said on Wednesday that coalition forces in Afghanistan had begun investigating the firing incident. “We have protested over the incident and demanded the coalition forces investigate and inform us about the results,” he told a private television channel. He regretted that some newspapers had printed exaggerated and sensationalised stories on the incident, saying the area was completely peaceful and tranquil, with no tension resulting from the firing.
Giving details about the incident, he said Pakistani soldiers came under mortar fire from Afghanistan on Sunday that resulted in the injuries of four soldiers, one of whom died later, he added. “Our soldiers responded appropriately and the firing stopped from across the border,” he said.
“Our troops then came under heavy machine gun fire from across the border on Monday, which stopped after we responded with ferocity,” Maj Gen Sultan said, adding, “That is all that happened and after that no clashes took place in the area.” agencies