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A view of the border fence outside the Kitton outpost on the border with Afghanistan in North Waziristan, Pakistan
A view of the border fence outside the Kitton outpost on the border with Afghanistan in North Waziristan, Pakistan

Demand for Great Afghanistan revives rivalry, suspicion, resentment along Durand Line

ANI | Updated: Mar 02, 2021 13:46 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], March 2 (ANI): Durand Line - the bone of contention between Afghanistan and Pakistan that divides the culturally and traditionally united Pashtuns and Balochs into two countries is once again in news due to the demand for Great Afghanistan, reported Afghanistan Times.
The demand by millions of Pashtuns under the title of "Pashtun Tahfuz Movement" (PTM) led by Manzoor Ahmad Pashteen for the formation of Great Afghanistan with the unification of Pashtuns and Balochs living on the other side of Durand Line has alarmed Pakistan.
Afghanistan Times reported that this can lead to the collapse of Pakistan, a civil war, or a civil revolution in the country.
Gen Asif Ghafor, head of the Pakistan army earlier accused the Afghan government of supporting the PTM. He is also concerned about the support of Afghan Pashtuns to PTM in social media, reported Gandahara British website on April 11, 2018.
Durand Line was fixed by British civil servant Sir Henry Mortimer Durand and the then Afghan Emir, Abdur Rahman Khan in 1893. It was established in order to mark the respective spheres of influence and also to improve the diplomatic ties between the British establishment in India and the Afghan Kingdom. Afghanistan has opposed the move since then.

For Pakistan Durand Line is a vital subject, the disputed areas (Durand Line) include almost 60 per cent of the country, while for Afghanistan, it is about losing Pashtun's territory and two to three per cent of the population of its largest tribe, reported Afghanistan Times.
Earlier, former President Hamid Karzai in a conference in Kabul said that Pakistan's attacks (on the areas located across the Durand Line) "could be to press the people of Afghanistan to set on negotiations on Durand Line and recognize the Line," Karzai said.
He further said that any kind of effort to prevent development in Afghanistan and pave the ground for Durand Line's recognition would fail.
Forty years ago Afghanistan experienced its second military coup d'etat within five years. This was a golden chance for the Pakistani government to destabilize the Afghan government, abolish the government's infrastructure and the national army. This would ensure that Afghanistan would not be as powerful to lopsidedly determine the borders with Pakistan, reported Afghanistan Times.
With the establishment of Mujahideen in 1992, Pakistan reached its goal to destroy the country's infrastructure, security forces and eventually placed the Taliban in power.
With the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in 2001, the policy regarding Durand Line was that resolving the issue lies on the tribes living on the two sides and that the Afghan government is not authorized to make any decision about it, reported Afghanistan Times.
The possibility of declaring their political independence and forming an independent country by the Pashtuns and Balochs appears high, and therefore, it seems impossible for Pakistan to agree on, reported Afghanistan Times. (ANI)