72 Wings of FC being raised for Pak-Afghan border’s effective management: Senate bodies informed

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Chaman Border Closure: Traders move to Torkham

ISLAMABAD, Aug 25 (APP): Defence authorities Thursday informed a joint sitting of the Senate Standing Committees on Defence and Foreign Affairs that 72 Wings of the FC were being raised for effective management of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Briefing the meeting, co-chaired by Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Defence Mushahid Hussain Sayed and Chairperson Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Nuzhat Sadiq, Acting Secretary Defence Rear Admiral Mukhtar Khan said that Pakistan was making ‘maximum efforts’ to secure its areas all along the border.
In addition to other measures, he said, “72 FC Wings are being raised to stop illegal entries from all the crossing points.”
He said currently reinforcement was being carried out at five border crossing points – four at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border areas including Chaman, Torkham, Angura Ada and Ghulam Khan, and one Pakistan-India border at Wahga.
For this purpose, the Defence official apprised the joint meeting that a contract was being reached with the World Bank, whose details might be shared in the next sitting.
Answering a question, he said, Pakistan was fully aware of its defence needs and looking into all options to acquire sophisticated fighter jets for its forces.
Senator Farhatullah Babar expressed concern that there were around 240 crossing points at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, ranging over thousands of kilometers but “We are improving the management at only four points, and that too unilaterally.”
Referring to the killing of Taliban leader Mulla Mansur, Babar said there should be no room for such militants in Pakistan, who were involved in carrying out subversive activities to destabilize the country.
Chairman Mushahid Hussain Sayed observed that Pakistan would not allow any one to use its territory for carrying out subversive activities anywhere.
Secretary Foreign Affairs Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said Pakistan’s policy was reflective of its elected government and peoples’ aspirations.
During the last 10 months, he said eight to ten harsh statements came from Afghan authorities but Pakistan did not respond them because Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif wanted peace and good bilateral ties with the neighbouring country.
He said Pakistan was making all-out efforts for peace in Afghanistan and asking all stakeholders, including Afghanistan, America, China and Taliban that intra-dialogue was the only way for achieving permanent peace.
He said the Afghan government should convey a ‘united message’ to Taliban to mend their ways and sit on the negotiating table, besides announcing a practicable package for them.
The secretary said if the Afghan and NATO forces could not succeed in maintaining peace in Afghanistan, it would affect the reconciliatory process and the border management.
Answering query of a committee member, Chaudhry said around 50,000 to 60,000 people daily cross the Pak-Afghan border from different points.
Presently, he said, border management was being improved at the four crossing points including Chaman, Torkham, Angura Ada and Ghulam Khan, which would help streamline 70 to 80 per cent movements taking place all along the border.
Among others, the meeting was attended by Lt Gen (Retd.) Abdul Qayyum, Lt Gen (Retd.) Salahuddin Tirmizi, Brig (Retd. )John Kenneth Williams, Col (Retd.) Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Haji Momin Khan Afridi, Sehar kamran, karim Ahmed Khawaja, Sassui Palijo and Farhatulah Babar, Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and senior officials of the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs.