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Pakistan deploys military troops on Afghan border amid security situation

Stranded people await the opening of a border crossing in the Pakistani border town of Chaman on July 16, 2021, following clashes between Afghan forces and Taliban fighters in Spin Boldak to retake a key border crossing with Pakistan.
Image Credit: AFP

Islamabad: Pakistan has deployed army troops on the front lines on its border with Afghanistan as the threat of violence and a new influx of refugees looms in the neighboring country.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told local media that army forces have replaced paramilitaries, including the Border Police, (FGP), Rally Force, Rangers and other forces in frontline positions and to patrol along the Pakistani-Afghan border.

“Now the regular army is recruiting the border after replacing the paramilitaries,” the minister said. According to him, the decision was made to cope with the current unstable situation at the border. However, paramilitaries continued to tackle problems, including illegal border crossings and smuggling.

This happened after the top US general admitted that the Taliban now control more than half of the regional centers of Afghanistan and gained “strategic momentum.” A Taliban spokesman said they now control over 90 percent of Afghanistan’s borders, which the Afghan government denies.

Pakistan, the country with the longest border with war-torn Afghanistan, faces two immediate threats – terrorism and an influx of refugees.

Pakistani National Security Adviser Dr. Moid Yusuf expressed concern that “members of banned terrorist organizations such as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) could infiltrate Pakistan from Afghanistan disguised as refugees,” in which case the country could there has been a surge in terrorist attacks. …

The Chaman border in Baluchistan and Torkham in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are two key border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan, in addition to a few small trading outlets.

According to the military press secretary, Major General Babar Iftikhar, about 90 percent of the 2,640 km border with Afghanistan has been fenced off by the Pakistani army, and security posts have been established to effectively manage the borders. He recently said that troops are guarding the border to prevent an escalation of the conflict from the Afghan side to Pakistan.

Pakistan, which has hosted nearly 3 million Afghan refugees since 1979, says it cannot accept more Afghan refugees this time. “Pakistan is the only country that, despite its limited resources, has hosted three million Afghan refugees for decades. However, he cannot afford to accept more refugees if the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates again, ”and also because of the threat of terrorism, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi said. In the worst case, Pakistan plans to house refugees in camps along the border with Afghanistan and away from cities.

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