Pakistan repeats call for fencing Afghan border
SLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday has again called for fencing its border with Afghanistan to effectively stop illegal crossings especially of militants to its territory.
The government of Afghanistan has consistently opposed the erection a fence on the border between two countries.
The issue was discussed during a meeting between Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and the US Secretary for Homeland Security Ms Janet Napolitano who called on him at the Prime Minister’s House this afternoon, said a press release issued by the prime minister secretariat.
Referring to Ms Napolitano’s initiative when she was governor of Arizona about building a wall between the US and Mexico border, he said that a fencing of similar nature between Pakistan and Afghanistan could be put in place to stop infiltration of militants and drug traffickers.
The prime minister called for US government’s help in working out a permanent solution with the government of Afghanistan to check uncontrolled, illegal crossings particularly of militants, terrorists and drug trafficking across the border with Pakistan.
The Prime Minister informed the visiting guest that international support to Pakistan for displaced population of Malakand division so far has been inadequate. He said that Pakistan has made innumerable sacrifices in terms of life and material losses in the ongoing military operation. He urged the US and the international donors to deliver on their pledges made on the eve of Friends of Democratic Pakistan’s meeting in Tokyo.
He also called for the immediate provision of military hardware including Cobra helicopters, technology transfer as well as financial assistance to build the capacity of Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies and their personnel to prepare them for the control of affected areas after military operation comes to a successful conclusion in Malakand division and tribal areas.
The Prime Minister also asked the US Secretary for Homeland Security to facilitate direct flights of PIA to the various US destinations.
Ms Janet Napolitano said that the issue of PIA’s direct flights to the US would be resolved after due consideration in the near future.
She also promised that the US would expedite disbursement of the pledged amount for IDPs and the financial assistance committed in Tokyo to help Pakistan’s immediate needs.
Federal Minister for Defense Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik, Senator Sughra Imam and US Ambassador to Pakistan Ms Anne W Patterson were present during the meeting.