Pakistan has a long history of military intervention in Afghanistan, dating as far back as to 1949 (just two years after Pakistan gained its independence from India), when a Pakistani air force plane bombed an Afghan village. Since then, Pakistani imperialism has grown stronger in Afghanistan, creating a bigger influence in the country, especially along the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier.
Often times, attacks from Pakistan come in the form of rockets, and these shellings usually affect the eastern provinces of Nuristan, Kunar, Nangarhar, Khost, Paktia and Paktika in Afghanistan. These cross-border attacks have ruined the lives of presumably thousands of civilians in Afghanistan, forcing the survivors of the attacks to flee their homes.
Other than an occasional public condemnation from Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai, residents of the effected provinces do not think enough has been done to confront the Pakistani government about the attacks.
"Even now, these rockets are continuously being fired, we complain every day about them and we have taken these complaints to the House of Representatives, the Senate and even the President himself," Kunar MP Haji Sakhi told TOLOnews.
Yet time and again we witness Pakistani officials do what they’re best at as a way of coping with the issue: denying the cross-border attacks. Pakistan’s Interior Minister, Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, said that “the Afghan government has been falsely accusing Pakistan of cross-border infiltration”, adding that fencing the Pakistani border might be the best solution in these circumstances.
On the contrary, spokesman for Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security, Shafiqullah Taheri, told the Reuters news agency that ”we now have enough evidence that proves the rockets used in these attacks belong to the Pakistani army. Pakistan has never had such brazen courage in its history,” Taheri said. “They know that Afghan security forces can’t react so they outrageously and indecently attack us.”
In addition, Pakistani officials justify Pakistan’s shelling of Afghanistan by pointing fingers at Afghanistan - referring to rocket attacks on villages and security posts along the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier in the areas of Bajaur, Dir and Chitral in Pakistan fired from inside Afghanistan. “You accept that the attacks over the areas of Dir, Chitral and Bajaur (in Pakistan) are launched from around Kunar and Nuristan (in Afghanistan) and as advised by the government,” said Asfandyar Wali Khan, head of Pakistani Awami National Party. “If you don’t accept this, you cannot blame us for the responsibility of the attacks over Khost, Paktia and Paktika (in Afghanistan).” What these officials don’t mention is that the rocket attacks from Afghanistan are fired by militants from inside Afghanistan, in the areas of Kunar and Nuristan, by Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan, a Pakistani terrorist organization which enters Afghanistan from Pakistan and fires attacks on Pakistani villages. In fact, the leader of Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan, Maulvi Fazlullah, is based in the Kunar province of Afghanistan. Blaming Afghanistan for rocket attacks on Pakistan fired by Pakistani militants has become a clichè tactic among Pakistani officials in order to divert the focus from Pakistan unto Afghanistan.
Nevertheless the issue of cross-border attacks remains unsolved, with the Pakistani military continuing to provoke clashes and firing rockets into Afghanistan. After all, this has been going on for years, with Pakistan continuing to push the limits by violating Afghan sovereignty, making Afghan civilians the prime victims of its acts.