Balochistan witnessed insurgency and terrorism more in the past three decades because of its geopolitical disposition. The province is sharing borders with Iran and Afghanistan. The border named Durand Line has geopolitical significance. It is a blessing in disguise for Pakistan. Two years ago Pakistan had completed the construction of a massive trench in Balochistan alongside its porous border with Afghanistan to keep separatists, smugglers and militants from sneaking into the country. The whole project was a difficult procedure and Pakistan Army accomplished it. This trench gave the blueprints of sealing the whole border. Pakistan Army has announced that the border fence with Afghanistan will be extended to southwestern Balochistan in order to check illegal cross-border movement. The army is already fencing the porous border in the country’s tribal areas with Afghanistan, as part of the border-management system.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have a border of nearly 2,600 km and illegal cross-border movement has caused tensions between the two nations. Pakistan and Afghanistan share a 650 km border in Balochistan, fringing the southern parts of Afghanistan, including Kandahar, the stronghold of Taliban. Moreover, Balochistan witnessed major terrorist attacks and those attacks were executed in the province but planned in Afghanistan.

On 9th of February, 2018 Pakistan Army Officer Brig. Nadeem Sohail expressed to tribal elders in the border town of Chaman, Balochistan, that fencing will start soon to stop the illegal movement of visitors from across the border.

Pakistan Army and other Law Enforcement Agencies started fencing last year after the government introduced passport and visa system for all Afghans entering Pakistan in June 2016. According to Islamabad’s high officials, border management is necessary to check movement of militants who have been blamed for violence in both countries.

There are 16 exit routes along the border as well as hundreds of unknown routes. The fact of the matter is that Kabul opposed the installation of fencing the border and giving reasons based on ethnic dimensions. Afghanistan rhetoric was that it would divide people, particularly ethnic Pashtuns, who live on both sides of the border. Pashtun nationalist parties in Pakistan fear that the fencing will divide families.

Pakistani Senator Usman Kakar said that the fencing cannot be implemented as families and villages are divided and many people cross the border each day. This will be like killing the sentimental values of many families. He further said “there are many people who have a house on this side of the Durand Line and a guest house on the Afghan side. Similarly, people have houses on the Afghan side, but they have graveyards on the Pakistani side”.

According to the statistical data, there are seven posts on the Pakistani side and only one on the Afghan side. This needs to get revamped and more posts to be created in order to curtail terrorism. Pakistan Army is putting every single effort to control terrorism in Balochistan, by the end of this year, this fencing will securitize whole of Balochistan.


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