Tension on Western border

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IT is a matter of grave concern that Pakistani attempts aimed at easing tension on the western border are not bearing fruit mainly because of non-cooperative attitude from the other side.

Apart from cross-border attacks, anti-Pakistan statements have also become a routine and a cause of friction between the two brotherly countries.

The latest is the incident of martyrdom of a soldier of the Frontier Corps by armed men at the Friendship Gate sparking closure of the border between the two countries.

The Taliban officials visiting the Friendship Gate are expressing grief over the tragic incident terming it as unfortunate but this is not enough to ward off Pakistan’s legitimate security concerns.

This is because there seems to be a tendency on the part of the other side to resort to use of force and violence, rather than sorting out issues through discussion and dialogue.

The killing of a Pakistani security official is not a stray incident as social media was also rife with reports and video regarding dismantling of the barbed wire that Pakistan installed with expenditure running into billions.

This amounts to making mockery of the formal border and the security arrangements that Pakistan has made to check illegal border crossings as well as rampant smuggling of goods that has become a bleeding wound of Pakistan’s economy.

It is strange that on the one hand, Afghanistan keeps on emphasizing the need for respect to its sovereignty but on the other hand it opposes measures sanctifying the formal borders and strengthening security arrangements.

There cannot be pick and choose on the sensitive issues of security, safety, economy and trade and Pakistan will have to take up these issues firmly with the Afghan side.

It is also a matter of concern that the Taliban Government is also not living up to its promise of not allowing the use of its territory against other countries as Afghanistan continues to be the launching pad for terrorism attacks inside Pakistan.

All this is intriguing as Pakistan has assumed the role of spokesperson of Afghanistan in the comity of nations defending its causes and making strong pleas for unfreezing of its assets and meaningful political and economic interaction with Kabul in a bid to encourage the Taliban Government to restore much-needed peace and stability to the war-torn country.

 

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