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Migrants, Border Controls and Lines of Control

While corrupt and morally incorrect regimes enforce press censorship, placing controls over international borders are outcome of failed and inept administration.

Why Pakistan cannot make peace with her neighbours? How line of control so often referred to as LoC hinders normalization of relations between the two countries? What about the Durand Line? Tapped into global trends Pakistan had once attempted to fence her borders with Afghanistan as well. Pakistan had already suffered from the massive influx of refugees in the 1980’s. Pakistan’s experience with Afghan refugees had never been encouraging, yet keeping border controls among socialite humans appear more repressive than curbs on media that media in Pakistan face today.


Current Affairs Digest Edited by Dr Safdar Mahmood

While corrupt and morally incorrect regimes enforce press censorship, placing controls over international borders are outcome of failed and inept administration.  Several border-wall projects are under way worldwide, from India, which has long-standing projects to fence off much of Bangladesh, to the E.U., where anti-migrant sentiment runs high after incidents in Calais and the Mediterranean.

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Saudi Arabia will soon have a 600-mile (965 km) wall on its border with Iraq, adding to  the 1,100 miles (1,770 km) of barrier that already exists between the Saudis and Yemen. Turkey is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to erect a wall along its southern border with Syria in order to fend off would-be terrorists—only to find itself on the receiving end, as E.U member Bulgarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban wants to complete a fence being built to curb illegal immigration from Serbia.

Walls are the archetypal quick fix. They reassure the public that there will be a sharp separation between “them” and “us”. In Israel, the construction of a fence in the West Bank has coincided with a dramatic reduction suicide attacks, encouraging other countries to add concrete and barbed wire.

Yet Israel’s experience may be more exception than rule. Walls don’t deter migrants, who simply take longer, harsher router. Walls are incredibly costly to build and maintain. They can disrupt trade and hurt a country’s reputation. Nor will walls solve terrorism. Tunisia is building a wall to separate a wall to separate itself from chaotic Libya, but it will not stop the more than 3,000 Tunisians who have reportedly traveled to fight in Syria from coming home.


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Rather than building walls, politicians need to address root cause. In Europe, that means financing local development across the Mediterranean to reduce migrants’ incentive of sober, long-term strategies. But then, what will?  

September 17, 2015


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