a. Post9/11 Environment.
After 9/11, US invaded Afghanistan to take revenge of theincident and ouster the Taliban regime in October 2001. The Taliban and theirsupporter moved close to Pak-Afghan border, regrouped and initiated attacks oninvading forces, US and its allies NATO forces inside Afghanistan. Thisdevelopment had ruined the tribal society especially in FATA. Tribal socialelite was eliminated, political authority was weaken, education system wasdestroyed, cultural institutions were undermined and thousands of people weredisplaced from native areas. It has virtually created havoc all over Pakistan. FATA,although isolated governed through FCR otherwise a peaceful area became mostdangerous place. Foreign militants who were hard trained and well financed bythe world powers with vested interests moved from Afghanistan to FATA hadhijacked the tribal system.
The destruction of tribal social fabric badlyaffected the region as a whole.b. Supportto US Operations and Demand for Fencing Border. Like other nations of the world, Pakistanalso extended full support to US operations in Afghanistan. At the same time,it was proposed the fencing of Pak-Afghan border to keep effective surveillanceof the any unauthorised movement through unfrequented routes. (Musharraf 2006).
It was suggested that fencing wouldbe done in those areas of border which can be used for crossing as there arevast sections of the border which are difficult to cross. c. Stanceof Both Countries on Fencing. The Pakistan authorities believed that fencingof border would stop all kinds of illegal movement/ entry into Pakistan,whereas Afghanistan perceive it as a clever move by Pakistan to convert acontroversial line into a permanent international border under the pretext ofstopping cross border terrorism with support of US since Afghanistan neverreconciled to accept it as border. The then Afghan President reacted swiftlyand opposed fencing of the border as impracticable and un-implementable asfamilies live on both sides of the line and artificial barriers like fencingwould further divide them. He further pointed out that a wall would not deterterrorists.
It would, however, have a host of other disadvantages, such asdividing tribes and families d. LegalAspects. Underinternational law, Pakistan has the lawful right to fence its side of theborder without consent from Afghanistan. The precedence exist where US unilaterallyfenced its border with Mexico under the Secure Fence Act 2006. This has beendeemed lawful under international law since the US, as a sovereign state, isentitled to protect its territory, integrity and national security through theimplementation of immigration policy.e. Fencingby Pakistan and Progress (1) Pakistan started fencing theborder in 2007 which was protested by different tiers of society. The Afghangovernment also in Jan 2007 wrote a formal letter to the UN Secretary-Generaland expressed deep concerns over the fencing of the border.
However, Pakistancontinued its effort to fence the border. (2) The border locations wherefencing is possible were identified and are was prioritised for fencing.Pakistan Army is undertaking this effort befittingly.
Though border skirmishestook place as Afghanistan Government is interfering in the effort of fencing. (3) Sofar high infiltration prone areas in all agencies of FATA bordering Afghanistanis fenced in the 1st phase. Whereas, in the 2nd phase,fencing of the remaining border areas will be undertaken. Besides fencing,Pakistan Army and FC are constructing new forts and border posts to improvesurveillance and defensibility. a. PART- 3POLITICO-SOCIO-ECONOMICIMPACTS OF FENCINGPAK- AFGHAN BORDER12.
Fulfil UN Obligations. Byundertaking fencing, Pakistan is fulfilling the UN Security Council Resolution1373, which says, “deny safe haven to those who finance, plan, support, orcommit terrorist acts, or provide safe havens and to “prevent those whofinance, plan, facilitate or commit terrorist acts from using their respectiveterritories for those purposes against other states or their citizens” (UnitedNations Security Council Resolution.1373).13.
Uphold Sovereignty of State. Bordersdefine sovereignty of the states. The initiatives undertaken by Pakistan on itsside of the border should be welcomed and reciprocated by Afghanistan being sovereignand independent state. It was an opportunity extended by Pakistan toAfghanistan to transform historically contentious border into a conduit of cooperation,accept the defined border to uphold their sovereignty and prevent anyinterference from external elements. It will put an end to the blame game.14.
ControlInfluence. Afghanistan will continue to presentchallenges to the international community, its region and its neighbouringstates, particularly Pakistan. Given its proximity to Afghanistan and itsinvolvement in the war against terrorism is the most important regional playerthat has always been directly affected by events in Afghanistan.
Although thechallenges Afghanistan faces are domestic in nature, they have a direct impacton Pakistan as they, among others, stem from the porous nature of thePak-Afghan border. Therefore, to control such menace, fencing of porous borderwas essential though very expensive.15. Mitigate Health Hazards. The healthhazards over the years due to the spread of polio and other viruses throughfree movement posed a challenge especially for Pakistan in internationalcommunity. The cross border movement after fencing would restrict movementthrough designated places.
Necessary arrangement for checking/ vaccinationswould be arranged by both countries at border crossing points.16. MitigateCross Border Attacks. Afghanistan’s challenges are domestic in nature, such as thegrowing ethnic divide, a weak economy, rampant illicit drug trade, interflow ofrefugees and unmonitored cross-border movement of civilians and militants.However, these home-grown issues have an impact on Pakistan, as for the mostpart they stem directly from the porous nature of the Pak-Afghan border and thelack of its management and regulation, particularly in its tribal belt.Pakistan suffered due to unrestricted movement of militants, increase incross-border attacks and presence of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on theAfghan side of the border.