Afghanistan takes up Pakistan's border fencing with UN

Published: April 7, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan has complained to the UN Security Council about Pakistan’s ‘violations’ along the border, the Afghan Foreign Ministry has said.

Spokesman Ahmad Shakeeb Mustaghni told a news conference in Kabul that his government has shared ‘evidence’ with the United Nations about Pakistan’s activities on the border and asked it to take a decision.

He argued that Pakistan “cannot fence the border without Afghanistan’s consent” and any unilateral action would be a ‘violation’ of international laws.

On its part, Pakistan insists that fencing and other measures are aimed at checking cross-border movement of militants, blamed for violence in both the countries. Last week, Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had annouced that fencing has started in Bajaur and Mohmand tribal regions.

Afghan border fencing initiated: Gen Qamar

In Islamabad, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria on Thursday said all work related to border management was done on the Pakistani side of the border.

“The purpose is to stop terrorists from crossing the border. Border management is essential for the safety of our citizens and territory, and also to facilitate Afghan people’s travel to Pakistan for genuine purposes,” Zakaria said at his weekly briefing.

But Mustaghni said Afghan forces will not remain silent if Pakistan continues with such actions. A Dari-version text of the Afghan spokesman is available with The Express Tribune.

He said there was no discussion on the Durand Line during the last month’s Pak-Afghan advisers’ meeting in London. He said Pakistan’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and the Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar had discussed Pakistan’s ‘border violations’, closure of the border and exchange of the lists of wanted militants.

In February Pakistan handed over a list of 76 militants, who the country believes have sanctuaries on the Afghan side of the border. These groups routinely claim responsibility for the attacks in Pakistan. In a tit-for-tat action, Afghan officials also delivered a list of 85 militants, who they claim live in Pakistan.

“Pakistan is creating problems to make Afghans busy and to create the problem of Durand Line,” the Afghan FM spokesman said, adding, “The Afghan government has no power to decide the fate of the Durand Line but the people of the two countries will make a decision.”

Mustaghni admitted that deterioration in bilateral relations have a negative impact on relations between the people in both countries.

Afghan parliamentarian backs Durand Line as border

He claimed that Pakistani forces committed violations along the border in Nangarhar, Kunar, Khost, Paktiya, Paktika, Kandahar and Zabul provinces that resulted in “human and material loses”.

He disagreed with Pakistan’s stance on security measures taken along the border and the rocketing of terrorist hideouts on the Afghan side.

“Pakistan’s this excuse is wrong because terrorists and their support could be traced where Osama bin Laden was killed and in cities like Quetta and Peshawar [where] ‘shuras’ members move freely,” the Afghan spokesman said.

He said the Afghan government has always tried to find out a diplomatic solution to the problems with Pakistan to “stop Pakistan from unilateral actions”.

“But the focus on diplomatic efforts does not mean that our defence and security forces are oblivious to our own security,” the spokesman said.

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Reader Comments (4)

  • Asop
    Apr 7, 2017 - 5:49PM

    What is the problem with Afghan government they should stop living in the 1800s !. In Afghanistan’s current state they should focus on improving their economy and supporting the poor people. Afghanistan lacks even basic utilities and education.

    The border should be fenced properly. It’s in the best interest of both countries.

    Regarding their territorial claims, Afghan’s need to accept the reality.Recommend

  • Khalid
    Apr 7, 2017 - 6:47PM

    Fencing the border is an internal matter of Pakistan and no one can stop Pakistan from fencing it.. Afghanistan should concentrate on its own internal issues instead of poking into the matters of other… The authorities of Afghanistan are talking as if they are either new born child or have gone mad. They should learn the etiqettes as to how should talk about an internal matters of other countries. Their mentors will push them into destruction if they didn’t stop following them..Recommend

  • Syed
    Apr 7, 2017 - 9:23PM

    Just because Afghanistan thinks they have some claim to Pakistan, does not make it so. Im glad they went to the UN, fine….thats good for Pakistan, because going to the UN will only strengthen Pakistan’s case as the majority of the world recognizes Pakistan’s borders, including with Afghanistan, so good luck with that. You really should not listen to your hindu brothers in India.

    Secondly, if the Durand line is illegal because the British drew it, then over a dozen countries will also become illegal because the British/French/Italian etc drew it. Indias borders will be illegal, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Ethiopia, Sudan, Algeria, Libya, and on and on….because all of these modern boundaries are the result of colonial powers. I guess Afghans want California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas to go back to Mexico as well, and the USA back to native Indians….lol

    Fact is, Pakistans border is final, Afghanistan knows it, they just want to cross back and forth for their own benefit, smuggling, and other lucrative business will diminish.

    Pakistan must not soften their stand, India has erected a fence along Pak, Bangla border, so is the US now doing with Mexico, Israel did it with Palestinian territories, so the UN cannot do anything, or else all these will need to come down.

    Afghans think with their backside not their brain, they have more to gain by working with Pakistan, if they try force, they will find out Pakistanis also have two hands and they can fight back better than puny Afghanistan.

    This fence will go up, whether Afghans like it or not, the border is permanent, and Pakistan should mine the entire length. If Afghanistan falls for Indian mischief, then they will find out the power of the Pakistani nation.Recommend

  • FAZ
    Apr 8, 2017 - 9:17AM

    Lets fence it a few meters inside the durand line. And it doesn’t mean UN is of any significance at all..Recommend

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