Afghan forces led by Taliban Emirate forces and Pakistani forces are reportedly on high alert along the Durand Line in Nimroz province of southwestern Afghanistan after a Pakistani military chopper was shot at earlier this week, according to Afghanistan’s TOLONews channel.
The shooting and the reported injury to a senior Pakistan army officer are reflective of the increasing discordance between the Taliban and the Pakistan army over the contentious Durand Line.
Not only is the Taliban keen to define the Durand Line as the international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, but it is also understood to be distancing itself from its erstwhile mentors in Rawalpindi. That the Taliban is not keen to toe the Pakistani line is evident from the increasing attacks of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Pakistan’s army from bases in Afghanistan.
The TTP is very clear that it wants to convert Pakistan into the Islamic Emirates like Afghanistan, something that the Pakistan army under General Qamar Javed Bajwa is totally opposed to.
The shooting incident cited by TOLONews on Friday is reported to have taken place on April 7 when the military helicopter came under fire, reportedly from Zakir village along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border near Chagai district in northwest Balochistan. Initial reports indicated that a senior Pakistan military officer was in the plane and sustained some injuries.
On Friday, TOLOnews put out a video in which, it said, Afghan forces were seen heading to Zakir village in Chahar Burjak District.
A Kabul-based news agency later reported that the army officer hurt in the chopper incident was an army general.
Journalist Hashim Wahdatyar tweeted that the Taliban received demands from the Pakistan miltary to hand over the personnel behind the chopper attack but the request was firmly turned down.
Pakistan watchers said Taliban fighters may have opened fire at the chopper because it was too close to the Durand Line, It is not unusual for Pakistan’s military to deploy choppers on routine reccee missions or for senior army officers to be part of such routine missions.
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