Pakistan deploys regular troops at forward areas along Afghan border as tensions increase: Report

Pakistan has deployed regular troops at forward positions along the Afghan border because of the fluid safety scenario within the neighbouring war-torn nation within the wake of the withdrawal of American and NATO troops, a media report mentioned on Saturday.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed mentioned that Pakistan Army troopers have changed the Frontier Constabulary (FC), Levies Force and different militias from the frontline positions, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The US and NATO are on the verge of finishing their final troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Ahmed mentioned the FC Balochistan and different militias working underneath the inside ministry had been referred to as again from border patrolling.

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“Now regular army troops are manning the border after replacing the paramilitary forces,” the minister mentioned, including the choice had been made within the wake of the unstable scenario throughout the border.

Ahmed mentioned the scenario not solely demanded containment of the inflow of refugees from Afghanistan but in addition the entry of armed army personnel and militants into Pakistan.

“Paramilitary troops including the Frontier Constabulary, Levies, Rangers are deployed at the borders to deal with regular issues including illegal border crossing, smuggling etc,” the minister was quoted as saying within the report.

“However, the current volatile situation (in Afghanistan) demands that regular military troops be deployed along the border,” he mentioned.

Military spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar not too long ago informed a TV channel that troops have been manning the border and the transfer would assist forestall escalation of battle from the Afghan soil or airspace to the Pakistani facet.

Meanwhile, sources within the armed forces informed the newspaper that the most serious challenge in the current scenario was not simply the influx of refugees or any infiltrators within the garb of refugees, however the motion of Afghan military personnel or Taliban fighters.

“We have seen that more than 1,000 Afghan soldiers fled into Tajikistan early in July to escape clashes with the Taliban,” an officer mentioned.

“But Taliban’s presence in the northern areas of Afghanistan is not as strong as it is in the areas bordering Pakistan. Therefore, if Afghan army troops enter Pakistan while fleeing fighting, there are chances that Taliban would follow them and the conflict would spill over inside Pakistan, and it could spread to the mainland too,” the officer added.

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Pakistan and Afghanistan have already traded barbs final week after the Taliban took management of the Spin Boldak border crossing, and the Afghan Air Force needed to assault Taliban positions from the Pakistani facet, which was not allowed by Islamabad.

“Pakistan does not want to see any such situation when the Afghan air force might use our airspace without permission to attack Taliban and in retaliation the militants attack Pakistani positions creating a new issue,” the officer mentioned.

Meanwhile, responding to a query, the inside minister mentioned that the combat inside Afghanistan was their inside matter and Pakistan was not taking any facet and had no favourites.

“It is time that the Afghan politicians and their military leadership learn to deal with their issues,” Ahmed mentioned.

“We do not want to see that Pakistani soil is used in any way or by any side in the Afghan conflict, and we have assured the Afghan leadership of this policy.”

There are two key border crossings between Pakistan and Afghanistan— at Chaman in Balochistan and Torkham in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — other than a number of small buying and selling factors.

About 90 per cent of the two,640km border with Afghanistan has been fenced by Pakistan and safety posts have been established along with it for efficient border administration.

The authorities has additionally introduced its modified coverage on the inflow of refugees on account of combating in Afghanistan and, for the primary time, Pakistan is not going to welcome any extra refugees, reported the paper.

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