Angoor Adda Check Post Not Handed Over to Afghanistan: Aizaz
Foreign secretary says Pakistan won’t insist on getting F-16s from the US anymore; Says strained relations with the US nothing new.
Pakistan has not handed over the Angoor Adda check post to Afghanistan, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said on Monday, snubbing earlier claims made by the army. The army had earlier announced that the check post had been handed over to the Afghan authorities.
Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Defence and Foreign Affairs, he said Pakistan Army only constructed a gate for the Kabul government in Afghan area of the check post “as a gift”.
On Sunday, Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that the check post was not given to the Afghan authorities.
“It is an old check post which was constructed during Taliban era when the border control was not that stringent. The check post was on the Pakistani soil while the gate was in Afghan territory, they (Afghan authorities) were protesting for years, so we handed over the gate to them,” said Aziz.
It is pertinent to note that last month Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) chief Lt Gen Asim Bajwa had informed through Twitter that “Pakistan army has handed over a purpose-built border crossing facility at Angoor Ada to Afghan authorities”.
“With an aim to strengthen brotherly relations with Afghanistan besides strategic intent to improve border management, the border-crossing facility was handed over to Afghan authorities at Angoor Ada, a buffering town,” Asim Bajwa had tweeted.
On June 7, a petition was filed in the Lahore High Court (LHC) against the move in which the petitioner maintained it was an offence under Section 24 of the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 which states that delivering any garrison, fortress, airfield, place, post or guard is punishable under PAA.
In his petition, Lt-Col (r) Inamur Rahim requested for the initiation of proceedings against those senior officers who had allowed transferring the control of the said check post.
More than five-decade-old border crossing facility at Angoor Adda, 35km off South Waziristan’s regional headquarters of Wana, has been a bone of contention between the two countries ever since it was built nearly a year ago. The gate was manned by Pakistan Army personnel until recently.
In July last year, the issue had led to an exchange of fire between the two sides, resulting in the death of an Afghan police border guard and injuries to two Pakistani soldiers. The Afghan government had summoned Pakistan’s envoy to lodge a protest over the incident.
PAKISTAN EYES JARDON OWNED F-16S:
The chapter of receiving F16 fighter jets from the United States has been closed. Pakistan will now opt for Jordan owned F-16 fighter jets, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said.
The foreign secretary said that the US seemed to be satisfied with Pakistan’s decision.
Chaudhry said that one of the reasons for strained relations with the US was Pakistan’s close ties with China. “Pakistan cannot cooperate with the United States on some issues,” he said. “One of these issues is its sovereignty.”
He added that strained relations with the US were nothing new for Pakistan.
Condemning the US policy in the war on terror he said, “The US has spent 16 years fighting the war on terror. If only it had given six years to the peace process, things would have been different.”
He said that no check post or area of Pakistan has been given to another country.
Courtesy: Pakistan Today