Fri, 20 May 2022

Kabul [Afghanistan], January 26 (ANI): As the Taliban try to establish themselves politically in Afghanistan, the simmering issue with Pakistan over the Durand Line has resurfaced as the Taliban damaged parts of the border fence erected by the Pakistan army.

While Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi vowed to "resolve the issues diplomatically," Taliban Information Minister Zabihullah Mujahid insisted that the Durand Line "has divided one nation on both sides," which the Taliban "do not want.", according to The Diplomat.

Earlier, the Taliban military has tried to stop the Pakistani military from erecting barbed-wire fences and outposts in the Nangahar Province on the Durand Line.

Pakistan wishes to fence the border in an effort to control the movements of Pashtuns across its border.

The Pashtuns are scattered between the Af-Pak border and Afghanistan. They constitute 42 per cent of the population. Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the population of Pashtuns is about 25 per cent.

On the other hand, despite retaking Kabul in August last year with support from Islamabad, the Taliban are loudly reiterating the official stance that all Afghan regimes have maintained since Pakistan's inception: The Durand Line is an artificial border imposed by the former British Empire, writes Kunwar Khuldune Shahid for the Diplomat.

Earlier, formalised in 1893 following the Second Anglo-Afghan War, the 2,670-km Durand Line was designed to separate British India and the Emirate of Afghanistan, at a time when the foreign affairs of the latter were being run from London.

Meanwhile, many locals in Afghanistan believe that the Taliban are looking to woo the masses and gain legitimacy as rulers of Afghanistan with their statements on the border since the vast majority of Afghans do not consider the Durand Line to be legitimate.

Earlier, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan meant that the past stream of billions of dollars from Washington to Islamabad is no longer there, and an increasingly micromanaging China is seeking to take charge. As a result, the Pakistani military establishment has coupled the botched FATA merger with unilateral border fencing in a bid to artificially prop up a semblance of stability.

Therefore, the volatility, which has roots stretching back centuries, is cloaked by an iron fist, with complete disregard to the human development of the area, without which no progress is possible, as reported by Diplomat. (ANI)

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