Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid on Friday said that the remaining fencing of the Pak-Afghan border would be completed with the consent of the neighbouring country, stating that “they are our brothers”.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Rashid said that around 2,600 kilometres of the border had been fenced and expressed the hope that the remaining 21km would be completed “with the consent of our brothers”.
Pakistan has fenced most of the border despite protestations from Kabul, which has contested the British-era boundary demarcation that splits families and tribes on either side.
Over the past few weeks, videos have surfaced on social media purportedly showing Taliban fighters uprooting a portion of the fence along the Pak-Afghan border, claiming that the fencing had been erected inside Afghan territory.
In a more recent video being shared on Twitter, Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Enayatullah Khwarzmi was seen saying that Pakistan had no right to fence the border and create a divide, adding that such a move was “inappropriate and against the law”.
On Jan 3, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, during a press conference in Islamabad, had acknowledged that there were “some complications” pertaining to the fencing of Pak-Afghan border but added that the matter was being discussed with the Afghan Taliban government as he blamed “certain miscreants” for blowing such incidents out of proportion.
A day later, the Taliban government in Afghanistan said that issues related to the fencing of the border would be addressed through diplomatic channels.
However, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar on Jan 5 categorically said that fencing of the border would continue as planned, adding that the blood of martyred soldiers was involved in erecting it.
‘Shehbaz more corrupt than Nawaz’
During his press conference, Rashid also conceded that the people had expected Prime Minister Imran Khan to retrieve the country’s looted wealth and put corrupt leaders behind bars, but “we did not succeed”.
However, the minister insisted that the PTI-led government would complete its five-year tenure.
Commenting on the opposition, Rashid termed PML-N President Shehabaz Sharif “more corrupt” than his brother and former premier Nawaz Sharif, saying, “I am making this statement on the basis of my information.”
The minister said he knew Nawaz was waiting for the “perfect weather” to return to the country, but claimed that the PML-N supremo no longer had a future in national politics.