Pakistan said on Friday that the situation on its border with Afghanistan was “normal and under control” and it is fully geared up to deal with any fallout of the evolving situation in the neighboring country.
“The political and military leadership in Pakistan had the foresight that something like this (Taliban takeover in Afghanistan) could happen. So, despite whatever has happened on that side (Afghanistan), the situation on the Pak-Afghan border is normal and under control,” army spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar told reporters.
“This does not mean nothing can happen but we are prepared and won’t be caught unaware,” he added.
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war. The insurgents stormed across the country, capturing all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the US and its allies melted away.
“Seventeen out of 78 border crossings were notified (for enhanced deployment) and all illegal crossings were closed. After August 15, the terminals and border crossings have been kept open. Convoys are also continuously moving on both sides,” Maj Gen Iftikhar said.
The spokesman said there was apprehension that the way the situation was unfolding in Afghanistan, there would be a spillover effect on Pakistan. “But we have taken measures and the situation is under control and we are prepared to deal with any situation,” he added.
He said Pakistan already moved regular troops to the Afghan border and they were ready to stop cross border movement of militants.
Maj Gen Iftikhar also alleged that the sole purpose of investments by India in Afghanistan was to destabilize Pakistan.
India’s development projects are in every one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan and India has also extended humanitarian assistance of 75,000 MT of wheat to Afghanistan to strengthen food security during the COVID-19 pandemic.
India has said its development partnership of USD 3 billion is aimed at making Afghanistan a self-sustaining nation.
“Whatever investment they (Indians) made in Afghanistan and whatever clout they got…it was done with only one intention: to harm Pakistan,” Maj Gen Iftikhar alleged.
He said Pakistan had offered training to the Afghan forces but only six Afghan cadets came to Pakistan while thousands of them were trained in India.
India has in the past strongly trashed as “baseless propaganda” Pakistan’s claim and asked Islamabad to take “credible and verifiable” action against terrorism emanating from its soil instead.
To a question about the possible impact of the declaration of emirates in Afghanistan on Pakistan, the spokesman said there was no reason to worry as Pakistan has its system.
He said that 90 percent of fencing of the Afghan border had been completed while 50 percent fencing of the Iran border had been done.
To a question about the spike in the attacks on the Chinese nationals in Pakistan, he said already massive security arrangements were in place and additional measures would be taken if needed to protect the Chinese working in Pakistan.