Fencing The Border | Editorial

The completion of securing the Pakistan-Afghan border is a monumental step. The Pak-Afghan border had been fully secured with the completion of fencing and construction of new forts, as well as the placement of a technical surveillance system equipped with drones. There are only just a few things left to do—25 kilometres of area in KP remains to be completed fencing on, with 800 kilometres already covered. 388 forts have been completed and the remaining 55 are estimated to be completed by December this year. All in all, 98 percent of the work has been completed, with just the finishing touches left. Now movement across the border is possible only through the 16 designated crossings.

The symbolic as well as the very material consequences of this should not be understated. The 2,670-kilometre border has always posed major problems for Pakistan and has been a bone of contention between every Afghan government with Pakistan. This completion not only solidifies the border in concrete but can prevent the devastating side effects that seep through with instability in Pakistan. For the last decade, the lack of demarcation has led to lawlessness, terrorism and an unbridled influx of refugees. This was an extremely vital step with the return of the Taliban and the probability of more conflict in Afghanistan.

The security forces must be commended for this timely and excellent work. Completing a border, the site of which has been prone to some of the worst attacks, drones and suicide bombs, in three years is no easy feat. This is also the only safe way that Pakistan can accept Afghan refugees to ensure that no militants are crossing over. In the same vein, the completion of the fencing on the border is a shield against Ashraf Ghani’s ludicrous allegation that Pakistan is letting militants cross over. The events of August and the US’ own denial of this blind accusation have revealed the lack of veracity in these inane claims.​

Published in The Nation on 4th September 2021

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