US appeals to Afghanistan and Pakistan to calm tensions

US appeals to Afghanistan and Pakistan to calm tensions

An Afghan Army soldier stands guard at the volatile border crossing with Pakistan. The cross border firing had resulted in casualties on both the sides. (Getty)

Washington | Jun 15, 2016, 11.15 AM (IST)

The US has appealed Pakistan and Afghanistan to reduce the ongoing tension following recent cross-border firing gunfire over the contentious fencing issue at north-western Torkham border crossing which resulted in casualties on both sides.

"I could tell you we are all watching the tensions very closely, that we are in touch with officials on both sides," State Department Spokesman John Kirby told reporters yesterday.

He was responding to questions on tensions between the two South Asian neighbours in aftermath of the cross firing across the border.
In the firing, an Afghan border guard was killed while three Pakistani soldiers, including a senior army official and and nine civilians were injured.

"We continue to urge a calm resolution to the tension. We obviously don't want to see clashes; we don't want to see violence; we don't want to see it get worse," he said.

The Special US Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Olson, was in the two countries over the weekend.

In Islamabad, Olson met with government officials, including Advisor to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif, to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues.

In Kabul, he met with Afghan government officials to include President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and National Security Advisor Hanif Atmar.

He also met with Resolute Support Commander, General John Nicholson, Kirby said.
(PTI)
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