Pakistan to revive biometrics on Afghan border

Interior Minister Rehman Malik to inaugrate system on November 30.


Afp October 19, 2011

CHAMAN: Pakistan will next month reactivate a biometric computerised system to screen all travellers crossing a key Afghan border terminal, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Wednesday.

Pakistan installed the system on a trial basis in January 2007 to try and control illegal cross-border traffic at Chaman, 100 kilometres from Quetta.

But on the second day, thousands of Afghan tribesmen attacked the border gates, forcing authorities to close the crossing. The protest was against the biometric system, and a Pakistani plan to fence and mine parts of the border.

Further protests saw Pakistan shelve the system.

"We have decided to reactivate the biometric system. I will inaugurate it on November 30, next month," Malik told reporters in Chaman.

"Both Pakistan and Afghanistan need this system. It is necessary to keep an eye on everyone crossing the border and to stop illegal immigrants," he added.

The system is designed to replace the previous permit system, by issuing border passes to people after recording their fingerprints, retinas or facial patterns for identification.

The porous Afghan-Pakistani border separates families and tribesmen, but also allows Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants to move with ease in their fight against US soldiers in Afghanistan and government forces in Pakistan.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have for months traded accusations of responsibility for deadly cross-border attacks further north than Chaman.

COMMENTS (10)

Stevenson | 9 years ago | Reply

Forget about biometrics; Just stop all movement of Afghanis into Pakistan by closing the border permanently! Let them stew in the violence of their own country. We have had enough of the trouble caused by Afghanistan and Afghanis.

Pakistani First | 9 years ago | Reply

The solution lies in sending back the Afghan menace to their war ravaged country. They and their kind have been nothing but trouble for us. They do not even like us then why should we help them. They should ask for help from their brotherly country India. I am sure India will give them sea access someway or the other.

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