Thursday, January 04, 2007

Border Fences-R-Us

It seems almost every month there emerges from some border zone a proposal to build a new fence. One might think the border fence is as popular to the construction industry today as the global skyscraper, the suburban tract home, or the gated community. In fact, who is to say they are not somewhat at least symbolically interconnected. Anyhow, this month it is Pakistan who announced “a new solution to the problem on its western frontier.” That is, according to this report: “mines and fences along the Afghan border, designed to keep militants from crossing in and out of the tribal zone.”

[Image: Will Pakistan's fence plan work?, BBC - Jan. 4, 2007.]

Just so you know – there is roughly a long and extremely rugged 1,600-mile stretch of terrain that separates Pakistan from Afghanistan. It is perhaps the most intractable and unforgiving border geography around the world, yet where some 200,000 people still manage to traverse it each day, though “not all crossing at designated points.”
And so, following in the superficial footsteps of many other of the great geopolitical hotbeds these days, Musharraf sees it fit now to throw up another fence, adding to the thousands and thousands of miles of barbed wire and structure posts that already line the back of the globe like a broken and exposed international boundary spine. Even though many of his critics suggest this to be a loser solution to a more political based problem of tolerating militants in the tribal zone where political parties are essentially banned, Pakistan officials claim the fence is a means to merely re-clasp control of their porous borders.
With no time frame as of yet laid out, according to the article, “it is unclear if Pakistani authorities plan to mine and wire the entire 1,500-mile stretch.” However, “the proposed fence would run along the Durand Line, a border set by British colonialists in 1893. Pakistan recognizes the line as an international border, but Afghanistan does not,” which is sure to cause a few issues with the local Pashtun tribes who have shared the border for centuries.
Anyone want to guess where the next border fence proposal will come from?

Great Wall Preservatives : A Porcelain Fence : 'Tactical Infrastructure' and the 'Border Calculus' : Wall(s) of Light : The Participatory Panopticon at the border... : Resist the Apartheid Walls, from Palestine to Mexico : More Fence Sprouts : An Embroidered Wall : The Saudi's Immigrant-hunting Border Fence : Padua's Berlin Wall : Welcome to America : Call it 'Border Ball' : An Equator of Borderzones : urban syntax: at the border... : "Thinking of Walls" : Border CTRL : Rival Actions: at the border... : Bethlehem Prison City Gates : Three Ehxibits: on Walls & Political Divide


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In related news, the New York Times printed
this article, which writes: Pakistan’s prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, said today that three million Afghan refugees living in Pakistan must be resettled in their native country so that their refugee camps can no longer be used as safe havens by insurgents. [...] It is the first time Pakistan has been so blunt in saying that the refugees, whom it has hosted for over 20 years since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, should leave.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Octopus Grigori said...

It's been observed countless times before, but isn't it interesting that as global communications and global capital purportedly bring down all walls and barriers, new walls and barriers keep springing up all around us?

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey octopus

imagine connecting all of those border fences, looking at them as one massive broken geopolitical faultline; military defense contractors having a field day cloning these militarized border geographies all over the place. global (im)migration completely regulated by sureillance systems; and deeper darker subversive landscapes responding in ever more remote and dangerous territory. it is craziness.

but thanks for all your comments and compliments. really appreciate it.


10:20 PM  

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