Regulating border management not a violation of bilateral agreement and international law: Sartaj Aziz

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ISLAMABAD, June 16 (APP): Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Thursday said regulating the border management and movement at Pakistan border was not a violation of bilateral agreement and international law.

Giving a policy statement on Pak-Afghan border situation in the National Assembly, he said Pakistan was constructing a gate under zero line at its side some 31 meter away from border aimed at regulating and documenting the movement of vehicles and people.

He said Pakistan had already informed the Afghan government two months ago about the construction of the gate and border management.

On June 12, the Afghan security forces started unprovoked firing on Pakistani forces at Torkham border crossing with a view to disrupt the construction of facilities including a gate being established by Pakistan well inside its territory, he said.

Eleven Pakistanis including two soldiers and nine civilians got injured in that firing, he added.

He said on June 14, one of the officers of Pakistan Army Major Ali Jawad Khan who had been injured in the firing, embraced shahadat.

The Adviser said the Pakistani forces had forcefully retaliated that act and on June 13, the country had strongly protested with Afghanistan on that issue, as a result, the border crossing was closed for movement of people as well as vehicular traffic.

Sartaj Aziz said the Afghan government lodged a protest with our Ambassador in Kabul contending that the construction work being
carried out by Pakistani side was a violation of agreements and understandings.

He said that Pakistan believe effective border management was key for enhancing security of both the countries by checking the infiltration of terrorists and militants across the around 2,500 km long Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

He said that measure was also vital for Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism and it required regulating the movement of people across the border by having proper documentation for crossing the border.

The government was working on a plan to achieve that objective
all along Afghanistan-Pakistan border, he said.

However, he said at the end of November 2014 when Afghan side raised objections regarding those works, Pakistan engaged with
Afghan authorities at the level of border and security agencies to take them into confidence about those works.

He said about 180 families had been dislocated and had to be moved to safer places due to the firing.

“We would like to reiterate that effective border management is vital for enhancing the security of both Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he added.

The Adviser said that he invited National Security Adviser of Afghanistan and the Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani to visit
Pakistan to discuss these matters and to remove any gaps in communication, or understanding.

He has appreciated the invitation and said he would get  back to me on the subject as early as possible.

He said the Pakistan wanted to further strengthen its brotherly relations with Afghanistan.