ISLAMABAD - Three soldiers were martyred and seven others sustained injuries when a group of 60 to 70 terrorists from bases in Afghanistan attacked Pakistan Army troops busy in erecting fence along the Pak-Afghan border in Alwara area of North Waziristan, said a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) directorate.

The security forces effectively foiled the attack by taking timely action against the militants, killing and injuring scores of them, and forcing the others to retreat.

According to the ISPR statement, Pakistani troops effectively responded and repulsed the attack, killing and injuring scores of terrorists. “A group of 60-70 terrorists from across the border from bases in Afghanistan attacked troops undertaking fencing effort along Pak-Afghan border, in Alwara. The attack [was] effectively responded and repulsed by troops in the area. Scores of terrorists [were] killed and injured,” said the statement. In exchange of fire, three soldiers Lance Naik Ali, Lance Naik Nazeer and Sepoy Imdadullah embraced Shahadat while seven soldiers got injured.

The military reiterated its resolve to continue fencing the border despite challenges in moves to curb cross-border terrorism and asked Afghan authorities to take measures to stop militants who use Afghanistan's soil for terror plots.

“While Pakistani security forces are solidifying border security through fencing and construction of forts to deny liberty of action to the terrorists, Afghan security forces and the authorities need to have more effective control in [the] border region to support Pakistan’s efforts as well as deny use of Afghan soil against Pakistan,” the statement added. The military’s media wing also vowed that Pakistan’s fencing efforts will continue despite “all such impediments”.

Commentators say Wednesday’s attack from across the border is indicative of that Afghanistan soil is being used for terrorism against Pakistan. There are forces who do not want fencing of the border to be completed, they add.

PAKISTAN LODGES PROTEST

Pakistan summoned the Afghan Charge d’Affaires at Foreign Office on Wednesday and lodged strong protest over the cross-border terrorist attack in North Waziristan.

The statement issued by the Foreign Office said the Afghan Charge d’Affaires was informed that Pakistan strongly protests such provocations which are detrimental to peace and stability along Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The Afghan side was urged to take immediate action against the terrorist elements on their side and ensure effective measures so that such incidents are not repeated in future.

Pakistan has been erecting a fence along its border with Afghanistan to stop illegal influx of terrorists and smugglers from Afghanistan who often use unmanned routes to enter Pakistan. However, the government in Kabul has been opposing the move.

According to the military, fencing over a stretch of 1,000km on the borders of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan with Afghanistan has been completed and work on the rest 1,200km is underway. A total of 823 border forts were planned, out of which 300 have been constructed so far. Work on the remaining posts is underway and will be completed soon, according to the DG ISPR directorate.

Fencing has benefitted the country a lot as cross-border attacks, firing and Improved Explosive Device incidents have reduced remarkably. Due to Pakistani efforts, the militants’ liberty of action is not the same as it was before.

According to the media reports, last month the government had approved allocation of Rs43.7 billion funds in the next fiscal year 2019-20 to enhance the capacity of both the civil armed forces and the armed forces in order to counter threats of terrorism and stop entry of militants from the border with Afghanistan.