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Int’l community urged to resolve Durand Line issue

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: A number of civil activists and political figures in a large gathering organized by Loya Afghanistan Movement in Kabul urged the international community to resolve the Durand Line issue.

They also emphasized that Afghan people should solve the problem of the de-facto border by forging unity between their ranks.

Head of the Loya Afghanistan Movement, Abdul Jamil Woqair, said that they never accepted the Durand Line as an international border, and asked the international community to help Afghans resolve the issue.

“To resolve the issue, we call on international community after 123 years to find way out to this with accordance to the international rules,” he said, adding that international community should not keep silence on this important matter because this is a historic betrayal to the Afghans.

The Durand Line agreement was signed 123 years ago in November 1893 when Amir Abdur Rahman Khan was king of Afghanistan. Afghans consider it as a “black spot” in the history of Afghanistan. The Durand Line which is nearly 2,640 km long de facto border was neither accepted by the Afghan government nor the people living on both sides of the line.

Several Pashtun leaders and nationalists including Muhammad Khan Achakzai said the Durand Line cannot separate Afghans because the line has not been recognized by anyone for over a century.

President’s advisor on cultural affairs Lal Bacha Azmoon said that though Durand Line is a stain, but there are some elements in the country who are opposing the word “Afghan” in order to make the greater Afghanistan smaller.

A member of the Afghanistan Strategic Studies Center, Ustad Khairul Haq, said the Durand Line is a great injustice not only to the Pashtuns but to all Afghans.

“When we talk about the Durand Line that this not mean that we talk about life of some Pashtuns living on other side of the line, because we have some problems with other neighbors too,” he said, stressing that the Durand Line is very important to Afghans because of several reason and the important one is that this line has been imposed on them.

According to him, the Afghan government should establish a commission, comparing of highly qualified and skilled people, to highlight the Durand Line issue at international level to resolve the problem which would help in addressing other outstanding challenges.

Afghan jurists, analysts and politicians say the Durand Line agreement was signed between Afghanistan and British-India. When British left the region, India emerged as the successor state and not Pakistan. Besides that the agreement was valid for a hundred years. This line was imposed in 1893 and was due to expire in 1993, a time when Afghanistan was hit by a deadliest civil war. In absence of a government in Afghanistan, Kabul couldn’t ask Islamabad regarding the fate of the agreement.

The legal status of this highly controversial Durand Line has always remained under questions. The first one is that the document of the agreement was in English and Amir Abdul Rahman Khan didn’t know the English language and he didn’t sign the Dari and Pashto version of the document. Therefore, this very thing causes a blow to the legal status of the agreement. A British writer Fraser Tytler writes that the Durand Line has many defects and few advantages. Therefore, it was very much illogical from ethnography, geography and strategic point of view.

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