Islamabad: After the deadly cross-border firing, Pakistan and Afghanistan are now indulging in diplomatic mud-slinging.
The two nations have traded allegations over a deadly border firing incident that caused casualties on both sides.
According to a report by the Dawn newspaper, the Foreign Office of Pakistan has released a statement, claiming that Pakistani soldiers had retaliated to firing by the Afghan forces.
"Pakistani Force did not open fire first and responded in self-defence only," the statement said.
“Pakistan is undertaking concerted efforts to ensure regulated movement of trade between the two countries, which are being challenged by elements opposed to such regulation,” the Foreign Office added.
“There were, reportedly, unfortunate losses on the Afghan side as well. All this could have been avoided if the fire had not been initiated from the Afghan side.”
The Pakistan government also rejected allegations by Afghan officials that Pakistani troops targeted the civilian population across the border.
According to Pakistan Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, Afghan forces had resorted to cross border firing when unruly crowds, who were prevented from crossing over to Afghanistan, attacked infrastructure on the Pakistani side of the Durand Line.
“They tried to cross into Afghanistan by force and also damaged our posts, and unfortunately at the same time shots were fired from the other side. While we have maintained cordial friendly and brotherly relations with Afghanistan, we expect the same attitude from them too,” the minister alleged.
Media reports in Afghanistan however, blamed Pakistan for the incident.
According to a statement from the Afghan defence ministry, Chief of General Staff of the Afghan Armed Forces Gen Muhammad Yasin Zia ordered "befitting response" to Pakistani troops.
The Afghan National Security Council also decried the actions by the Pakistani troops and stated that matter would be pursued through relevant channels and "required action" will be taken.
Cross border tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been on the rise ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival.
Now the tension on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan led to violence at the western Pakistani border town of Chaman which started on Thursday and continued into Friday.
That prompted a cross border artillery attack by Pakistan, which killed at 15 civilians in Afghanistan and left 50 injured. The attack by Pakistani forces affected residential areas in the Spin Boldak district in the southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan.