No mining at Pak-Afghan border: NATO
However, NATO might consider the idea of fencing the porous area to check infiltration of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants.india Updated: Nov 06, 2006 15:42 IST
NATO countries in-charge of Afghanistan's security are apparently not in favour of Pakistan's proposal to mine the Pak-Afghan border to stop the infiltration of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants but might consider the idea of fencing the porous area.
Pakistan's proposal to fence the border would be taken up at the annual NATO summit meeting later this month at Riva in Latvia on November 28-29, Dutch Foreign Minister Bernhard Bot reportedly indicated to Pakistan Foreign Minister Khurshid M Kasuri during their meeting on Sunday.
Afghanistan has already rejected the proposal on the ground that it is not ready to legitimise the over 2,200km border called Durand Line in view of disputes over certain areas with Pakistan.
Though Islamabad has said it deployed over 75,000 troops to man the border, both NATO and US commanders in Afghanistan besides the government have been periodically complaining of Pakistan not cracking down hard enough on Taliban militants.
"It came up very broadly," press secretary to the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Heleen Saaf van der Beek said.
Van der Beek was quoted by local daily 'Dawn' as saying that Kasuri brought it up when the Dutch foreign minister underscored the need for sealing the border and enhancing border controls.
Asked if the Dutch foreign minister was receptive to it, Van der Beek said her minister told Kasuri that he welcomed the idea of sealing the border and would bring it up at the forthcoming NATO summit.
However, since mining is a sensitive issue for Netherlands, the Dutch minister was not amenable to it, she said.
Joint monitoring of borders involving the international community was also discussed.
According to a press release issued by the Royal Netherlands Embassy after the Dutch foreign minister's meeting with Kasuri at the Foreign Office, Bot who also expressed Netherlands' interest in stepping into development efforts in Pakistan's border regions with Afghanistan.