A soldier stands guard along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said the Pakistan army has started to man the front-line positions along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The decision has been taken in wake of the volatile situation across the Afghan border. Pakistan has moved the Frontier Constabulary, Levies Force and other militias from the positions
The Pakistan army has started to man the front-line positions along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said. The decision has been taken in wake of the volatile situation across the border.
Pakistan has moved the Frontier Constabulary, Levies Force and other militias from the positions. The FC Balochistan and other militias, who were working under the interior ministry, have been called back. They used to conduct border patrolling.
“Now, regular army troops are manning the border after replacing the paramilitary forces,” the minister said, according to a Dawn report.
The situation not only demands containment of influx of Afghan refugees from across the border but also the entry of armed security personnel and militants into Pakistan, Ahmed said.
Earlier, Pakistan allowed "up to 4,000 Afghans" cross into Afghanistan through its border. The strategic town across the border in Afghanistan is held by Taliban. AFP quoted a border official as saying that the move was taken on "humanitarian grounds".
Pakistan partially opened its southern crossing on Saturday. Thousands of Afghans were left stranded in the Pakistani town of Chaman after militants captured Spin Boldak from Kabul's forces on Wednesday.
"We have opened the Chaman border... allowing crowds of up to 4,000 Afghans including women and children to cross over to Afghanistan to celebrate Eid al-Adha with their families, purely on humanitarian grounds," a border official, who did not want to be named, told AFP.
People would be allowed to cross until the evening, with the possibility the border would open again tomorrow, the official added.
Muhammad Tayyab, a local paramilitary official, said the decision was taken because of "relative calm on the other side", but said the crossing would remain closed to trade.
An AFP photographer said the gates were rushed by families as soon as they opened.
(With inputs from agencies)