Kabul: New border post 'provocative'

April 2, 2013 at 10:27 AM
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KABUL, Afghanistan, April 2 (UPI) -- Pakistan's construction of a border security post has sparked concern from Afghan officials, who called the action "provocative and unacceptable."

The criticism by Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Jawed Ludin occurred after Kabul accused Islamabad of cross-border shelling and trying to undermine peace talks with the Taliban, Dawn News reported Tuesday.

In a meeting with Pakistan ambassador Mohammad Sadiq, Ludin said building of the military check post in the border province of Nangarhar was 'against all accepted international norms, provocative and unacceptable to the Afghan government."

Pakistan rejected Afghanistan's concerns. The work was "routine renovation" of an "old post," said Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, a spokesman for the foreign office.

Both countries have signed agreements to tell each other of any new construction close to border areas. The Pakistan foreign ministry said in a statement Kabul had been informed of work on the post, but Afghanistan said border police reported the "unilateral" work had begun "a while ago."

Ludin also complained about rocket and artillery attacks in Afghanistan from Pakistan.

Pakistan responded Tuesday, saying "no rocket or artillery shells have been fired by Pakistan Army in recent days."

In the past month, Afghanistan has repeatedly accused Pakistan of trying to hinder progress in reaching a peace agreement with the Afghan Taliban.

Last week, Ludin accused Pakistan of "complacency" and of "changing the goal post every time we reach an understanding."

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