ANI Photo | Imran Khan expresses reservations over deteriorating Pakistan-Afghanistan ties

Criticising the “bad” foreign policy of the Shehbaz Sharif-led government, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) new chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan has conveyed former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s reservations over deteriorating relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistan-based Geo News reported.
Gohar Ali Khan expressed displeasure over the worsening ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan over security challenges at Pakistan’s north-western borders.
Speaking to reporters outside the Adiala jail after meeting Imran Khan, Gohar stressed that the situation that Pakistan has been facing with regards to Afghanistan never emerged during PTI’s tenure in the government, Geo News reported.
Ties between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been strained due to the intensified terror attacks in Pakistan, which the country claims have been launched from Afghan soil.
Earlier this week, Pakistani authorities said that its forces conducted intelligence-based operations (IBOs) in the border regions inside Afghanistan, targeting terrorists involved in attacks using Afghan soil, particularly the attack on a security checkpost in North Waziristan’s Mir Ali on March 16.
In its statement after the IBO, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said Islamabad for the past two years has expressed its serious concerns with the Taliban over the presence of terror outfits including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan, according to Geo News report. It said that these terrorists pose a grave threat to Pakistan’s security and have consistently used Afghan soil to carry out terror attacks in Pakistan.
In response to Pakistan’s airstrikes in Afghanistan on Monday, the Taliban’s forces have targeted Pakistan’s military posts along the Durand Line with heavy weapons, the Afghanistan-based Khaama Press reported, citing the Taliban-led Ministry of Defence.
In a press release, the Taliban-led Ministry of Defence stated, “In response to this aggression, the border forces of Taliban targeted Pakistani military centres along the fabricated border line with heavy weapons.”It further said that Afghanistan’s “defence and security forces are ready to respond to any aggressive actions and will defend their territorial integrity under all circumstances.”
Armed clashes had erupted between Taliban forces and Pakistani border guards along the Durand Line, Khaama Press reported citing sources. According to local sources, the clashes began at 7 am (local time) on Monday.
Residents of Dand Patan had evacuated their homes after the rocket fire from Pakistan. The clashes erupted between the armed forces of the Taliban and Pakistan after Pakistani air forces conducted airstrikes in Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika provinces.
According to the Taliban-led Ministry of Defence, Pakistani fighter jets “once again entered Afghan territory in a provocative action… and bombed civilian homes in Bermel district of Paktika province and Sepera district of Khost province,” Khaama Press reported.
At least eight people, including women and children, were killed in Pakistan’s airstrikes on Khost and Paktia provinces on Monday, TOLO News reported. The Taliban said such airstrikes are a clear violation of Afghanistan’s territory.

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