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Pakistan says fencing of border with Afghanistan 90% complete

Army briefs foreign media during official visit to Torkham border crossing

Kiran Butt   | 03.08.2021
Pakistan says fencing of border with Afghanistan 90% complete

Torkham, PAKISTAN

Amid looming uncertainty in Afghanistan due to the withdrawal of foreign troops, Pakistan on Tuesday said 90% work on the fencing of the border with the war-torn country has been completed.

Col. Rizwan Nazir of the paramilitary Frontier Corps briefed foreign media during a facilitated visit to Torkham border, one of the border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"More than 90% of the fencing has been completed, and the rest would be completed by 2022 to stop all kinds of illegal movement from Afghanistan," he said.

Pakistan, which shares an almost 2,670 km-long border with Afghanistan, began with the fencing in 2017 to block militant infiltration, smuggling and other illegal crossings.

The current situation is especially volatile as war between the Taliban and Afghan forces has intensified. The Taliban are now trying to seize provincial capitals, after taking smaller administrative districts in the past weeks.

"The government of Pakistan has given a clear stance of our standing on the Afghan peace process ... we have completely secured our border, if a situation of civil war erupts we have a proper mechanism to control the movement at the border," the officer said.

In an interview last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan warned that any "protracted civil war" in Afghanistan would push more refugees toward Pakistan, which has already hosted millions of Afghans for over three decades. He said the only good outcome for Afghanistan is an "inclusive" government.

Meanwhile, for trade purposes, the colonel said one-third of the work on Integrated Transit Trade Management System is complete. Pakistan has been one of Afghanistan’s largest trading partners, but several internal and external factors have led to a drop in trade in recent years.

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