Nine Afghan Governors oppose border fencing

Nine Afghan Governors oppose border fencingGovernors of the nine provinces, sharing border with Pakistan, have rejected the fencing and mining proposal and said the step would divide the people and tribes straddling the border instead of proving helpful in discouraging cross-border infiltration.
They claimed that any such effort might harm the Peace Jirga agreed upon between President Karzai and his counterpart Pervez Musharraf in Washington in September last.
Instead of erecting the fence and dividing the people living alongside the Durand Line, Pakistan should destroy sanctuaries and training camps of terrorists on the other side of the divide, suggested the governors.
Shalizai Didar, Governor of the eastern Kunar province, believed to be the hideout of fugitive Taliban and al Qaeda elements, said people on both sides of the border were against the fencing and mining.
He said the road leading to Chitral had been blocked due to the recent snowfall and hundreds of Chitralis were using the Kunar route to reach the Mohmand Agency and other parts of Pakistan’s NWFP.
Governor of the neighbouring Nuristan province Tamim Nuristani said people in Pakistan’s Chitral and the Nuristan province had blood relations with each other. How could they accept the fencing and mining of the border when they did not recognise the Durand Line, he questioned.
Nuristani also referred to the problems existing between the United States and Mexico and said they did not ponder such a proposal like mining and fencing.
Nangarhar Governor Gul Agha Sherzai said the issue would come under discussion in the upcoming Peace Jirga. Sherzai said the provincial government had the same stance as adopted by the central government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Speaking to Pajhwok Afghan News, Governor of the restive Helmand province Asadullah Wafa said the decision to fence the border would create negative effects on convening of the Peace Jirga.
Governor of the neighbouring Zabul province Dilbar Jan Arman said the decision was reflective of the double standard used by the Pakistani government vis–vis Afghanistan. The fencing would divide families and tribes like Achakzai, Baloch, Kakar, Gurbaz, Noorzai and Shamalzai.
Speaking on the issue, Asadullah Khalid, Governor of Kandahar province, bordering the Balochistan province of Pakistan, said the neighbouring country wanted to sabotage the Peace Jirga.
He said the Afghan government had conducted a lot of homework, but the Pakistani government was trying to postpone the Jirga by using one pretext or another.
Dr Akram Khpalwak, Governor of the south-eastern Paktika province, said terrorism could only be rooted by striking at its roots. He said Pakistan should stop fencing the border.
Governor of the neighbouring Khost province Arsala Jamal said mining or fencing the border was no solution to the problem. At the same time, it was violation of the Geneva Convention and would also endanger the lives of innocent people.
Rahmatullah Rahmat, Governor of Paktia, also termed the mining proposal a pretext used by the Pakistani government to postpone the Peace Jirga. He said people and tribes straddling the border were opposed to the Pakistan decision and thousands of people staged protest demonstration in the Aryub Zazai district of the province the other day.
The mining proposal was first floated by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf last year. However, Afghanistan did not agree.

Copyright NNI (News Network International), 2006