June 3, 2018
ISLAMABAD — Pakistan says at least six militants were killed and five soldiers wounded in shootouts along the troubled border with Afghanistan.
A military statement noted that in the past 24 hours “terrorists” from the Afghan side have staged repeated “fire raids and physical attacks” on Pakistani outposts and border fencing teams.
It said security forces responded “effectively and repulsed” the attacks in the northwestern Bajaur and southwestern Qamar Din Qarez areas.The Bajaur area suffered seven cross-border militant attacks since Saturday.
Pakistan shares nearly 2,600-kilometer frontier with Afghanistan. It is in the process offensing the largely porous frontier and constructing new forts to deter terrorist infiltration in either direction, according to military officials.
“Taking advantage of ungoverned spaces and facilitation inside Afghanistan, terrorists are resorting to such attacks to prevent fencing and construction of border posts,” said Sunday’s statement.
It went on to reiterate Pakistan’s resolve to continue with its crucial border security project”irrespective of the challenges posed by inimical forces”to consolidate Islamabad’s counterterrorism gains on its side.
Afghanistan historically disputes the 1893 boundary line drawn during the British colonial rule and opposes the fencing effort by Pakistan, insisting it will add to problems facing divided families.
Islamabad rejects Afghan assertions and maintains it inherited the international border after Pakistan was carved out of British India in 1947.
Pakistani officials have long urged Afghan and U.S.-led international forces to enhance surveillance and number of border posts on their side to deter militant infiltrations, while Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of harboring Taliban insurgents fighting Afghan and NATO forces in the country.