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Afghanistan lodges complaint with UN over Pakistan’s cross border rocket firings

New Delhi: Afghanistan has lodged a complaint with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), raising its concerns, over the cross-border rocket firings by Pakistan. In a letter, the Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN, Adela Raz, said, “The issue of violations of Afghan territory by Pakistani military forces has continued despite numerous appeals made to the government of Pakistan, bilaterally and through other measures, to cease their illegal and provocative activities in our sovereign territory.”

The letter also said, “The government of Afghanistan expresses, once again, its strong condemnation of Pakistan’s failure to adhere to its obligations under the principles of the charter of the United Nations, including article two, as well as the international law and international humanitarian law.” The development comes after Pakistani military forces started cross border shelling against Afghan posts and residential areas in the Sarakano and Asad Abad districts of northeastern Kunar province bordering Pakistan. 

According to the Afghanistan government, the attacks by Pakistani forces included 12 heavy artillery strikes in Asad Abad district, and more than 160 artillery rounds being fired at Sarakano district. Four personnel of Afghan National Defence and security forces and six civilians, including two women, died in the attacks. The attack by Pakistani forces also damaged a lot of civilian property.

Raz said while the Afghanistan government is working to de-escalate the situation “but should this fail, it will call on the Security Council to take measures and actions necessary to bring about an end to the violations”.

The letter has been asked to be circulated as a “document” of the Security Council and to be kept as a record for reference if attempts to de-escalate prove “unfruitful”. This is not the first time Kabul has filed a complaint against Pakistan at the UNSC. In February and August 2019, similar complaints have been sent by Afghanistan against Pakistan to the UN body. 

The development comes even as Afghan Peace process gains pace. Pakistan has been a public supporter of the Taliban, something that is viewed with a lot of suspicion in Afghanistan. During the 1990s, Pakistan was among the three global governments to recognise the Taliban as official Afghan government in Kabul. 

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