Issue Brief on “Issues in Pak-Afghan Border Management”

The controversy surrounding the Pak-Afghan border and its mismanagement continues to be one of the most contentious bilateral issues between Pakistan and Afghanistan. In the recent past, relations between the two neighbours have reached their lowest following a number of clashes along the Pak- Afghan border which have led to fatalities on both sides.

On June 1, 2016, Pakistan informed  Afghan authorities about  the installation of new border initiatives for ‘facilitating cross-border movement,’ and ‘curbing unregulated and illegal cross-border movement’. These measures included the construction of a gate at the Torkham crossing, as well as valid and legal travel documents (passport and visa) for all Afghans entering Pakistan, including those Afghan students  (numbering 300) who enter Pakistan daily for studies. The move is a part of the National Action Plan, initiated in 2015 to curb terrorism as well as a widespread effort to  secure the Pak- Afghan border  that continues to be  a key irritant in Pak-Afghan ties. Prior to this, due to the unregulated border system all those entering Pakistan from Afghanistan would do so without  legal travel documents. As a result the  Pak-Afghan  border  has been  willingly  and unwillingly   outsourced  to  elements including  militants  whose  activities  have  been  detrimental  to  the    interests  of  both Pakistan  and  Afghanistan.

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