The Pakistani Army began work Tuesday on a new border fence, which it hopes will help improve the country’s precarious security situation.
The extensive project will be conducted in phases along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, with the areas prone to higher infiltration from militants prioritized first. Eventually, the entire border will be fenced in.
“A secure Pak-Afg [Pakistan-Afghanistan] border is in common interest of both countries and a well coordinated border security mechanism is essential for enduring peace and stability,” said the army in a statement.
Much of the more than 1,500 mile-long border is located in remote, mountainous areas, making it difficult to control. Radical militant organizations like the Taliban and al-Qaida frequently cross it without reproach. Former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is believed to have escaped across the border during the battle of Tora Bora in December 2001, eluding U.S. forces for nearly 10 years in Pakistan.
The new fence will be chain-link with razor wire, according to pictures tweeted by the Pakistani army. It will also be fortified with several forts and posts to improve “defensibility.” The army has completed 43 posts so far, and plans to build another 63 for a total of approximately 338 to be completed by 2019, according to Pakistan’s Express Tribune.
The commencement of the new project is timely, as the Taliban have experienced a resurgence in Afghanistan. This has caused a rift between the Afghan and Pakistani governments, who have accused one another of ignoring the desperate border situation.
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