Pakistani airstrikes in Afghanistan trigger diplomatic row

KABUL: Pakistan’s airstrike on the territory of Afghanistan on April 16 this year has sparked a diplomatic row between the two countries.
The airstrikes were a flagrant violation of international law.
Hamid Pakteen, writing in Afghan Diaspora Network, said these airstrikes were allegedly in retaliation for “violent acts” by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or the Pakistani Taliban.
However, this abrupt use of overwhelming force by Pakistan resulted in a total of 45 victims, including 20 children, including 12 girls and 3 boys in Khost province and 3 girls and 2 boys in Kunar province.
The Taliban regime, the de facto government of Afghanistan, condemned the airstrikes and called on the Pakistani ambassador in Kabul to hand him a demarche.
Under international law, the above would be the case even if the ‘government’ in question came to power through unconstitutional means, until there is no rival entity with a constitutional claim.
That is precisely why Naseer Ahmad Faiq, the chargé d’affaires at the Permanent Mission of Afghanistan to the United Nations, wrote to the chairman of the Security Council that the airstrikes by the Pakistani air force in Afghanistan are “aggression against the territorial integrity” of Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s actions constitute a clear violation of international law, in particular against the prohibition of the use of force or the threat of the use of force enshrined in Article 51 of the UN Charter. A basic principle of international law is respect for sovereignty and international borders.
Likewise, a founding principle of international humanitarian law (the law of armed conflict) is that military force should not be used against civilian targets. So it is plausible that Pakistan’s action not only violates customary and treaty law governing the use of force, but also constitutes war crimes because it violates the Geneva Conventions, Pakteen said.
Furthermore, these attacks pose a greater threat to the troubled region of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. In eastern Afghanistan, many feared that the recent air strikes would lead to more violence, perhaps escalating into a full-scale war.
Surprisingly, this latest downturn in Afghanistan-Pakistan relations came after the Pakistani establishment kept the Taliban regime in check after its takeover and helped finalize the government formation.

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