Several statements have been printed in media about Pakistani officials worrying about the porous nature of the Pak-Afghan border. This is definitely a concern as this is a major advantage to the terrorist groups operating on either side of the Durand Line: They can slide in and out of the two countries almost at will, thus, causing a big problem for the forces fighting the terrorists. It has been stressed for decades that the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan needs to be better guarded and monitored. However, due to the Afghan state's archaic and baseless claims over Pakistani territory, it refuses to acknowledge the Durand Line as a permanent border, even though the international law backs Pakistan's right over this territory. Because of Afghan stubbornness on this, no real progress has been made on having a well-knit system of border security. As a result, Afghanistan is suffering, just as Pakistan does, from consequences of the porous effect of an uncontrolled border. Smuggling, drug and weapons trafficking as well as the movement of terrorists have all contributed to the declining social order and security situation. It is strange that the Afghan government, although, fully aware of the fact that it is facing a serious internal threat due to this one problem is still dithering, constantly dragging its feet on Pakistani initiatives. It has even objected to installation of bio-metric scanners that could regulate the movement of citizens. It is about time that such petty nationalist politics is abandoned in favour of what is best for the region. Let us mine and fence the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and install the latest equipment to monitor this border. -ZOHAIR SALEEM, Karachi, November 1.