Pakistan also said that it will not welcome any more refugees from Afghanistan.
Pakistan deployed its army personnel at forward positions along the Afghanistan border as Taliban forces continue to capture almost two-thirds of Afghanistan following the withdrawal of US and NATO troops, according to a report by Dawn.
Pakistan minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that Pakistan soldiers have now replaced the Frontier Constabulary (FC), Levies Force and other militias from the frontline positions. US President Joe Biden earlier in June said that the United States will withdraw all its forces from Afghanistan by September 11 this year – a decade after it began a war in Afghanistan in retaliation to the 9/11 attacks.
“Regular army troops are manning the border after replacing the paramilitary forces,” Ahmed was quoted as saying by Dawn. He said the decision was taken owing to the volatile situation across the border. He further added that the decision was taken to contain the influx of refugees, armed army personnel and militants from Afghanistan into Pakistan.
“Paramilitary troops including the Frontier Constabulary, Levies, Rangers are deployed at the borders to deal with regular issues including illegal border crossing, smuggling. However, the current volatile situation (in Afghanistan) demands that regular military troops be deployed along the border,” Ahmed further added. Pakistan army spokesperson major general Babar Iftikhar said that the move to replace the paramilitary forces will help in preventing the conflict from spilling into Pakistan.
People familiar with the developments told Dawn that Pakistan Army faces the challenge of not only stopping the inflow of refugees but also the inflow of Afghan army personnel as well as Taliban fighters. They also said that Pakistan fears that the conflict could spill over to the mainland if Taliban forces enter Pakistan following Afghan army troops due to the strong Taliban presence in areas bordering Pakistan. More than 1,000 Afghan army personnel fled to Tajikistan in July to escape clashes with the Taliban.