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During the spring 2020 coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan announced it had erected security fencing along more than 70% of the country’s 2,600-kilometer border with Afghanistan and expected to complete the project in 2021.
Pakistan’s Army oversees the $500 million project to secure the historically porous frontier between the two countries. In addition to building 3-meter-high metal fencing topped with razor wire, Pakistan is equipping guard posts with modern surveillance gear.
“The fencing activity has not stopped. The stretch of Pak-Afghan border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is near completion and the work is speedily underway on the stretch in Baluchistan,” chief military spokesman Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar said in May 2020.
The fence is designed to monitor illegal crossings, smuggling and terrorist infiltration. Pakistani troops have also conducted years of counterterrorism operations on the lightly governed border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry has described attempts by the United States and the Taliban to conclude a peace deal as a “significant step forward” and a “historic opportunity.”
Pakistani officials take credit for facilitating the U.S.-led Afghan peace process. Taliban leaders and their families have lived among several million Afghan refugees on the Pakistani side of the border.
“For its part, Pakistan will continue to support a peaceful, stable, united, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan, at peace with itself and its neighbors,” a Foreign Ministry statement declared.
Pakistan also announced the fortification of parts of its border with Iran after terrorists killed Pakistani Soldiers in the Baluchistan region.