In order to slow the flow of terrorists from Afghanistan, Pakistan has begun a project to construct border fences along their porous 1500-mile border with Afghanistan.
The project is slated to cost $483 million and the military is hoping it will help in dismantling militant networks in the largely lawless North and South Waziristan regions.
“For the better security of our country and nation, we had to do this work,” a Pakistani army official, Brig. Nisar, who uses only one name, told journalists during a government-organized visit to the border this month.
The barrier has angered the Afghan government, which disputes the location of the boundary and says the fence will tear communities apart.
Construction began last year on two fences that parallel each other as they snake through the remote, mountainous landscape. Standing 13 feet high on the Afghan side and 11 feet on the Pakistani side, sharp spirals of silver barbed wire are cradled at the top of each.
Additional coils of barbed wire have been placed on the ground in the gap between the fences, which are dotted with Pakistani military towers.
The military says it will have 92 percent of the national border fenced before the end of 2019.
However, only three miles of the 789-mile stretch of the border along the remote southwestern province of Balochistan has been fenced so far, according to a military official who spoke to NBC News on the condition of anonymity.
Beyond Balochistan, Pakistani authorities said the other part of the fence, including the portion visited by NBC News, would eventually total 516 miles in length. Around 146 miles of that stretch has been completed, according to officials.
Some parts of the border will not be fenced as they are too mountainous.
The Pakistanis have accused the Afghans of not doing enough to secure the border area and claim terrorists from ISIS use Afghanistan to plan operations. The Afghan government also disputes where the actual border is, put in place by the British during the 19th century.
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File Photo courtesy Wikipedia of construction along Pakistan-Afghan border
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