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| Security

More than a quarter of the Afghan-Pakistani border fence completed

By Ashfaq Yusufzai

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Pakistani army soldiers stand guard along the fence spanning the Pakistani-Afghan border near the Punjpai area of Quetta, Balochistan, on May 8. [BANARAS KHAN/AFP]

PESHAWAR -- The Pakistani government has completed more than a quarter of the security fence along the country's 2,611km-long border with Afghanistan.

Work on 233 of 843 forts has been completed, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor tweeted Saturday (December 15).

The Pakistani army has fenced off 802km of top priority border areas, he said, adding that it expects to fence off 1,200km of priority border areas by the end of next year.

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa visit North Waziristan on November 28. [Inter Services Public Relations]

The border fence is meant to "benefit peaceful people of Pak & Afg while restricting terrorists", he tweeted.

The government allocated Rs. 20 billion ($143 million) for the fence on November 28, the second tranche of funds covering the total cost of Rs. 66 billion ($470 million).

The government allocated Rs. 19.4 billion ($140 million) during the last financial year and expects to pay out the remaining Rs. 26.8 billion ($190 million) in 2019-2020.

The funding came a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan made his first visit to North Waziristan, where, alongside Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, he oversaw construction.

Bajwa on May 9 inaugurated the construction of 1,268km of fencing in the Panjpai area of Balochistan, which comprises that province's portion of the fence.

For the Balochistan portion, the army plans to build 250 forts every 3km and backup communication systems every 1km to ensure strict monitoring.

'A strong line of defence'

The fencing of the Pakistani-Afghan border is aimed at halting movement by unwanted individuals, said a Peshawar-based senior security official on the condition of anonymity.

"We are working to fast-track the complete process within the next 18 months," he told Pakistan Forward.

By 2019, a total of 830km of fence is expected to be completed, sealing off the border of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Chitral District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the official said.

"It will serve as a strong line of defence," he said.

"The present government is serious about tightening security along the border to put the brakes on the movement of militants who have been hiding near border areas and creating unrest in both countries," Brig. (ret.) Mehmood Shah, a Peshawar-based senior security analyst, told Pakistan Forward.

"We need the political commitment not only to lay fences but also to initiate efforts with Afghanistan to cope with extremism," he said, adding that the fence shows complete co-ordination between the army and the civilian government.

In addition to the border fence, the army's work on rehabilitating temporary displaced persons and on launching socio-economic development programmes will lead to the end of terrorism, Shah said.

Residents of the areas along the border say they appreciate the construction of the fence.

"We have been facing terrorism for a long time, but the army has established peace as a result of its campaign against militants," Sadaqat Ali, a retired police officer in Chitral District, told Pakistan Forward.

"The fence will block the movement of terrorists who are sneaking into Pakistan through rugged terrain and inhospitable routes," he said.

"The fence will lead to a prevalence of peace even after the military leaves our area," said Usman Gul, a local journalist from North Waziristan.

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That is a great job, it would have been done 20 years ago. May Allah get it done. Amen.

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Great achievement by PAK army

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that’s a great initiative from government and Pakistan Army. We are always standing beside Pakistan Army. The next decision, by grace of Allah, will be of respectful return of Afghan immigrants.

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Afghans and Pakistanis are brethren and have always been together in comfort and pain, now international conspiracies have curtailed them. Both the countries have to work and face every challenge together if they want peace. Peace is possible with mutual cooperation. They should deject American and Indian agenda in their ranks; they only work on divide and rule policy. In current situation when Afghan government is not cooperating with Pakistan, and is creating more threats to itself than to Pakistan by working on Indian agenda, Pakistan has taken the right decision in accordance with the circumstances. But may it happen so that it is temporary and peace is eternal.

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Well work Welldone Pakistan Army and Pakistan Goverment
Pakistan Army zindabad
Pakistan zindabad

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Pakistan took initiative in a right direction. Terrorists will be discouraged with this initiative, as well as RAW CIA or NDS will not be able to come here. Long live Pak Army.

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That's correct, it should be fully completed, it is very important in eliminating terrorism. Long live Pak Army, long live Pakistan

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