Pakistan said on Saturday that it will have fenced off its volatile border with Iran by the end of this year, a move against terrorism and smuggling.
During a visit to the border town Taftan, Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that 40% of the 928 kilometers (576 miles) border has been completed, according to a statement from the Interior Ministry.
The move is aimed at improving the “border management” between the two countries, Ahmed said, adding that it will also improve economy and legal trade between the two neighbors.
Taftan is located some 632 km (392 mi) from Quetta, the capital of southwestern Balochistan.
Also known for a huge illegal trade, the long and insecure border between the two countries has long been notorious for alleged cross-border movement of militants loyal to hardline Sunni militant groups and Baloch separatists.
Tehran has long been accusing Islamabad of not acting against militant groups, mainly Jaish-al-Adl, which have carried out numerous terrorist attacks in Iran’s border province of Sistan-Balochistan, a claim that Pakistan denies.
In February 2019, a suicide bomber had killed 27 Iranian border guards in Sistan-Balochistan, fueling the diplomatic tensions between the two countries, and subsequently prompting Islamabad to start building a fence.