Pakistan Afghanistan Border Issue An Apple Of Discord Between Two Neighbors

Mashal Rehman


Afghanistan is located in the east and south of Pakistan. Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan were really friendly. When Pakistan emerged as a sovereign state on the World Map on 14th August 1947 Afghanistan refused to accept it as an independent state. Actually, from the beginning, there was a border issue between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan share an international boundary of about 2,430 km which is also called as Durand Line. Before independence, war broke out between the British Government and authorities at Kabul, which is the capital of Afghanistan. When the war ended an agreement was concluded between both the parties for fixing the area of influence. The region where both the armies stopped is known as Durand Line. This region is named after the name of Mortimer Durand. When Pakistan gained independence, it inherited this agreement. Unfortunately, Afghanistan refused to accept Pakistan and it even rejected this treaty. This is the main issue between the two neighboring states.

Pakistan has faced a lot of issues due to this border. Recently, a new wave of terrorism hit Pakistan. Each and every day there was news of suicide bombings. No place was safe. Even mosques were being attacked. People stopped going to mosques to offer Friday prayer because there was a risk of attack and people were afraid that they might lose their life. These attacks made people frightened and it destroyed situation of peace. ISIS and Tahreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) accepted the responsibility of these attacks. As a result of these attacks, Pakistan conducted a surgical strike and closed its border with Afghanistan. Then Nawaz Shareef who was the Prime Minister of Pakistan ordered to open this border. Then on 16th December 2014, an incident took place which nobody can ever forget and that is the attack on APS Peshawar. In this attack, many innocent children lost the battle of their life. Many mothers lost the apple of their eyes. The whole state mourned and was deeply saddened at this incident. After this incident, Pakistan decided to close its border with Afghanistan and it was also decided that the best solution to avoid these attacks is to fence the border with Afghanistan. Obviously, no state wants to disturb the situation of peace and every state wants to ensure National Security. So, to the fence, the border with Afghanistan is in the best interest of Pakistan.

India is another neighbor of Pakistan and it is also hostile towards Pakistan. Since independence, India is always making policies which are against Pakistan. Already Pakistan is facing threats because of India so it cannot afford another enemy in the form of Afghanistan. Afghan authorities are against this decision of Pakistan. They are of the view that Pashtoon tribes live on both sides and this fencing will create hurdles for them. These communities interact with each other and so cultural exchange takes place. This is not a strong reason to stop this project. Already due to terrorism, Pakistan has faced a lot. At an international level, the image of Pakistan ruined due to terrorism. No state was ready to invest in Pakistan and due to this, its economy weakened. Now China has invested in Pakistan and started a mega project which will enhance the economy of Pakistan. Employment would be generated. GDP rate will increase. So, in order to ensure peace and security, it is really important for Pakistan to end terrorism. For this reason, Pakistan army even initiated two operations known as Zarb e Azb and Radd ul Fasad. Now terrorism has ended in Pakistan and at an international level, its image is improving.

Fencing began in 2017. Since then, a pair of 3-meter chain link fences with a 2-meter gap topped with barbed wire has been installed along 200 kilometers of the border. More than 15 new border posts and forts of 443 such planned facilities have been built while the rest will be in place in 2019. So, this project will be completed in 2019. Director General ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor stated that a total of 2,611 km of Pak Afghan border will be fenced, which includes 143 kilometers in Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa and 1,268 kilometers in Baluchistan. He even stated that it will be great if the Afghan Government will cooperate with Pakistan in this project.

Although right now Afghan Government is against this project as they are of the view that this tear apart communities but this fence will not only create peace in Pakistan but it will also ensure peace in Afghanistan. Afghan authorities blame Pakistan for whatever is going on in Afghanistan. On the other hand, Pakistan thinks that terrorism started in Pakistan due to Afghanistan because terrorists from Afghanistan entered into Pakistan. Then these terrorists carried out suicide bombings and people lost their lives. This fence will stop these terrorists from entering in the boundary of Pakistan and even smugglers and other criminals will also not enter in the territory. As a result of this peace will prevail in both the states. So, when peace will prevail then diplomatic relations can begin between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Relations will become better so fencing is a good decision and this will ensure the security of both the states.

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