New York: Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar has defended the cross-border shelling in Afghanistan by Pakistani forces, saying it was in reaction to the beheading of 17 Pakistani soldiers by the Afghans.
"If 200 people cross the Pak-Afghan border and behead 17 soldiers and slaughter them, what do you expect Pakistan to do?" The News Agency quoted Khar, as saying.
"This is as distasteful for us, as this is for you, but this is in reaction to something that happens. We need to go to the root cause of this problem," Khar said.
Khar said she had raised the issue of cross-border infiltration and shelling with her Afghan counterpart Zalmay Rassoul during their meeting earlier on Tuesday. She added that Pakistan "does not like doing any kind of shelling".
"We will take responsibility from our side, they (Afghanistan) should take responsibility from their side," she added.
Khar added that Pakistan should not be "laden with everyone``s responsibility."
Khar said Pakistan might sign a long term agreement with Afghanistan so that its bilateral ties with the country are institutionalised, adding that it was required and key.
She said Pakistan``s the military, intelligence and political leadership had strong ties with Afghanistan.