Pakistan to build more gates at Pak-Afghan border, NA told

ISLAMABAD - The government yesterday announced to carry out the construction of more gates and installation of wires at the Pak-Afghan border.

Replying to a question of MNA Sajida Begum regarding the present status of the installation of wires and construction of gate at the Pakistan-Afghan border, Minister of Foreign Affairs in a written reply said Pakistan shares 2600 km long porous border with Afghanistan, where cross-border movement is quite frequent mainly due to cultural proximity.

It further said around 40,000-50,000 people cross daily from one side to the other and most of these cross-border movements are unregulated.

To streamline the cross-border movement, Pakistan is implementing border management measures including setting up gates and installation of wires at the border crossing points.

The minister said the implementation of border management started from 1st June 2016 with the setting up of border controls at Torkham where despite opposition from Afghan side, Pakistan installed a gate 37 metres inside the border.

The rest of the installations would be carried out in a phased manner, he declared.

It is pertinent to mention here that construction of the gate at the busiest border crossing of Torkhum, resulted in a deadly skirmish between Pakistan and Afghanistan forces in June this year.

Answering another question, the minister told the National Assembly that there are 1448 Pakistani prisoners in the jails of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Out of 2.6 million Pakistani expatriates, 5500 Pakistanis are currently facing issues relating to the residence permit and Iqama renewal in Saudi Arabia, he said.

In a policy statement, the minister said Pakistan does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, Armenia and Taiwan.

Giving details of missions abroad, he said Pakistan has 119 diplomatic/consular representations. “We have 85 ambassadorial level missions and 32 diplomatic missions at Sub-Mission/ Consulate General/ Consulate level. There are 99 countries which are concurrently accredited to the diplomatic missions of Pakistan, he said.

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