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Pakistani Army holds front-line positions on the Afghan border

As of now, the Pakistani army is manning front lines along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, according to Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed. The decision was made due to the volatile situation across the border. Pakistan has withdrawn the Frontier Constabulary, Levies Force, and other militias from the positions. It was announced that FC Balochistan and other militias who worked under the interior ministry had been called back. Border patrols were conducted by them.

Having replaced the paramilitary forces, regular army troops are now manning the border, the minister said, according to a report from Dawn. Ahmed said the situation does not just require the containment of Afghan refugees crossing the border, but also the entry of armed security personnel and militants into Pakistan. Pakistan allowed ‘up to 4,000 Afghans’ to cross into Afghanistan earlier this year. Taliban control a strategic town across the border in Afghanistan. According to AFP, border officials took the action for ‘humanitarian reasons’.

On Saturday, Pakistan partially opened its southern crossing. Militants captured Spin Boldak from Kabul’s forces on Wednesday, leaving thousands of Afghans stranded in the Pakistani town of Chaman. ‘We have opened the Chaman border to allow up to 4,000 Afghans including women and children to enter Afghanistan to celebrate Eid al-Adha with their families, purely on humanitarian grounds’, a border official told AFP.

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An official said that people would be able to cross until the evening, with the possibility of reopening the border tomorrow. Local paramilitary official Muhammad Tayyab said the decision was taken due to ‘relative calm on the other side’, but that the crossing would remain closed to trade.  As soon as the gates opened, families rushed through.



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