April 8, 2021
Pakistan is ‘speedily’ fencing its border with Iran and Afghanistan to curb militant attacks, Balochistan’s home minister told Arab News in an exclusive interview this week, admitting that the measure would impact the livelihood of people who depended on cross-border trade but adding that maintaining peace was the government’s top priority.
In recent years, relations between Iran and Pakistan have been strained with both sides accusing each other of not doing enough to stamp out militants allegedly sheltering across their 900-km border.
In 2019, the two nations said they would form a joint quick reaction force to combat militant activity on their shared border, frequently used for trade and by minority Shia Muslims who travel from Pakistan to Iran for religious pilgrimages. The border is also the entry point of a lucrative, illegal fuel trade that authorities have struggled to crackdown on for decades.
“Our long [western] border is not safe, due to which terrorism happens on a daily basis and people’s lives are under threat,” Mir Ziaullah Langau said in an interview on Monday.
“So, the first thing you do is to [protect] the lives of people,” he said, adding that work on fencing was “underway speedily.”