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Pakistan to go ahead with Pak-Afghan border fencing: Musharraf

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Feb 3, IRNA
Pakistan-Border fencing
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, announcing selective fencing of 35 kilometers of the Pakistan-Afghan border, called for joint control of the border, immediate repatriation of Afghan refugees and checking of finances to curb the resurgence of the Taliban.

Addressing a crowded news conference in Rawalpindi on Friday, General Pervez Musharraf emphatically stated that it was a misperception that the resurgence of the Taliban was in Pakistan.

The fact is that their resurgence is in Afghanistan.

Their entire leadership, including Mullah Omar, Haqqani, Dadullah as well as Hizb-e-Islami chief Hekmatyar are all Afghans and Mullah Omar has never been in Pakistan, Musharraf said.

He (Omar) is over-all in charge of Taliban activities and very much inside Afghanistan.

He said it was not the sole responsibility of Pakistan to control cross-border militant movement.

It is the joint responsibility of all, including Afghanistan, NATO, ISAF and Pakistan, to check this movement.

He pointed out that Pakistan has established 1,000 posts along the 2,500-kilometer-long border whereas Afghanistan has so far established only 16, six of them being manned on their side of the border.

The president said Pakistan in fact is not a source of instability in Afghanistan but is rather a victim of instability in that country.

He quoted a UN report in September 2006 saying insurgency is being conducted by Afghans operating inside that country's borders and listed five distinct Taliban leadership centers there.

General Pervez Musharraf said the way forward is to recognize that the real battle is in Afghanistan.

The other side should have trust in Pakistan and stop the blame- game and we should all fight terrorism whether by Al-Qaeda or the Taliban.

He said Pakistan has established a biometric system at the Chaman border which the other side should respect and not destroy.

Refugee camps in Pakistan which serve as safe heavens for the Taliban should be relocated inside Afghanistan through repatriation of refugees, he said.

"There should also be strong military action against Al-Qaeda and the Taliban everywhere," the president said, and assured that Pakistan will not be found wanting.

2020/235/2321/1414



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