‘Fencing of border Kabul’s problem’

14 Sep 2005

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PESHAWAR, Sept 13: Corps Commander, Peshawar, Lt-Gen Safdar Hussain on Tuesday said that fencing of the border with Afghanistan was not Pakistan’s problem but he was sending 5,000 more troops to seal the frontier.

“Fencing the borders is not Pakistan’s problem. Let the Afghans fence the borders themselves,” he told a news conference.

He said infiltration was Afghanistan’s problem and the neighbouring country should deal with it itself.

However, he said, he favoured the idea and the border needed to be fenced.

The statement came a day after Pakistan told the United States it was ready to erect a fence along the Afghan border to block infiltration of militants.

Emphasizing that security in Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s interest, the commander announced that he was deploying another 5,000 troops to “completely seal the borders” and reinforce the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan.

The number of troops manning the border with Afghanistan has now risen to 80,000.

He said ensuring peaceful parliamentary elections in Afghanistan was in Pakistan’s interest as the situation in the neighbouring country had a direct bearing on the tribal region here.

Lt-General Hussain said he had been camping in Miramshah to supervise the military operations against militants causing trouble in Afghanistan.

The commander said that security forces had searched the madressah of Maulana Jalaluddin Haqqani, a senior minister in the Taliban regime, in Dandi Darpakhel area and seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition.

He said the security forces had detained the driver and bodyguards of Sirajuddin Haqqani, son of Jalaluddin Haqqani, and he hoped that their interrogation would yield important information.

“It was not only a madressah. It had five or six huge compounds,” he said.