What began last week as a renewed round of recriminations over border skirmishes along the Durand Line has snowballed into Kabul accusing Islamabad of opening rocket fire on posts inside Afghanistan and the latter in turn claiming that Afghan soldiers had entered Pakistan.
The AFP quoted unnamed Pakistani officials as saying 60 Afghan soldiers crossed into Pakistan in the Kurram tribal agency on Monday resulting in clashes which left two tribesmen dead. On the other hand, Afghan officials have threatened to approach the U.N. against Pakistan’s shelling of villages along the border with Afghanistan, particularly those in the Kunar provnice. After a lull, these verbal clashes have resumed since last month’s attack on Pakistani security posts in Upper Dir by terrorists allegedly based in the Kunar and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan. The previous summer had also seen several such border incursions.
Pakistan’s contention is that these attacks on its personnel are being orchestrated by Maulvi Fazlullah, Taliban leader — better known as Radio Mullah — who had fled Swat in 2009 in the wake of military operations and is believed to have secured a safe haven in Kunar.
In one such attack on June 24 that involved the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, at least 17 Pakistani security personnel were killed and some beheaded later. These attacks, according to a spokesman of Maulvi Fazlullah, had help from terrorists based in Afghanistan. Throughout the summer of 2011, such border attacks remained a key irritant in Afghanistan-Pakistan relations.
Meanwhile, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, John Allen, made his second visit to Pakistan in four days for talks on breaking the deadlock over NATO supply lines. Though the official word from Pakistan on these discussions maintained that there had been some positive movement in improving ties with the U.S., no final decision has been taken regarding reopening the Ground Lines of Communication (NATO supply lines).