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Afghanistan’s Taliban reject Durand Line

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In a bold statement that underscores ongoing geopolitical frictions in South Asia, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Taliban, firmly stated that Afghanistan will never recognize the Durand Line as its official border with Pakistan. This declaration, made during an event in Logar commemorating the 35th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, casts a spotlight on a protracted dispute that continues to affect Afghan-Pakistani relations deeply.

The Durand Line, established in 1893 through an agreement between Sir Mortimer Durand, a representative of British India, and Amir Abdur Rahman Khan of Afghanistan, extends over 2,400 kilometres. It bifurcates tribal areas, dividing ethnic Pashtuns and Baloch people between Afghanistan and present-day Pakistan. Initially intended as a buffer zone between British India and the Russian Empire during the colonial era, this line has been a source of contention, with Afghanistan historically challenging its validity as a legitimate border.

Despite the historical disputes surrounding its legitimacy, it’s crucial to note that the Durand Line has functioned as a de facto border between the two countries throughout history. Official customs offices and border controls have been established, facilitating the regulated movement of people and goods across this divide. These mechanisms of border management underscore the practical acceptance of the Durand Line as a point of interaction between Afghanistan and Pakistan, even as its official recognition remains a point of contention. (Khaama)

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