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US forces react to Pakistani cross border shelling

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AT-KABUL: The United Sates reacted to the Pakistani cross border shelling that displaced many families in eastern Afghanistan, and asked Pakistani officials to share any of concern if they have on this side of the Durand line with the Afghan side to act against, instead of acting on cross border shelling, US forces commander in Afghanistan said.

After cross border shelling by Pakistani forces resumed in recent days in eastern Afghanistan the Afghan and US forces officials “immediately” engaged in talks with up to four star level Pakistani counterparts and asked them to stop and cease the shelling.

“We have offered, if they (Pakistanis) have a concern about anything on this side of the Durand Line to let us know, and we will act against them” General, John Nicholson, who is commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan told reporters in Kabul. “So it is not necessary for (them), the cross border shelling to occur… or they must take maters in their own hands” he emphasized.

Regarding these most recent incidents in which Pakistan has fired hundreds of rockets on bordering districts in eastern Kunar province, the General said the shelling “resulted in the unfortunate displacement of many, many innocent Afghan civilians.”

“We share these concerns when we seeing people being forced to move out of their homes in winter, this is not fair, we want to minimize that” he said.

Afghan Army Chief of Staff, General, Sharif Yaftali, who was talking on the same issue in a joint press conference with Nicholson, said that Afghan government trying its best to address the issue through diplomatic means, instead of retaliation, despite the Afghan forces have the capacity and ability to give answer to illegal Pakistani mortar attacks.

“For the sake of good neighborhood, we are trying to address the issue diplomatically” Yaftali said.

Pakistan has been targeting the bordering villages on the Afghan side of the Durand line for the past several years that has so far displaced thousands of families and caused tens of casualties among the villagers in the poor remote and mountainous areas of eastern Afghanistan.