May 3, 2020, 12:59 PM
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Fencing border with Iran a strategic priority for Pakistan

Islamabad, May 3, IRNA -- Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence has sought US $ 188 million from the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) for the second phase of fencing of border with Iran saying the project has become a strategic priority to be initiated at the earliest, report said.

Daily ‘Business Recorder’ on Sunday reported that for the first phase, the ECC has approved allocation of US $18.6 million as technical supplementary grant (non-lapsable) during 2019-20.

The Ministry of Defence informed the ECC that efficient border management is an important cardinal of improving bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran. Porous nature of border and wider gaps in development are being exploited by terrorists, Baloch sub-nationals, smugglers, narco and human traffickers which create security problems besides causing serious economic losses to the country.

Moreover, trade also needs to be streamlined using formal crossing on Pak-Iran border which can only be optimally utilized if the border is properly fenced. Therefore, fencing the Pak-Iran border has become a strategic priority to be initiated at the earliest.

Meanwhile Pakistan army headquarters has stated that ongoing fencing including construction of border forts along Pakistan-Afghan border has proved to be a success and yielded positive results.

This arrangement, if put in place, will mitigate effects of illegal smuggling causing loss of revenue, recent surge in terrorist incidents and sub-nationals' activities in southern Balochistan. In this backup, the need for fencing Pakistan-Iran border becomes strategic priority, and the Prime Minister's office has desired that the Ministry of Defence initiate a summary through Foreign Affairs and Finance Division.

Iran-Pakistan share 959 km long border which separates Sistan and Baluchestan and Balochistan provinces of the two countries.

It begins at the Koh-i-Malik Salih mountains and ends at Gwadar Bay in the Gulf of Oman. It passes through a diverse landscape of mountain ridges, seasonal streams and rivers.

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