Pakistan demands US pay for Afghan border fencing | Pakistan Today

Pakistan demands US pay for Afghan border fencing

Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif has said that Washington must pay for the fencing of the Pak-Afghan border.

In an interview with Bloomberg published, Asif said the fencing of Pak-Afghan border “won’t cost [the US] much”.

The minister’s demand comes a month after the US suspended military aid to Pakistan.

“The war [in Afganistan] is costing the US much more,” he was quoted as saying in the interview.

Explaining the importance of securing the porous border shared by Pakistan and Afghanistan, Asif said that the fencing will put a stop on the entry of militants that come under the guise of refugees. He added that a fenced border was in the “mutual interest” of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“Any free movement from their side to our side, or our side to their side, can breed mistrust and obviously some terrorist activity on our side or on their soil,” he said.

He claimed that as many as 700,000 people were crossing the border unchecked each day which posed a risk to both countries. “These issues are facilitating terrorism,” he said.

He said the repatriation of two million Afghan refugees was crucial for establishing peace in the region because refugee camps were breeding grounds for militants.

Asif disclosed that almost 600,000 refuges, that had been sent back to Afghanistan, had returned to Pakistan. He called on the US and the rest of the world community to help Pakistan in hosting such a large number of refugees and in making Afghanistan safe for those returning.

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