ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency (Pildat) has supported stringent measures to manage Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

In an official statement, the think tank said the latest move by Pakistan to enforce a stringent border management system on the western border is appreciated.

It stated: “It is important to understand that the easement rights are only exercisable by members of the tribes divided by the Durand Line and are not available to other ordinary nationals of Afghanistan or Pakistan.”

In an earlier paper on the subject titled, ‘Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Management: A Legal Perspective’, Pildat has supported Pakistan fencing the Durand Line, arguing that Islamabad is well within its rights to do so without vitiating the non-treaty easement rights of the divided tribes.

Pildat argues that Pakistan can lawfully fence its side of the border without Afghanistan’s consent by following the precedence of the US-Mexico border which has been unilaterally fenced by the US under the Secure Fence Act 2006. This has been deemed lawful under international law since the US as a sovereign state is entitled to protect its territory, integrity and national security through the implementation of immigration policy. Similar case is of India fencing its side of the border.

Pildat maintains that Afghanistan should also welcome this as an effectively-managed border equally takes care of the security issues faced by Afghanistan.

The think tank has argued that the internal and external threats faced by Pakistan from unauthorised crossings of the Durand Line unequivocally call for effective border management.

Published in Dawn, June 14th, 2016