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Pakistan NSA to visit Kabul this month to ease tensions over border fencing


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Pakistan’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Moeed Yusuf will be visiting Kabul later this month to ease the escalating tensions between the neighbouring countries on the contentious issue of border fencing, a media report said on Friday.

The decision to send Yusuf to Kabul was taken during Thursday’s high-level meeting of Afghanistan Inter-Ministerial Coordination Cell, the Dawn newspaper reported.

“A senior delegation of Pakistani officials, headed by the NSA, is scheduled to visit Afghanistan soon for further engagement with the Afghan government on all assistance-related prospects,” the report said, quoting the statement from the meeting.

The date for the NSA’s visit is yet to be finalised. However, sources indicated that the visit could probably take place on January 17-18, the report said.


The development comes after Mawllawi Sanaullah Sangin, Commander of Taliban had warned that it would not allow fencing by Pakistan in any form along the Durand Line.

“We (Taliban) will not allow the fencing anytime, in any form. Whatever they (Pakistan) did before, they did, but we will not allow it anymore. There will be no fencing anymore,” Sangin had told Tolo News on Wednesday.


Sangin’s reaction came following Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s comments earlier this week, when he said this issue would be resolved peacefully, through diplomatic channels.

“Certain miscreants are raising the issue unnecessarily, but we are looking into it. We are in contact with the Afghan government. Hopefully, we would be able to resolve the issue diplomatically,” Qureshi had said during a press conference in Islamabad on Monday.


The Durand Line, the 2,670-km international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan has witnessed periodic skirmishes between forces of these two countries.

Last month, a clash was reported along the south-eastern Nimroz province after Pakistani forces tried to extend barbed fences into the Afghan territory, with the Taliban promptly retaliating by tearing down the barbed wires.

Similarly, on December 22, both sides were at loggerheads again, this time along the eastern Nangarhar province, according to Afghanistan-based Khama Press news agency.

Pakistan has completed almost 90 per cent fencing work along the 2,670-km border despite protests from Kabul, who contested the century-old British-era boundary demarcation that splits families on either side.

Successive regimes in Afghanistan, including the US-backed governments in the past have disputed this demarcation, which has historically remained a contentious issue between the two neighbours.

The border, known internationally as the Durand Line, named after the British civil servant, Mortimer Durrand, who had fixed the limits of British India after consultation with the then Afghan government in 1893.

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