Kabul warns Islamabad it will protect sovereignty

Kabul, Feb 24 (IANS) Afghanistan’s government warned Pakistan that it would respond to any attack on its sovereignty, with the warning coming amid rising bilateral tensions over border skirmishes last week.

Afghan security forces will take action if Pakistan violates international law and threatens national sovereignty, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmad Shakaib Mustaghni said in a press conference on Thursday.

Bilateral tensions rose last week following several attacks on Pakistani soil, including a suicide bombing that killed 88 people at a religious shrine, leading Islamabad to accuse Kabul of harbouring terrorists, Efe news reported.

Pakistani authorities also closed the border with Afghanistan and, according to Kabul, fired more than 450 mortar rounds in the region, killing at least two Afghans and displacing hundreds of families.

While the border remains closed, Mustaghni said the Afghan government always sought to resolve disputes via diplomatic channels, but he warned that tensions were not good for either party since Afghanistan stood ready to defend its territorial integrity.–IANS