The Afghan government’s allegations levelled against Pakistan that its border fencing is illegal are merely unfortunate. This narrative has been drummed up by the western neighbour ever since we started securing the Durand Line, and still holds no water. Thus, the Foreign Office (FO) has rightly dismissed the protests of Afghanistan, which are nothing but baseless at best.

Pakistan has always shown its willingness to settle the border dispute with Kabul. FO has taken the right stance by asking the Afghan government to convey its reservations via a proper institutional channel to “address any misconceptions.” A porous border such as the one shared with Afghanistan would always be problematic, but with terrorism a consistent threat, we have no solution but to fence the border as strongly as possible. Our armed forces have been attacked while carrying out routine patrols, militants use the lack of oversight on the crossing to kill innocent Pakistani civilians and the Afghan government itself has often accused the lack of border checks as a reason for attacks inside their territory.

Ideally, Kabul should have welcomed Islamabad’s decision to fence the border. Protecting the border is vital for the security of both sides. If Afghanistan does not think so, it, however, cannot stop Pakistan from safeguarding its borders through any means. And the recent uptick in violence makes it more important than ever that we enhance efforts to seal up the Pak-Afghan border wherever possible.

At best, accusations of border violations and abusing territorial integrity of Afghanistan are an attempt to blackmail Pakistan. However, Pakistan has every right to take steps whatever needed to address serious security concerns.