KABUL - Afghan forces have heightened their activities along the border with Pakistan after a series of attacks from the neighboring country into Afghanistan's eastern provinces, Parliament was told on Saturday. The lower house of parliament on Saturday summoned the defense minister, Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak and interior minister, Bismillah Mohammadi, to brief lawmakers on efforts at preventing the continued cross border attacks from Pakistan into eastern Kunar and Nangarhar provinces.
A number of lawmakers condemned the government for not responding to the excursions that had left a number of people dead and wounded and many others displaced.
The house had earlier asked the government to order retaliation attacks against Pakistan, but the defense and interior ministers said that efforts through diplomatic channels were in place to address the issue.
Abdul Rahim Wardak called the cross border attacks as barbaric and terrorist. He said he had no idea what was Pakistan's motive behind the attacks. Afghan officials have asked Pakistani government to stop the shelling, but Pakistani side insists their troops are not involved, blaming the Taliban insurgents for the attacks.
Wardak said the number of Afghan army soldiers had been increased and all logistic and other necessary arrangements were made available for the additional troops.
He said the national security forces retaliated with artillery fire to a Pakistani attack in southeastern Khost province a day earlier.
Wardak said intelligence activities had been mounted in the border region and important information had been ascertained. The defense minister criticized foreign troops for not cooperating to prevent the attacks from Pakistan. Wardak claimed Pakistani helicopters on Friday entered four kilometers into Afghanistan's soil.
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is responsible for Afghanistan airspace limits, had lodged a protest with Pakistani officials regarding the violation, the minister said.
The interior minister, Bismillah Mohammadi, said they had provided evidence of the cross border attacks to Pakistani officials during his visit to the country with President Hamid Karzai in recent past.
He said the evidences included photos of the victims, targeted places, the time of attacks and the number of people killed and wounded. Mohammadi said whatever decision the government or the parliament took in this regard would be implemented by his ministry.
Foreign minister Zalmay Rassoul told the house that he had time and again asked Pakistani officials to stop firing rockets, missiles and artillery shells into Afghan villages.
The National Directorate of Security chief, Rahmatullah Nabil, and border affairs minister, Asadullah Khalid, were also present during the session.
The intelligence chief asked reporters to leave the house before he briefed lawmakers about the cross border attacks. The border affairs minister said a survey was conducted in areas targeted in the attacks and that a report in this regard would soon be presented to the president.