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No agreement on Durand Line fencing with Pakistan: Barmak

No agreement on Durand Line fencing with Pakistan: Barmak

Dec 24, 2017 - 19:49

KABUL (Pajhwok): Interior Minister Wais Ahmad Barmak on Sunday told lawmakers that no agreement existed with Pakistan on the fencing of Durand Line and claimed the Pakistani forces fired over 8,800 rocket and mortar shells into Afghanistan’s territory this year.

Barmak, who appeared before the Meshrano Jirga or Senate after being summoned to brief lawmakers about continued firing of artillery from Pakistan into eastern districts and the fencing of the Durand Line.

Some lawmakers said the Durand Line was being barbed amid rumors Kabul had agreed with Islamabad over the fence.

Barmak told senators the Pakistani officials had repeatedly said the fencing was aimed at stopping cross border terrorism and ensuring rule of law on their side of the Durand Line.

“But this may not resolve the issue because sanctuaries and safe havens of terrorists exist in Pakistan and terrorist activities won’t stop until these sanctuaries are eliminated.”

Barmak said the Afghan government and the people would not allow separation of people living on both sides of the border by fencing.

He said if the fencing posed threat to the security of Afghanistan, it would be destroyed by the Afghan forces.

He added Pakistani forces had established fences in areas where they felt danger and the government of Afghanistan had conveyed its reservations regarding Pakistani violations of the Durand Line to Islamabad and the international community.

Barmak said Pakistan violated the border 459 times and fired 8,823 shells over 15 districts of six provinces bordering Pakistan. These shells struck in 96 areas which resulted in casualties and financial losses.

Twelve people, including two border policemen, were killed and 50 others, including 30 policemen, injured in the incidents, he added.

Lt. Gen. Helal-u-Din Helal, Deputy Defence Minister, said the Durand Line fencing issue should be resolved through talks and added trilateral and quadrilateral talks were underway to resolve the issue.

He said the government had no authority to recognize the Durand Line as a formal border and demanded a grand consensus on the issue.