Pil­dat ad­vo­cates ef­fec­tive Pak-Afghan bor­der con­trol

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL - ZUBAIR QURESHI

IS­LAM­ABAD—Pak­istan In­sti­tute of Leg­isla­tive De­vel­op­ment & Trans­parency (PIL­DAT) has wel­comed the govern­ment’s move to ‘bet­ter man­age the Pak­istan Afghanistan bor­der.’

In a state­ment here, PIL­DAT has termed the re­cent bor­der man­age­ment ef­forts and the de­vel­op­ments in­clud­ing Pak­istan’s en­forc­ing strin­gent bor­der man­age­ment sys­tem a right step in the right direc­tion.

“The strong and ef­fec­tive bor­der man­age­ment sys­tem is good for last­ing peace and PIL­DAT wel­comes this,” says the state­ment.

The state­ment goes on to say that “while the Du­rand Line con­sti­tutes the le­gal bor­der be­tween Pak­istan and Afghanistan un­der In­ter­na­tional Law, the le­gal rubric of ‘ease­ment rights’ to the var­i­ous Pakhtun and other tribes along its sides has come to be mis­un­der­stood as fa­cil­i­ta­tive of cross bor­der move­ment at will.

It is also 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 Pak­istan is well within its rights to do so with­out vi­ti­at­ing the non-treaty ease­ment rights of the divided tribes.

The PIL­DAT pa­per ar­gues that Pak­istan can law­fully fence its side of the bor­der with­out Afghanistan’s con­sent by fol­low­ing the prece­dence of the USA-Mex­ico bor­der which has been uni­lat­er­ally fenced by the USA un­der the Se­cure Fence Act 2006.

This has been deemed law­ful un­der in­ter­na­tional law since the USA as a sovereign State is en­ti­tled to pro­tect its ter­ri­tory, in­tegrity and na­tional se­cu­rity through the im­ple­men­ta­tion of im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy.

Sim­i­lar case high­lighted is that of In­dia fenc­ing its side of the bor­der. PIL­DAT main­tains that the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Afghanistan should also wel­come this as an ef­fec­tively man­aged bor­der equally takes care of the se­cu­rity is­sues faced by Afghanistan.

PIL­DAT has ar­gued that the in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal threats faced by the State of Pak­istan from unau­tho­rized cross­ings of the Du­rand Line un­equiv­o­cally call for ef­fec­tive bor­der man­age­ment.

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