The Iran–Pakistan barrier is a border barrier, which Iran has started[update] building along its border with Pakistan replacing an intermittent tattered border fence. The 3 ft (91.4 cm) thick and 10 ft (3.05 m) high concrete wall, fortified with steel rods, will span the 700 km frontier stretching from Taftan to Mand. The project will include large earth and stone embankments and deep ditches to deter illegal crossings and drug smuggling into Iran. The border region is already dotted with police observation towers and fortress-style garrisons for troops. Iran and Pakistan do not have border disputes or other irredentist claims and Pakistan's Foreign Ministry has stated, "Pakistan has no reservation because Iran is constructing the fence on its territory."
History and stated purpose
The wall is being constructed to stop illegal border crossings and stem the flow of drugs, and is also a response to recent terror attacks, notably the one in the Iranian border town of Zahedan on February 17, 2007, which killed thirteen people, including nine Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials. However Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam denied any link between the fence and the bomb blast, saying that Iran was not blaming these incidents on Pakistan.
Reactions to the wall
The Pakistani Foreign Ministry has said that Iran has the right to erect border fencing in its territory. However, opposition to the construction of the wall was raised in the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan. It maintained that the wall would create problems for the Baloch people whose lands straddle the border region. The community would become divided politically and socially, with their trade and social activities being seriously impeded. Leader of the Opposition Kachkol Ali said the governments of the two countries had not taken the Baloch into their confidence on this matter, demanded that the construction of the wall be stopped immediately, and appealed to the international community to help the Baloch people.
- Iran–Pakistan relations
- 2007 Zahedan bombings
- Pakistan–Afghanistan barrier – A border barrier between Pakistan and Afghanistan
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If Iran is building a fence on its side of the border, I do not have any comments on that. Pakistan has no reservation because Iran is constructing the fence on its territory. The designated entry points would be available for entry of goods and people. The Iranians convey to us that they are equally keen to promote trade and facilitate legitimate movement of people.[dead link]
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- ’بلوچوں کوتقسیم کیاجا رہا ہے‘, BBC (Urdu)