Pak-Afghan border fencing

Maemuna Sadaf

PAKISTAN and Afghanistan share 2,430 Km international border, also called Durand Line. After the Anglo-Afghan war in 1893, an agreement was made between Governments of British India and Kabul for fixing the spheres of influence. The area where both the army stopped is called Durand line, the name which was given after the name of Mortimer Durand.
Pakistan inherited this agreement. After independence, Afghanistan has not accepted Pakistan. Afghanistan also refused to accept Durand line as an International border. This is the main conflict among the both brotherly Muslim countries.
Pashtun tribes are living in both sides of borders. Recently, a new wave of terrorism and suicide attacks has hit Pakistan.
ISIS and Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) embrace responsibility of these attacks, in response of these attacks, Pakistan conducted a surgical strike and 4 camps were destroyed. After this surgical strike, Pakistan ceased its border with Afghanistan. This border was opened after a month of closure by the orders of PM Nawaz Sharif.
After these continued insurgencies Pakistan has decided to impede illegal cross border movement. The best solution to this problem is fencing and mining along with the midair monitoring.
To prevent insurgencies and drug smugglers slipping between the two countries, Pakistan has decided to build a 1500 miles (2400 Km) fence along Pak- Afghan border. The initial plan of fencing was made in 2005. This plan was reconsidered in 2007 and then in 2009. But those plans were not implemented.
The plans of fencing and mining the borders were opposed by Afghan Government, citing that the fencing would result in “the limitation of freedom of movement of Pashtun tribe’s people”. Afghan interior minister Najeeb Danish said that no fence installation has yet been witnessed at any area of border but if such an effort is made, it will be prevented by Afghanistan.
Chief of the Army staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa announced fencing border with Afghanistan. The commencement of the said fencing is in progress.
The Pak-Afghan Border has been at the center of accusation, hurled by both the governments against each other. Both countries accused each other for the insurgencies of Pakistani Taliban or Afghan Taliban.
COAS has inherited war on terror. General Bajwa has apparition of implementation of National Action Plan (NAP) in its true letter and spirit. This fencing is also a part of NAP. To implement NAP, Pakistan Army is conducting operations against terrorist across the country. Along with elimination of internal threats, terrorism and suicide attacks can only be stopped only if foreign insurgencies are also controlled. Solution to this problem is fencing which is commenced by the orders of General Bajwa. Trenching has also been started and this fencing will be completed as soon as possible.
The border areas of Bajaur and Mahmand Agencies will be given priority. These agencies are considered as high threat zones, said a statement released by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR).
The statement added additional technical surveillance means are also being deployed along the border, besides regular air surveillance. This fencing is in the best interest of both the countries. After this fencing, both brotherly countries can easily monitor illegal movement of insurgents.
Negotiations regarding war on terror are continued among both countries. Pakistan has right to take any action to safeguard its sovereignty and peace in the country. The valiant decision of COAS regarding border fencing is appreciable.—Email

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