KABUL - Parliament called on President Hamid Karzai's administration to sever diplomatic ties with Pakistan over continuing cross-border attacks in the eastern provinces, and pledged unwavering support of any retaliatory action taken by the government. According to Afghan Border Police, over the past two months Pakistani forces have fired missiles, rockets and artillery shells into eastern Kunar and Nangarhar provinces. So far about 700 rounds of shells have landed on Afghan soil from Pakistan, security officials say. As many as 50 people have been killed and dozens injured in the cross-border attacks, while hundreds have fled their homes.
The Afghan government says it has taken up the matter with Pakistani officials, but still the incursions continue to take place. In condemnation of the attack, the lower house of parliament issued a statement asking the government to sever diplomatic relations with Pakistan. It said that Parliament would support the government if it launched retaliation attacks and that "Pakistan should pay compensation for the damages and casualties caused by the attacks."
The statement urged the United Nations and Islamic countries to intervene and put pressure on Pakistan to stop the shelling of Afghan territory. A lawmaker from eastern Nangarhar province, Faridon Momand, said that issuing a statement would not help heal the wounds of Afghans. He suggested the government should carry out a tit-for-tat response to the attacks. Momand said Pakistan targeted Afghan villages to pave the way for Pakistani militants to sneak into Afghan villages.
Saleh Mohammad Saleh, a lawmaker from Kunar province, said a number of his constituents have been killed and wounded in the rocket attacks. If the government has no intentions of responding to the attacks, he warned, the people of Kunar are ready to do so.