US calls on Afghanistan, Pakistan to peacefully resolve tension after border clashes

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Mutual expulsion of diplomats by Pakistan, India should not lead to escalation: US

WASHINGTON, June 15 (APP): The United States on Tuesday called on
Afghanistan and Pakistan to peacefully resolve their tension, after a Pakistani military officer was killed in firing by Afghan forces during a clash on Torkham border.

“We are all watching the tensions very closely,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby said at a regular briefing and added that the United States was in touch with officials on both sides. “We continue to urge a calm resolution to the tension.”

Pakistan lodged a strong protest with the Afghan government over unprovoked firing by the Afghan forces that also injured a Pakistani solider and nine civilians. The firing was aimed at disrupting the construction of a gate well inside Pakistani territory at the border to facilitate cross-border movement of people and vehicle.

The spokesman said that the United States did not want to see violence and any further escalation in tension. He said Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Richard Olson, who was in the region at the time of the incident, shared these sentiments.

In Islamabad, Ambassador Olson met with government officials, including the adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs, the chief of the army staff, and discussed a range of bilateral, regional issues, the spokesman added.

The Afghan Charge d’Affairs was called to the foreign office in Islamabad to convoy the protest. The Pakistan government told the Afghan side that the regulation of movements at Torkham is part of government’s policy to strengthen border management.