In order to attempt to curtail the flow of terrorist between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the former country is building a wall on the border it shares with the latter. “For the better security of our country and nation, we had to do this work,” a Pakistani army official, Brig. Nisar.
Nisar, who only uses one name, told journalists during a government-organized visit to the border that this is in Pakistan’s security interest. The barrier has angered the Afghan government, which disputes the location of the boundary and says the fence will” tear communities apart.”
According to NBC News, construction began last year on two fences that parallel each other as they snake through the remote, mountainous landscape. Standing 13 feet high on the Afghan side and 11 feet on the Pakistani side, sharp spirals of silver barbed wire are cradled at the top of each.
Additional coils of barbed wire have been placed on the ground in the gap between the fences, which are dotted with Pakistani military towers. Pakistan’s military says it will have 92 percent of the national border fenced before the end of 2019. Only three miles of the 789-mile stretch of the border along the remote southwestern province of Balochistan has been fenced so far, according to a military official who spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity. However, there are some parts of the border will not be fenced as they are too mountainous.
Many have questioned the efficacy of border walls, and whether or not the cost is worth the outcome. But if the goal is reducing an influx of human beings, there is at least some real-world evidence that border walls are effective.
Beyond Balochistan, Pakistani authorities said the other part of the fence, including the portion visited by NBC News, would eventually total 516 miles in length. Around 146 miles of that stretch has been completed, according to officials. Pakistani security officials also told NBC News that while Pakistan has 64 security fortifications and posts in one 112-mile stretch of the border, Afghanistan has built only eight.
Pakistan is accusing the Afghan government of not doing enough to stem the flow of terrorists into the country. Pakistan alleges that Afghan territory is being used by the Islamic State to plan terrorist attacks. “The current border is not accepted throughout history. This is a critical issue,” said Mohammad Yaqub Ahmad Zai, Afghanistan’s deputy minister of border and tribal affairs.
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