New Delhi (NVI): One person was killed and six others were injured including small children, after Pakistani troops opened fire at a group of Pashtun traders and their families who were trying to cross over to Afghanistan via Chaman border.
Pakistan daily The Dawn reported that there was a hot exchange of words between the traders and Frontier Corps troops which turned ugly after which the FC personnel opened fire at the crowd.
The incident took place at the Friendship Gate at the Pak-Afghan border as the traders protested when they were not allowed to cross over to Afghanistan. The Dawn reported that the protesting traders allegedly engaged in stone-pelting while one of them also fired on the troops, after which the FC troops opened fire.
The news website said that the injured were rushed to Chaman’s district hospital, where one of them died during treatment.
The footage of the incident was shared by several activists and Human Rights experts, showing smoke at the border crossing with sounds of gunshots amidst a crowd.
— Ibrar Ahmed (@PhilanthropistI) November 29, 2020
Meanwhile, the security has been tightened in the border town of Chaman after the incident.
Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) leader Mohsin Dawar also condemned the attack on unarmed civilians while asking the Pakistan government whether action will be taken against those who targeted civilians or not.
“Strongly condemn FC’s firing on unarmed civilians in Chaman. Security forces continue to attack our people mercilessly. What laws allow the FC to open fire on unarmed civilians? Will the FC personnel who attacked civilians be arrested and prosecuted?” he tweeted.
Strongly condemn FC’s firing on unarmed civilians in Chaman. Security forces continue to attack our people mercilessly. What laws allow the FC to open fire on unarmed civilians? Will the FC personnel who attacked civilians be arrested and prosecuted? #StateTerrorismInChaman pic.twitter.com/tf8ggepkly
— Mohsin Dawar (@mjdawar) November 29, 2020
However, this is not the first time that Pakistan’s security forces have opened fire on innocent civilians on the sensitive border with Afghanistan. In July this year, at least three persons were killed after Pakistani troops opened fire at minority Pashtun people who were staging a sit-in at Chaman border for crossing over to Afghanistan for Eid celebrations.
Pakistani police and military had, however, denied the firing and said that the “mob” got violent and attacked a checkpost at the Chaman border crossing.
Pakistani forces have always harassed and intimidated its minorities like Pashtuns, Ahmadiyyas, Sindhis, and Baloch population, apart from minority Sikhs, Hindus and Christians in the country.