Pakistan says fence along Durand Line is almost complete

Pakistan’s military has said it’s 2,600km fence along the porous border with Afghanistan will be completed within the next two months.

Speaking to VOA, Pakistan’s army media unit, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), said on Friday the fence has already been installed along about 83 percent of the border and hundreds of new outposts and forts have been built along the line.

The program was launched in 2017 to block militant infiltration, smuggling and other illegal crossings.

ISPR said two three-meter-high mesh fences, a couple of meters apart, have been filled and topped with coils of razor wire, running through rugged terrain and snow-covered, treacherous mountains at elevations as high as 4,000 meters.

The ISPR also told VOA that it has attributed a “massive decrease” in the number of terrorism-related incidents in Pakistan to the border security project but they say Pakistani troops involved in building the fence have also come under militant attacks from the Afghan side and in some cases clashes with Afghan security forces.

The border, or Durand Line as it is commonly referred to in Afghanistan, has historically been disputed as it was an 1893 British colonial era demarcation.

Pakistan rejects the objections and maintains it inherited the international frontier after gaining independence from Britain in 1947.

VOA reported that the Pakistani army is also working on enhancing the security of the country’s more than 900-kilometer southwestern border with Iran and has already fenced off about 30 percent of the frontier.

This project is expected to be finished by the end of 2021, according to the ISPR.