ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s military announced Monday that its plan to fence the entire 2,611-kilometer largely porous border with Afghanistan is underway and scores of new outposts are also being built to prevent terrorist infiltration.
Army spokesman Major-General Asif Ghafoor told reporters in Rawalpindi that a total of 338 security posts and forts will be constructed along the frontier by the end of 2019. He said 42 such installations have been built while work on another 63 is under way.
Pakistan announced last month that was starting to build the fence in "high threat zones" of its shared border with Afghanistan. Both countries have long pledged to improve security in the region and go after terror groups based in the rugged and mountainous border areas, but the exact location of the border has long been disputed by Kabul.
The general said the border management plan is part of Pakistan’s efforts to eliminate terrorism from the region and help internationally-backed efforts to stabilize Afghanistan.
Ghafoor spoke shortly after a meeting between visiting U.S. National Security Adviser H.R McMaster and Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
“He [McMaster] acknowledges Pakistan’s efforts in war against terrorism. He hailed our contributions and whatever discussions took place both sides were of the view that Pak-Afghan border management is very essential to control the terrorism,” General Ghafoor said while sharing details of the discussions.
General Ghafoor dismissed Afghan criticism of the fencing plan, saying the activity is being performed well inside Pakistani territory and “no one has the right to raise any objection.” Afghan authorities have never accepted the marked border known as the Durand Line. Afghan officials also have said the fencing plan will add to the problems of families in the region who live on either side of the border.
McMaster visited Pakistan on Monday a day after holding talks with leaders in Afghanistan. He met with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and top Foreign Ministry officials before holding talks with the country's military chief.