Pakistan to continue border fencing with Afghanistan despite tensions
Islamabad, Jan 5 (EFE).- The Pakistani army on Wednesday announced it would continue beefing up the fence on the disputed borders with Afghanistan despite recent tensions with the Taliban.
“The purpose is not to divide, but to protect,” the director-general of the Pakistani army’s Inter-Services Public Relations, General Babar Iftikhar said at a presser.
There is a complete understanding between both countries about the fence, which Islamabad began to erect in March 2017 to prevent infiltrators, he said.
Last September, Pakistan began to fortify the barrier after the Taliban take over in the neighboring country on 15 August.
General Babar downplayed the incidents that have taken place over the past few days in the area, which he described as “one or two localized problems” that have already been addressed.
Several videos posted on social media over the past few days show the Taliban tearing down the fence in some areas of the border.
Some Taliban ministers opposed the fence, which in their opinion is not a delineated international border and divides the ethnic Pashtuns, of which the majority of Islamists are part.
Babar also discussed the one-month ceasefire with the country’s main terrorist group, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which expired on 9 December due to some “conditions non-negotiable” from the Pakistani Taliban.
After the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban government asked Pakistan to hold a dialogue with the TTP, he said.
“They gave this option that they would bring them to the table and make them accept what Pakistan wants,” Babar said, adding that “talks with the TTP are currently on hold.”
As the ceasefire came to an end, operations against the terrorist organization resumed resulting in the death or arrest of several members of the group. EFE