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Pakistan To Mine Border With Afghanistan

(RFE/RL) December 26, 2006 -- Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Riaz Mohammad Khan today said that Pakistani authorities have decided to mine and fence parts of Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

Speaking at a press conference in Islamabad, Khan said it "will be done selectively" to supplement measures already in force to prevent militants from crossing the border into Afghanistan.

U.S. and Afghan officials have long said that militants use Pakistani territory as a base of operations for launching attacks into Afghanistan. Khaliq Ahmad, a spokesman for Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said fencing or mining the border fails to "confront terrorists in a real manner."

(AFP, Reuters)

Afghanistan And Pakistan

Afghanistan And Pakistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad in October 2005 (epa)

ACROSS A DIFFICULT BORDER. The contested border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is some 2,500 kilometers long and runs through some of the most rugged, inhospitable territory on Earth. Controlling that border and preventing Taliban militants from using Pakistan as a staging ground for attacks in Afghanistan is an essential part of the U.S.-led international coalition's strategy for stabilizing Afghanistan. Officials in Kabul have been pointing their fingers at Pakistan for some time, accusing Islamabad or intelligence services of turning a blind eye to cross-border terrorism targeting the Afghan central government. Many observers remain convinced that much of the former Taliban regime's leadership -- along with leaders of Al-Qaeda -- are operating in the lawless Afghan-Pakistani border region.... (more)


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