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Pakistan to fence border with Iran

Lt. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa, commander of Pakistan army’s southern command, says fencing to start from next week

Aamir Latif   | 19.03.2019
Pakistan to fence border with Iran

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan is going to fence its border with neighboring Iran in an attempt to stop militants’ cross-border movement, and smuggling, a Pakistani army general said.

Speaking at a seminar in Quetta city, Lt. Gen. Asim Saleem Bajwa, commander of the army’s southern command, which constitutes southwestern Balochistan province, said the fencing would start from next week, which would help contain terrorism and smuggling, local broadcaster 92 News reported.

Bajwa said the fencing of the border would also improve economy and legal trade between the two neighbor countries.

Tehran has long been accusing Islamabad of not acting against militant groups, which have carried out numerous terrorist attacks in Iran’s bordering province of Sistan-Balochistan.

Pakistan denies the claim.

In February, a suicide bomber had killed 27 Iranian border guards in Sistan-Balochistan, fueling the diplomatic tensions between the two countries.

The move followed the ongoing fencing of Pakistan’s border with war-wrecked Afghanistan, which invited an ire from Kabul apart from border clashes between the two countries in recent past.

Pakistan has already fenced a 370-kilometer-long (230-mile) portion of Pak-Afghan border -- commonly known as Duran Line -- to stop the cross-border movement of militants, Bajwa was quoted as saying by 92 News.

Afghanistan does not recognize the Durand Line -- a 2,640-kilometer-long (1,640-mile) border, which was established in 1893 in line with an agreement between India under British colonial rule, and Abdur Rahman Khan, the then-ruler of Afghanistan.

But, it rather sees it as an annexation of the “Greater Afghanistan” by the British Raj before Pakistan and India came into being in 1947.

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