Pakistani armed forces put efforts to extend fencing wall into Afghan soil

The Pakistani armed forces have been putting efforts to extend fencing wall into Afghan soil as the construction of fencing wall goes on in Tirkha Oba area of Gomal district of the eastern Paktika province, according to local sources.

Nematullah Baburi, a councilman of Paktika province, told Kabul Now that Pakistan armed forces failed to implement the plan as the local residents resisted the plan. He noted that the area had chromite deposits and many Afghan jalghoza.

According to the local official, the central Afghan government did nothing to stop border violation by the Pakistani forces.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Gran Hewad, however, said that Afghanistan Embassy in Pakistan had informed Pakistan’s foreign ministry about the issue but it has not received any response from Pakistani authorities yet.

According to Hewad, Afghanistan and Pakistan governments have created a coordination center in order to prevent skirmish between Afghan and Pakistani forces along the Durand line, adding that the Afghan government would follow up transgression of Pakistani forces through the coordination center too.

Citing an official of the MFA, MP Fakuri Beheshti said that Pakistani forces had crossed the Durand line for about eight kilometers into Afghanistan and wanted to build fences. The MP said that the Taliban who were controlling the area did not resist fencing plan by Pakistani forces.

“Pakistani military forces are fencing overnight but the people destroy it in daylight,” Beheshti stated.

According to him, Afghan defense ministry has trained and equipped 100 local residents to defend the area and prevent fencing by Pakistani forces.

On the other hand, Afghan 203 Thunder Military Corps said in a statement yesterday, October 05, that Afghan border forces, backed by local residents, had pushed back Pakistani forces who wanted to build fences around 10 meters into Afghan soil. “Pakistani military forces were pushed back and the fenced wall was destroyed,” the statement further said.

Pakistan military launched a massive construction program in mid-2017 in order to foster its porous security border with Afghanistan. Furthermore, hundreds of security outposts and forts have so far been built or under construction along the Durand line.

Pakistan’s minister for planning and development, Khusro Bakhtyar, was quoted by the VOA as saying in a press conference on Tuesday night, November 05, that the fencing program will be completed by the end of 2020.

According to Bakhtyar, Pakistan will start to fence its southwest border with Iran as well once fencing the Durand line is completed.

“We will not have 100% control over Pakistan’s security situation as long as our borders remain porous,” he stressed.

Afghan government expressed opposition against Pakistan’s fencing plan at the very beginning and asserted that it will not contribute to the fight against terrorism.

Kabul Now could not get details on the progress of Pakistan’s fencing plan despite repeated calls to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

Afghan government does not recognize the 2400 kilometers Durand line as official border with Pakistan while Pakistani government and the international community recognize it as official demarcation between the two countries.

Pakistan’s cross-border shelling have increased substantially in recent years. Three Afghan women were killed and four other civilians were wounded in latest cross-border missile attacks by Pakistani forces on Nari district of the eastern Kunar province.

The missile attacks came after a clash erupted between Afghan and Pakistani border forces over what Afghan local officials said caused by illegal movements of Pakistani forces on the Durand line.

Tensions have recently raised significantly between Kabul and Islamabad.

Islamabad closed its consulate office in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, November 03, for an indefinite time due to security reasons. Islamabad had previously announced that its diplomats had been always harassed and threatened in Afghanistan.

Following the closer of the consulate office, Pakistan’s Inter-Service Intelligence agency (ISI) summoned Afghan ambassador in Afghanistan. The Afghan foreign ministry expressed concern and objection over the move by the ISI.

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