Durand Line fencing has divided families: Residents

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The residents living along the Durand Line in Naari district in Kunar province said that the fencing erected by the Pakistani military has separated the relatives living on either side of the line.

According to the residents, the people living on both sides have family, cultural and linguistic ties but they were separated since the fence was erected.

“One brother is on this side and another brother is on the other side. We call to resolve this problem so the families living on the two sides can mix,” said Fazal Nabi, a resident of Naari district.

Before the construction of the fencing, the two sides were commuting for daily activities to both sides of the Durand Line.

“Many of our relatives are living on the other side of the line. It has been months since we have not visited each other. We call on both sides to address these problems of fencing,” said Sarwar Khan, a resident.

The residents said that they cannot participate in traditional ceremonies, including wedding parties of their relatives, as they areblocked by the fencing.

The district governor of Naari, Abdul Zahir said that they have shared the concern with the central government.

“This is the main point because the residents of the two sides are sharing their happy and sad ceremonies” said Abdul Zahir, district governor of Naari. “We have called several times on the responsible organizations to resolve the problem. We shared this issue with the Ministry of Defense as well.”

There are a total of six districts located along the Durand Line in the province of Kunar.

The people living on the two sides of the Durand Line have been engaged in long historic, family and cultural engagement.

The tribal elders on the other side of the Durand Line in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa called on local officials to pave the way for travel between the two sides.

A TOLOnews reporter who visited the site said that the residents living near the Durand Line left their houses following the armed dispute.

“There were many mortars fired. One of them hit here, another one hit on the other side. There were also many wounded,” said a resident.

“Nearby the (Durand Line) there is a checkpoint of the Mujahideen (Islamic Emirate). There was firing on the checkpoint and then the checkpoint responded and it led to firing with heavy weapons,” said a resident.

A dispute occurred with Pakistan guards in Spin Boldak district, Islamic Emirate spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said. “Unfortunately, the Pakistani forces opened fire first. The officials of the two sides are aware (of the issue) and the situation is under control now. We will investigate why the incident happened.”

Previously many senior Islamic Emirate officials stressed that they would not allow fencing on the Durand Line.—Tolonews