Pak likely to drop Afghan border mining proposal over international pressure
Pakistan is likely to drop the idea of mining its border with Afghanistan, but will move ahead with its plan of fencing the shared frontier.
A Pakistani official said on conditions of anonymity that Islamabad was in close contact with the US and other members of the NATO on the border fencing and mining issue and the feedback it had received was a strong opposition to mine the border.
The UN has also opposed the idea of mining the border fearing it would kill mainly civilians on both sides of Durand Line, he said.
“Islamabad is in close contact with the United States and other members of NATO on the border fencing and mining and the feedback that it has received so far is a strong opposition of these countries to lay mines on the frontier, ” the Nation quoted the official as saying.
He said the decision to fence and mine the Afghan border was taken to assuage the international concerns over alleged cross-border infiltration into Afghanistan.
In addition, the government had also introduced the biometric identity checks on the Pakistani side of the border, besides deploying well over 80,000 troops on the frontier, he said.
But Pakistan could not ignore the concerns of international community over the proposed mining of border and has decided in principle to abandon the plan, he added.
“Nonetheless, the US and other coalition partners in Afghanistan were not averse to the idea of fencing. The plan to fence the border would be implemented and the army would soon start the process of identifying the problem areas,” he said.