It is a point of concern that the longest and most porous borders, which are eastern and western, of Pakistan, have turned into hostile borders. It’s not only our eastern border where Pakistan has been engaged in a low-intensity conflict with India –Kashmir is the main bone of contention between the two neighbouring nations. In the recent times, Islamabad has seen an increasing hostility with Afghanistan and Iran as well. The situation on our frontiers is not normal. In less than twenty-four hours, Iran and India have violated the borders of Pakistan with shelling. Whereas the firing of mortar shells in Panjgur area of Baluchistan has not resulted in any human losses, the aggression shown by the latter has resulted in the killing of nine people in Nakyal sector of Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

Since last year the tensions with India have escalated to such a level that violations of Line of Control (LoC) and Working Border have become a norm. Rarely a violation carries any human cost. Along with diplomatic standoff between the two sides, the latest aggression will only worsen the situation despite the fact that both countries agreed to implement ceasefire agreement at LoC in Flag Meeting held between Pakistan Rangers Border Security Forces of India earlier this month.

In recent times, Islamabad has seen violations on its western frontier that it shares with Afghanistan and Iran. In less than a week’s time after the last visit of Iranian Foreign Minister to Islamabad, Iranian forces have fired shells in Pakistan. Such aggression will make all visits, agreements and bilateral talks meaningless.

There is a need to take some time out for retrospection purposes. Our policymakers need to answer some hard questions. Why these skirmishes have become a common feature on both frontiers with neighbouring countries. The greater frequency with which Pakistan’s territory is violated in recent months demands to call such violations low-key warfare. Why has this low-key conflict not been sorted out so far? The hostility of our neighbours especially those on our western borders is a point of concern. Iran –supposedly our ally– should have been confronted with the violations of territorial sovereignty while the Iranian delegation was in Islamabad a few days ago. The skirmishes mean that our foreign policy is not set in the right direction.

In the midst of such aggressions there remains little space for cooperation. Pakistan needs to take every possible measure for protecting its territory and interests in the region, but also requires engaging in talks with its neighbours to bring down the escalating tensions on its borders.