Border fence slowly pacing its way through treacherous Durand line

Published: October 19, 2017
Sealing frontier: A Pakistani soldier keeps vigil at the border fencing along with Afghanistan's Paktika province in Angoor Adda, South Waziristan agency. PHOTO:AFP

Sealing frontier: A Pakistani soldier keeps vigil at the border fencing along with Afghanistan's Paktika province in Angoor Adda, South Waziristan agency. PHOTO:AFP

ANGOOR ADDA: Pakistan is betting that a pair of nine-foot chicken wire fences topped with barbed wire will stop incursions by militants from Afghanistan.

Islamabad plans to fence up most of the 2,500km frontier despite Kabul’s protests that the barrier would divide families and friends along the Pashtun tribal belt straddling the colonial-era Durand line drawn up by the British in 1893.

The military estimates that it will need about Rs56 billion ($532 million) for the project, while there are also plans to build 750 border forts and employ high-tech surveillance systems to prevent militants crossing.

In the rolling hills of the Angoor Adda village in South Waziristan, three rolls of barbed wire are sandwiched in the six-foot gap between the chicken wire fences. “(The fence) is a paradigm change. It is an epoch shift in the border control management,” said an army officer in command of South Waziristan during a presentation to foreign media on Wednesday.

“There will not be an inch of international border (in South Waziristan) which shall not remain under our observation.”

Pak-Afghan border villages brace for Berlin Wall-style divide

The military has so far fenced off about 43km of the frontier, starting with the most violence-prone areas in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and is expected to recruit tens of thousands of new troops to man the border.

It is not clear how long it will take to fence the entire boundary. Pakistan has blamed the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan militants it says are based on Afghan soil for a spate of attacks at home over the past year, urging Kabul to eradicate ‘sanctuaries’ for militants.

Pakistan’s previous attempts to build a fence failed about a decade ago and many doubt whether it is possible to secure such a lengthy border.

But the army officials are undeterred by the scepticism and insist they will finish the job as the country’s security rests on this fence.

“By the time we are done, Insha’Allah, we will be very sure of one thing: that nobody can cross this place,” said the officer in charge of South Waziristan.

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Reader Comments (12)

  • Khan
    Oct 19, 2017 - 2:13AM


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 19, 2017 - 7:36AM

    Build a tall and strong concrete wall. Very soon Pathans will be selling these barbed wires and poles in K.P. bazaars. Recommend

  • Muhammad Shohaib
    Oct 19, 2017 - 9:13AM

    Should have been done a long time agoRecommend

  • Anoni
    Oct 19, 2017 - 10:28AM

    Better yet ask Afghanistan to be part of Pakistan federation and the durrand line issue get resolved . Recommend

  • PakPower
    Oct 19, 2017 - 12:50PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    You disgust me. What sort of a comment is that?Recommend

  • Altruist
    Oct 19, 2017 - 2:09PM

    Instead of sealing the border, we ought to reduce trust deficit that is the major stumbling block between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Trust building is not only the responsibility of Pakistan, but Afghanistan must have to play an equal role. A bilateral forum should be constituted like that of QCG, which will offer opportunities to both countries to bridge trust gap and build cooperative ties between the two countries.Recommend

  • Altruist
    Oct 19, 2017 - 2:10PM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    pathetic thinkingRecommend

  • Cuban
    Oct 19, 2017 - 2:19PM

    American’s offered to fund a more robust/expense fence many years ago – turning down that offer probably was a mistake. Recommend

  • Haroon Rashid Khan
    Oct 19, 2017 - 2:23PM

    Better would be if Afghanistan Pays for the wall. It is anyways in their own benefit, so no one can cross into Afghanistan either. Recommend

  • Sami Baloch
    Oct 19, 2017 - 3:57PM

    Good work ! Fence the entire border because those Afghans do not deserve open borders !Recommend

  • Sami Baloch
    Oct 19, 2017 - 3:57PM

    Each & every terrorist comes from Afghanistan Recommend

    Oct 19, 2017 - 4:18PM

    Mr Allah Daad behave yourself,don’t use DEROGATORY wordsRecommend

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