Saleem Shahid Updated May 09, 2018
AN army soldier stands guard along the newly fenced part of the Pak-Afghan border after Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa inaugurated the fencing work near the Panjpai area of Balochistan on Tuesday.—AFP
PANJPAI: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday inaugurated the work for erecting fences along the Pak-Afghan border near Panjpai area of Balochistan.
He was accompanied by Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Commander Southern Command Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, Home Minister Mir Sarfaraz Ahmed Bugti, Sardar Muhammad Saleh Bhootani, Prince Ali Ahmed Ahmedzai and other officials.
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The Pakistan Army has already completed work on a 5km-long fence on the border near Panjpai. In total 1,268km-long fences would be erected along the Pak-Afghan border.
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According to official sources, 250 Frontier Corp forts — one at a distance of every 3km — would be built and 16-foot-high watchtowers will be built at every kilometre to ensure proper monitoring of the border.
Talking to tribal elders and local people, Gen Bajwa appreciated their cooperation with security forces in improving security situation in Balochistan. He also thanked them for their support for the fencing of the border, saying that it would help in checking the movement of terrorists on the border.
Says army will help govt in boosting development activities
The army chief said special arrangements had been made to facilitate bilateral trade and legal movement of people between Pakistan and Afghanistan through designated crossing points.
Speaking on the occasion, CM Bizenjo appreciated the role of the Pakistan Army in improving the security situation and boosting development activities in Balochistan.
He said the fencing of border would stop influx of terrorists from Afghanistan and help the government in controlling terror activities in the province.
“The people of Balochistan would never hesitate in rendering sacrifices for the motherland’s protection,” Mr Bizenjo said.
Later in the day, Gen Bajwa attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the National University of Science and Technology’s (NUST) Quetta campus.
Constructed with an estimated cost of Rs2.63 billion, the campus spans over 30 acres and will house 550 students. Besides usual disciplines, it will also have study programmes for specific requirements of Balochistan, such as mining, water resource, engineering, etc.
Quetta Safe City Project
The army chief also inaugurated the Quetta Safe City Project. The project, which was held up for the past five years, will cost Rs2.28 billion. Under the project 14,000 cameras would be installed in the city. Upon completion, the project will help in improving security situation in the provincial capital.
During his stay in Quetta, Gen Bajwa also interacted with students of some universities in the city. He said the army would support the government in bringing improvement in the fields of education, health, electricity, water infrastructure in Balochistan.
He said the people of Pakistan had rejected terrorism, adding that the armed forces and the people had rendered great sacrifices for establishment of peace in the country.
He said some elements for their vested interests were trying to influence young minds to create anarchy in the country. But the people of the country would foil all such conspiracies, he added.
He urged the students to focus on their studies and work hard for the development of Pakistan.
Some tribal elders who were present on the occasion welcomed the fencing of border, saying that it would help in maintaining law and order in the province.
Speaking on the occasion, tribal elder Malik Abdul Majeed Mashwani termed the fencing of border “a project of safe Pakistan” and said: “It should have started much earlier.”
Tribal elder Sardar Gul Mohammad Sasoli also supported the fencing of border and said local people would never allow entry of terrorists from other side of the border.
Published in Dawn, May 9th, 2018