Afghanistan summons Pakistani ambassador over Khost, Kunar strikes

Afghanistan’s foreign ministry on Saturday summoned Pakistan’s ambassador, Mansoor Ahmad Khan, to lodge protest over recent airstrikes by the Pakistani military in Khost and Kunar provinces.

Dozens of people, including women and children, have reportedly been killed in the airstrikes.

Afghan acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, told the Pakistani envoy that military aggression by Pakistan should be prevented as it strains relations between the two neighbors, according to a statement from foreign ministry.

He also said that ill-wishers of the two countries would exploit tensions between the two countries.

Afghan deputy defense minister, Mullah Shirin Akhund, was also present at the meeting, and the Afghan side submitted a letter of protest to the envoy to share it with high-level authorities of Pakistan.

Pakistan Amy jets carried out airstrikes in a number of villages in the Spera district of Khost province in eastern Afghanistan before dawn on Saturday, local media reported citing officials.

Local residents said that at least 30 people, including women and children, were killed in the attacks. The dead were members of two families, according to reports.

Separately, the Pakistani army also carried out airstrikes in some parts of Kunar province, local media reported.

At least five children and a woman were killed in the airstrikes in Shaltan district, local residents said.

Pakistani authorities have not made any official comment on the airstrikes so far.

Local media in Pakistan reported that the attacks targeted members of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s foreign ministry has summoned the Afghan charge d’affaires in Islamabad to lodge protest over the cross-border attack on Thursday, local media reported.

The ministry in a statement said that Pakistan strongly condemned such cross-border firing incidents and demanded strict action against those responsible.

Pakistan also demanded the Afghan charge d’affaires to ask the Kabul administration for enhancing the security measures in the border areas and make bilateral contacts more effective to avoid such incidents, according to the statement.