By Aamir Latif
KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Ongoing clashes between Pakistani and Afghan forces at a key border crossing intensified Wednesday, killing an Afghan border guard and injuring five others, officials said.
So far three Afghans and one Pakistani have been killed since the dispute began last Sunday over constructing a gate at the Torkham crossing, with Islamabad saying it is dispatching more troops to the border.
Kabul, which frequently accuses Islamabad of turning a blind eye to the cross-border movement of militants, asserted the gate is being constructed on disputed territory, while Pakistan claims the objections are disrupting attempts to curb the movement of militants.
A Pakistan army spokesman warned that “the army will retaliate with full force if anyone tries to create a hindrance [to the construction].”
Pakistan has rejected allegations that construction violates agreements between the two countries and claimed it was started after an agreement last month.
Defense Minister Khawaja Asif threatened to avenge the death of a Pakistani major killed Tuesday and hinted that Kabul was being used by India.
The Afghan National Security Council said it wants to resolve the dispute through diplomatic channels but warned it would retaliate to any escalation.
Afghanistan does not recognize the Durand Line, the de-facto 2,400 kilometer border between the two countries which was set in an agreement between a British colonial official and the Afghan Amir in 1893.