Border clashes stir Pak-Afghan public emotions

Haroon Janjua

ISLAMABAD - The deadly clashes between Pakistani and Afghan forces at the Torkham border stirred public emotions and anger on both sides of the Durand Line, and also set off a hot debate on social networking sites.

After the incident, Pakistani people demanded expulsion of Afghan refugees from their country, questioning their decades’ long stay in Pakistan. While on other side of the border, Afghan people poured into streets in different areas of Afghanistan aimed to protest against Pakistan.

An Afghan political analyst Helen Malikyar said that in various cities, including Kabul and Kunar, people took to roads and started March towards Torkham border to support the Afghan National Army.

Prominent expert on Pak-Afghan affairs Rahimullah Yousafzai while talking to The Nation said that people of Afghanistan showed strong reaction over the incident. He said that Pakistani people had only shown their anger on social media as the Pakistan’s parliament did not raise the border dispute while on other side of the Durand Line a member of the Afghan parliament wearing Afghan military’s uniform started March towards Torkham border to protest the incident.

However, a major response came from the Pakistan Army when the gate being built at Torkham border was named after Major Jawad Changezi, the officer who was killed during a clash with Afghan troops at Torkham border.

The initiative was warmly praised by the Pakistan public at large on social media. Pakistani people on social media demanded the government to immediately expel the Afghan refugees from the country.

While political experts in Afghanistan link the border dispute with a weak government in Kabul. The current year has been marked with highest number of civilian and military casualties happened due to violence in Afghanistan. He said that the violence has further deepened political crisis in Kabul and provided best opportunity to Pakistan military for settling the border issue on their own.

An Afghan political expert Said Borhan Osman told The Nation that recent border clashes and Pakistani officials’ threat of expel Afghan refugees have triggered a fresh episode of aggressive behaviour of the Afghan people towards Pakistan.

345 illegal Afghans Arrested

Staff Reporter from Peshawar adds: During a crackdown against illegal Afghan nationals in cantonment area, Police arrested 345 Afghans and registered FIR against them under 14 Foreign Act.

According to SP Operations, Abass Majeed Marwat the illegal Afghans lacked any legal documents and UNHCR registration card to show as evidence.

He said that most of the people were arrested in cantonment limits where 143 persons were arrested.

Likewise in city circle a total of 135 persons and rural circle 62 persons were arrested. He said that the crackdown against illegal Afghan national will continue and more arrests will be made in next few days.

Meanwhile 200 other persons were arrested involved in various crimes and huge cache of weapons was seized from their possession. During search operation 118 houses were checked and their documents were scrutinized.

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