Fencing the Western Border

(Bilal Niazi, Islamabad)

Pakistan shares 2430 kms border with Afghanistan which is also known as the Durand line It was established in 1896 between Sir Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat and civil servant of the British Raj, and Abdur Rahman Khan, the Afghan Amir, to fix the matters regarding influence and improve diplomatic relations and trade. Afghanistan has been a safe heaven for terrorist groups like Haqqani Network Harakat-Ul-Jihadi-Islami (HUJ/I) Harakat-Ul-Mujahideen (HUM) Indian Mujahideen Islamic Jihad Union Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan ISIS-K Jaish-e-Mohammed Jundullah Lashkar-e-Tayyiba Lashkar-e-Janghvi Al-Qaeda core Tehrik-e-Taliban Jamaat-ul-Ahrar operate from Afghanistan and inflict heavy causalities in the region of Pakistan.it has also been observed through the intelligence tentacles of Pakistan that these organizations and groups are sponsored by RAW. The sole purpose of sponsoring terrorism is to destabilize Pakistan and shiver its economy. Pakistan is an emerging nuclear power and with the invent of CPEC the economy of Pakistan is going to get much better. This rising state of Pakistan is unbearable to the arch enemy of India and as a response India sponsors terrorism in Pak through many ways amongst which the land of Afghanistan is also included. Recently the Govt of Pak in collaboration with Pakistan Army took the initiative of fencing the entire Durand line. This is a pure military prone action and it began in the first quarter of 2018. Reports are that 150 kms of the border has already been fenced which is highly prone to terrorist infiltration. Afghanistan opposes the fencing project because it historically disputed the colonial-era demarcation drawn up by the British in 1893. Kabul insists the barrier would add to problems of divided families on both sides. Islamabad rejects Afghan objections and is pressing ahead with the border fencing, insisting the project is critical for national security and for promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan. Afghans have long accused Pakistani security institutions for sheltering Taliban insurgents and the Haqqani Network of terrorists staging deadly attacks in Afghanistan to allegedly prevent rival India from increasing its influence in the war-torn country. For their part, Pakistani officials say anti-state militants after fleeing security operations, have taken refuge in Afghan border areas and plot terrorist attacks against the country from those sanctuaries.

This fencing will have following advantages
1. It will stop smuggling that is carried out from Afghanistan to Pakistan. The smuggled stuff includes marble, narcotics, petroleum commodities, vehicles, electronics and much more.
2. It will stop the terrorists from entering Pakistan as forts are also being created alongside the fence to monitor the border trespassing.
It is a long process but once completed it will bring stability to the country in many ways especially safeguarding the region from terrorism.

Addressing troops during a visit to Mohmand and Orakzai Agencies Pakistan Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said efforts were underway to evolve a bilateral border security mechanism with Afghan authorities, adding that a better managed, secure and peaceful border is in the mutual interest of both the brotherly counties, which have given phenomenal sacrifices in the war against terrorism.

It should also be kept in mind that polls show most Pakistanis support fencing, however, the Afghans are totally against it, mainly because the capital of Kabul disputes Durand line and does not consider it an authentic international border. In 2012 Richard E Hoagland, US deputy chief of mission in Pakistan, had said at a media discussion that “the US recognized the Durand Line as an international border. If the government in Kabul has other interpretation, that’s certainly their business.”

Kabul has also got a reservation that they were not consulted before the commencement of fencing operation.
whenever the Pakistani forces have tried to regulate the border they have always met with some kind of resistance from the other side of the border amongst which a recent incident took place at the Chaman border.


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