Kabul, Islamabad trade barbs over Durand Line fencing

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Kabul and Islamabad have again traded barbs over the fencing of the Durand Line that forms the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, with both sides sticking to their guns, Pajhwok News reported.

Taliban border force commander Maulvi Sanaullah Sangin vowed on Wednesday that the Islamic Emirate would not allow fencing on the disputed British-era frontier.

Speaking to a private TV channel, Sangin said: “We will never allow border fencing to continue… We will not allow it anymore.”

Sangin’s remarks came in reaction to Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s statement that the Durand Line spat would be resolved through diplomatic channels.

Also on Wednesday, Major General Babar Iftikhar, the Director-General of Pakistan Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), insisted that the fencing project would continue as planned.

The blood of martyred soldiers had gone into erecting the fence, Iftikhar told a news conference in Rawalpindi.

The fence was being built in an effort to protect the people on both sides and to regulate trade between the neighbours, he argued.

Iftikhar added: “The fence is needed to regulate security and trade. The purpose is not to divide the people, but to protect them.”

The Durand Line fencing was 94 per cent complete, he said, adding: “We are focused and the work that is underway will be completed in some time.”