'Pakistan & Af border fencing row resolved'

Islamabad: Pakistan and Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have resolved the recent row over border fencing by agreeing that further work on the project that led to a tense situation would be done through consensus, a media report said on Saturday. A senior official, who spoke to a group of journalists on Friday, said it had been decided at a senior level that fencing-related issues would in the future be dealt with through mutual agreement.

The official, however, did not exactly specify at which level the talks between Pakistan and the de facto Afghan government were held after Wednesday's incident in which Taliban fighters disrupted border fencing and took away spools of barbed wire, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The fighters had then also warned Pakistani soldiers against resuming fencing. The incident led to a tense situation in the area where it occurred, it said.

Defence ministries of the two sides later held talks on the issue. The Taliban ministry of the border and tribal affairs also reportedly took part in the parleys. The official said Taliban Defence Minister Mullah Yaqoob visited the area on Wednesday and defused the situation.

"The dispute has been quietly and calmly settled," he said.

Pakistan has been fencing the 2600-kilometer-long border with Afghanistan since 2017 to end terrorist infiltration and smuggling despite very intense opposition from the neighbouring country, the report said.

Besides the erection of a fence, the project also includes the construction of border posts and forts, and the raising of new wings of Frontier Corps, the paramilitary force that guards the border.

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