ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has lodged a strong protest with Afghanistan on Sunday after rockets fired by militants from across the border hit a Pakistani military post in the Khyber tribal region, martyring four soldiers and wounding four others.

Afghan ambassador Janan Mosazai, summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was asked to urge his government to investigate the incident and share the result of the inquiry with Pakistan government.

“According to reports, rounds fired from (the) Afghanistan side by terrorists hit an 8,000-feet-high Pakistani post in Akhandwala Pass,” the media wing of army said earlier in the day.

“Four Pakistan army soldiers embraced martyrdom and four others were injured due to the rocket fire. Pakistani troops befittingly responded and eliminated the group of terrorists,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) added.

“Such incidents do not augur well for the positive trajectory of relations the two sides have been able to achieve after sustained efforts”, a statement issued by the Foreign Office said.

“The Afghan ambassador was conveyed that, as a matter of policy, Pakistani authorities do not initiate fire and return fire only in self-defence,” it added.

It further said that Pakistan fully condemns terrorism in all forms and manifestations and is willing to collaborate with Afghanistan to fight the common enemy. “However, the attacks against our military personnel are unacceptable.”

The ambassador was also requested to urge his government to ensure the safety and security of Pakistani personnel at the embassy and consulates and Pakistani diaspora in Afghanistan.

On his part, Afghan envoy said that he would convey the message to the concerned authorities and look into this and expressed his condolences on killing of Pakistani soldiers.

The Afghan envoy assured that Afghanistan attaches great importance to the security of Pakistani personnel and instructions in this regard had already been issued by the Afghanistan government to enhance their security.

This is not the first time that a cross border attack has happened on Pak-Afghan border and Sunday’s attack by militants comes at a time when relations between Islamabad and Kabul are deteriorating in the wake of a surge in Taliban attacks inside Afghanistan and statements of the Afghan leadership against Pakistan.

Pakistan had also summoned the Afghan ambassador last week to protest over a border clash in which three Frontier Constabulary men were killed last week.

Janan Mosazai was summoned by Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry a day after Pakistani envoy in Kabul Abrar Hussain was summoned by the Afghan foreign ministry over the same incident in which they claimed that eight of their border guards had been killed.

Earlier in July, two soldiers were wounded when Afghan National Army fired at Pakistan Army’s position in Angoor Adda area of South Waziristan Agency. A rocket-propelled grenade and a few rounds of small arms were fired on the Angoor Adda gate from the Afghan side causing injuries to the soldiers, ISPR had said.

The Pakistani army has been engaged for months in a massive operation to drive out militants from Khyber and other tribal regions. But militants hiding in the mountains or across the border in Afghanistan’s Kunar province often emerge to plant bombs or attack checkpoints.

In a related development, Islamabad condemned in the strongest terms the suicide attack that took place near a hospital in Kabul resulting in the loss of precious lives and left many people injured.

Foreign Office spokesperson in a statement said, “We standby with our brotherly people of Afghanistan in this moment of grief and convey our deepest condolences to the bereaved families.”

It said the abominable act of targeting innocent civilians reflects the cowardice of the terrorists.

, adding it strengthened our resolve to continue our struggle of countering terrorism in all of its forms.

“We reiterate our resolve to closely coordinate with the Government of Afghanistan in this fight against our common enemy”, the statement concluded.