Pak concerned as Taliban soldiers tried to remove fencing along border

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Pakistan has conveyed its concerns at the highest level to the interim Taliban-led Afghan government over the repeated incidents where some local soldiers tried to remove fencing along the border, The Express Tribune reported.

The Afghan Taliban leadership was told that Pakistan was observing “maximum restraint” to avoid any escalation in tensions.

Nevertheless, Pakistan is expected to issue a formal statement on the issue within 24 hours, The Express TRibune reported citing informed sources as saying.

In recent weeks, there have been repeated incidents along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border where some local Taliban soldiers tried to remove the fence.

The first incident took place on December 18, 2021, a day before Pakistan was to host an extraordinary conference of the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Afghanistan’s humanitarian situation.

The acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir khan Muttaqi also attended the day-long meeting, which agreed to set up a trust fund to help Afghanistan prevent the humanitarian catastrophe.

A video circulated on social media showed Taliban soldiers seizing spools of barbed wire and one senior official warning Pakistani soldiers stationed at security posts not to try to fence the border again, The Express Tribune report said.

On Sunday, another video was shared on the social media showing Taliban fighters breaking polls one after the other using a truck.

As per Kabul News, in a video statement the Afghan Defence Ministry spokesperson said they would not allow fencing since it “divides” the families on both sides of the border. There was no formal reaction from Pakistan to the remarks.

According to Pakistan’s assessment, there seems some local Taliban commanders who were provoking Pakistani forces on their own.

Pakistan, the official pointed out, was observing maximum restraint. One official claimed that the Afghan Taliban leadership was also worried about the conduct of their low-level soldiers since they understood the importance of Pakistan cooperation in this difficult juncture.

The official also said there were other elements such as smugglers who might be trying to exploit the situation.

“That is why we are handling the situation with care,” the official said.

But Pakistan, in a formal statement, is likely to make it clear that there will be no compromise on the border since it is a settled issue.

The fencing would also continue, according to the report.

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