What can be seen as a major accomplishment by the armed forces in keeping our borders secure, the Army is now only two months away from completely fencing the Durand Line. This was a mammoth task; over 2600 kilometres of tough terrain had to be canvassed, with a consistent issue of having to contend with both the treacherous mountain area and the threat of militants crossing over from the western front. This has taken three years of hard work, and with 83 percent of the boundary now complete, the armed forces should be commended for having stayed so close to the original 2020 deadline.
But with the army closing in on a significant long-term target—securing the Durand Line—our security forces are looking to nullify the impact of cross-border terrorism even further by announcing the decision to fence the border between Pakistan and Iran as well.
There are multiple benefits of this initiative. For starters, it helps secure both Iran and Pakistan from any misadventure propagated from the other side. Resultantly, this will also help secure Pak-Iran relations even further—a bone of contention in the past has been incursions across the border. The trust deficit that may exist as a result of an open and uncontrollable border can be countered.
But on another level, this move also stands to lower the incidence of cross-border smuggling. Both Pakistan and Iran lose revenue due to smugglers on both sides. With fences all over non-sanctioned crossings, Pakistan and Iran can work together to ensure all movement is properly documented and accounted for.
With the western border being secured, and the militarisation of the LoC from both sides, there is little doubt that Pakistan is pulling its weight in ensuring that unsanctioned cross-border movement—and as a result, terrorism—is restricted in the region. The international community must view this as a positive development, and the unfounded allegations from India regarding our state engaging in the movement of militants are even further invalidated. Pakistan has proven time ad again that it is committed to long-term peace and stability in the region.