Pakistan rejects media report, Afghan ministry statement on border fencing activity

Web Desk
August 13, 2020

FO spokesperson says fencing was being done to address Pakistan’s serious security concerns

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Pakistan on Thursday rejected a media report and Afghan foreign ministry’s claim that Islamabad was conducting “illegal” fencing along the Durand Line — the border between the two countries.

Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri, in a statement, rejected the "insinuation" that Pakistan military was conducting “illegal” fencing of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

“Fencing along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border is being done to address Pakistan’s serious security concerns and is fully in accordance with the established norms of international law, without encroaching into Afghan territory,” said the FO spokesperson.

The spokesperson also advised the Afghan authorities to “engage on border matters through the relevant institutional mechanisms to address any misconceptions”.

“Regrettably, Pakistan’s suggestion for conducting joint topographic surveys had not been positively responded to by the Afghan side,” said Chaudhri. He also reaffirmed that Pakistan respected the territorial integrity of Afghanistan and reiterated that Islamabad conducts its relations with Kabul under the principles of the United Nations Charter. He also added that Pakistan “expected reciprocity from the Afghan side”.

On Tuesday, Afghan news channel Tolo News had said that the Afghan Foreign Ministry had reacted to reports of “illegal fencing” by sharing its grievances and had also protested the move through diplomatic channels.

“In this regard, any action which has been taken by Pakistan, the Foreign Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has recorded its protest regarding the issue through the Afghan embassy in Islamabad to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul,” said Geran Hewad, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The news outlet also carried a statement from Afghanistan’s province Kunar’s Deputy Governor Mohammad Bedar alleging that Pakistan was “putting up fencing in a shifty way”. He also alleged that Pakistan had taken “over some important areas” and so did the Afghan side, which resulted in clashes at times.

In 2019, the then director general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor had said that work on around 900-kilometre fence along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border was completed, adding that the fence had stopped cross-border attacks.

Maj Gen Ghafoor had said that the work on the erection of about 1,200 km chunk had started in 2018.

He said about 1,200 kms of the border lay in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while the rest part of the total 2,600 kms was in Balochistan.



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