Islamabad—Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development & Transparency (PILDAT) has welcomed the government’s move to ‘better manage the Pakistan Afghanistan border.’
In a statement here, PILDAT has termed the recent border management efforts and the developments including Pakistan’s enforcing stringent border management system a right step in the right direction.
“The strong and effective border management system is good for lasting peace and PILDAT welcomes this,” says the statement.
The statement goes on to say that “while the Durand Line constitutes the legal border between Pakistan and Afghanistan under International Law, the legal rubric of ‘easement rights’ to the various Pakhtun and other tribes along its sides has come to be misunderstood as facilitative of cross border movement at will.
It is also important to understand that the easement rights are only exercisable by members of the tribes divided by the Durand Line and are not available to other ordinary nationals of Afghanistan or Pakistan.”
In an earlier paper on the subject titled: Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Management: A Legal Perspective, PILDAT has supported Pakistan fencing the Durand Line, arguing that Pakistan is well within its rights to do so without vitiating the non-treaty easement rights of the divided tribes.
The PILDAT paper argues that Pakistan can lawfully fence its side of the border without Afghanistan’s consent by following the precedence of the USA-Mexico border which has been unilaterally fenced by the USA under the Secure Fence Act 2006.
This has been deemed lawful under international law since the USA as a sovereign State is entitled to protect its territory, integrity and national security through the implementation of immigration policy.
Similar case highlighted is that of India fencing its side of the border. PILDAT maintains that the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan should also welcome this as an effectively managed border equally takes care of the security issues faced by Afghanistan.
PILDAT has argued that the internal and external threats faced by the State of Pakistan from unauthorized crossings of the Durand Line unequivocally call for effective border management.