News Analysis |
A radio tower along the Pak-Afghan border was destroyed by the Pakistan armed forces to stop the transmission of hostile, anti-state propaganda into the country on Thursday morning. The tower was reportedly streaming Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP) messages from across the border. It was located near Dwa Toi, on the Durand Line.
The misuse of radio towers for the purpose of terrorist activities has been an ongoing dispute between the Pakistani and Afghan governments. In 2009, Pakistan switched off its mobile phone network in North and South Waziristan, to hamper the communications between the militants. But no such action has been taken on the Afghan side; the mobile phone towers on the Afghan side of the border have not been shut down even after repeated requests from the Pakistani authorities.
In a notification issued by the ministry it was found airing programs that were “against the interests of Pakistan and in line with hostile intelligence agency’s agenda”.
DG ISPR Athar Abbas had asked the Afghan authorities back in September 2011. “If the Afghan authorities find that militants are facilitating each other from across the border then why don’t they shut down the towers like we did?”
Pakistan and Afghanistan share a 2430km long international border, known as the Durand Line. It is considered as the most porous and perilous border regions in the whole world. In September 2006, Pakistan planned on the fencing the border to prevent the movement of terrorists and drug smugglers across the border. The US initially backed the idea of fencing of Pak-Afghan border back in 2005 but since then, the US has offered no military, logistics or financial support for the project.
Pakistani authorities have repeatedly conveyed their reservation regarding the issue of border fencing on multiple occasions. This issue was also taken up again during the recent visit by US Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells to Pakistan. The Foreign Office of Pakistan has also released multiple statements underlining the importance of Pak-Afghan border fencing.
A radio tower along the Pak-Afghan border was destroyed by the Pakistan armed forces to stop the transmission of hostile, anti-state propaganda into the country on Thursday morning.
In a separate incidence, today, the Interior Ministry also shut down the operations of Radio Mashaal, which was a Pashto language radio station that is linked to the US-funded Radio Free Europe. In a notification issued by the ministry it was found airing programs that were “against the interests of Pakistan and in line with hostile intelligence agency’s agenda”.
Read more: Afghanistan – A view from Pakistan
The notification went onto say that the programs portrayed “Pakistan as a hub of terrorism and safe haven for militant groups, propagating Pakistan as a failed state in terms of providing security to its minorities and Pakhtuns, presenting the Pakhtuns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Baluchistan as being disenchanted with the state, and distorting facts to incite people against state and its institutions”.