As the United States and many European nations try to stem the flow of violence across their borders, one country on the doorstep of one of the planet’s most dangerous terror hotbeds has just broken ground on a fence of its own.
Pakistan announced over the weekend it started building a fence along the Afghan border in areas where terrorists have launched cross-border attacks — regions the Pakistani army called “high threat zones.”
Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa said Saturday — during a visit to tribal regions along the border — that both nations would benefit from the fence.
However, the Afghan government has cried foul already. Najib Danish, the deputy spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry, said officials had not yet seen any signs of construction along the frontier but would move to prevent any such project.
“Building fences or any construction is not acceptable for us and we won’t allow anyone to do it,” he said.
The Afghan government has never recognized this section of the border, drawn up during British colonial rule. It runs through the Pashtun heartland, diluting the power of Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group on both sides.
At the same time, Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of harboring its own terrorists: wanted Afghan Taliban leaders and their Haqqani network allies, The Wall Street Journal noted.
The two countries share a 1,500-mile internationally recognized border known as the Durand Line, which was drawn in the 19th century, when the British dominated South Asia.
Pakistan and Afghanistan have long accused each other of turning a blind eye to Islamic militants operating along the porous frontier, and Pakistan recently closed the border for more than a month.
Bajwa said Pakistan was trying to develop a bilateral border security mechanism with Afghanistan. “A better managed, secure and peaceful border is in mutual interest of both brotherly countries who have given phenomenal sacrifices in war against terrorism,” he added.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.