Afghanistan blames Pakistan for border violence | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 03.07.2012
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Afghanistan blames Pakistan for border violence

Afghanistan has accused the Pakistani government of launching rocket attacks on its soil and has threatened to report the issue to the UN Security Council.

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan hit new low on Tuesday as both Kabul and Islamabad accused each other of territorial violations.

In the past, Kabul accused the Pakistani government and army of supporting Taliban militants to create unrest in Afghanistan but this is the first time it has directly held Pakistan's army responsible for hundreds of rocket attacks on Afghanistan's Kunar province.

Islamabad denies the allegations.

'Pakistan's Army is directly involved'

Pakistani Taliban militants take part in a training session in Pakistan's tribal South Waziristan area

Afghanistan and the US accuse the Pakistani government and military of backing the Taliban

Shafiqullah Taheri, the spokesman for Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, told the media that the Afghan government had "enough evidence that proves the rockets used in these attacks belong to the Pakistani Army."

Afghan foreign ministry spokesman Faramarz Tamana said that if the attacks continued, it would take the matter to the United Nations Security Council.

"If diplomatic discussions bring no positive results we will refer the issue to the UN Security Council," he said.

According to the Afghan defense ministry, four people have been killed and hundreds of Kunar residents have fled their homes since March due to rocket attacks.

On its part, Islamabad blames militants from Afghanistan for launching attacks on Pakistan's northwestern border areas. Last week, Pakistani officials said that Afghan National Army soldiers had crossed over to Kurram Agency, a tribal area in Pakistan, and killed two people - a charge denied by Kabul.

International issue

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari (R) with his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai

Ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been tense for many years

Tahir Khan, an expert on Pakistan and Afghanistan, told DW that what used to be a bilateral issue was now becoming international.

"Pakistan and Afghanistan do not have clear borders. This has always caused problems and the two countries have often accused each other of territorial violations. But of late, the number of such incidents has increased."

Security experts say that the trilateral border commission comprising of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the US, which was set up to deal with border issues, has so far not been very effective.

Islamabad-based defense and security expert Aamir Rana told DW that the despite its shortcomings, the trilateral commission was still the best forum to resolve the conflict.

"If Afghanistan wants to take the matter to the UN, then Pakistan should not have any problem with it because it, too, has raised concerns about its border violations. But the best way would be that the two governments sit down and discuss the issue."

Author: Shakoor Rahim, Shamil Shams (Reuters, AFP)
Editor: Sarah Berning

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