ISLAMABAD - After introducing the first-ever National Internal Security Policy (NISP) a couple of months ago, the Interior Ministry has been working on the first-ever border management policy of the country, said senior officials in the ministry on Friday.

A senior official said PM Nawaz Sharif had been taking great interest in the border management. “He has directed the authorities concerned to incorporate a robust border control regime in NISP,” they said, adding the Ministry of Interior had already been working to establish a dedicated civilian armed forces (CAF) headquarters for integrated border management, modernisation and coordination of the CAF.

The sources in the Interior Ministry said 20 government agencies were involved in the border management, but there was no command and control system in place. “In peace times the Ministry of Defence is not even a stakeholder of border control regime,” they said and added command and control of border management all around the world was with civilian armed forces. “The Border Management Policy would discuss all these issues and evolve a proper command and control system for the border management.

Sources in the Interior Ministry said that the CAF headquarters would be a gigantic leap to establish civilian control over the borders.

They said explanation of command and responsibility of CAFs deployed on regular border management duties was necessary. According to them, establishment of a CAF headquarters, headed by a senior officer under the Ministry of Interior, would improve policies, processes and coordination mechanism between CAFs and other stakeholders.

Experts say that border management was extremely important in the backdrop of exit of ISAF from Afghanistan.  They termed establishment of a CAF headquarters in Islamabad a great initiative in this regard.