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Durand Line could not divide Pashtoons: Karzai

Pakistani troops accompanying former president Karzai in chopper unhappy with Pashtoon slogan

AT News

KABUL: Former President, Hamid Karzai says that Pashtoons living in two sides of the Durand Line would never split even as the situation terrifies them.

In a Kabul meeting with Pashtoon writers and poets, Karzai said that Durand Line could not divide Pashtoons because Afghans did not recognize that as a border line.

But the line is recognized in Pakistan as an international border line.

“When I was president of Afghanistan and went to Islamabad to meet Pervez Musharraf (former Pakistani ruler), I told him that Wali Khan (late Pashtoon leader) is dead and I am going to go to Charsada (a city in Pakistan’s northwest) for his mourning,” Karzai recalled his memories.

Karzai knew that Pakistani military officials were not happy with his Charsada trip, but they could not prevent him and he flew to Charsada by a helicopter accompanied by military officials.

“When our helicopter was flying in a lower altitude around Wali Baagh, We saw big banners on the trees. The banners clearly read that the two sides are both Afghans.”

“When Pakistani military officials saw the slogans on the banners, they did not say anything, but I understood that they were very upset, and I thought that that this was Pashtoons’ love.”

Karzai said another of his memories to the Pashtoon writers and poets that during his days in office, Pakistani intelligence officials asked him to call on Pashtoons in the Pakhtoonkhwa area to get close to Islamabad rather than to Kabul, arguing that it was good for security and stability in Afghanistan.

“I shared this request with Asfandyar Wali Khan, Aftab Ahmad Sherpao, Mahmoud Khan Achakzai and other Pashtoon leaders to know what they thought. When I said this to Asfandyar Wali Khan, he frankly told me that state decisions are your job, but I was an Afghan in the past, I am an Afghan today and I will remain an Afghan in the future.”

Karzai said that all other Pashtoon leaders that they would not deal their ethnicity and would always raise their voices for the unification of Afghanistan and Pashtoons.

Hamid Karzai said that he held a jirga (gathering) in Kabul where a Pakistani delegation led by Aftab Khan Sherpao had participated. He said that when Pakistani government and military officials wanted to speak on the Durand Line, Aftab called on them not to speak.

Karzai says that Pakistani delegation did not know then what to do after Aftab ordered them not to speak.

The former president says that if Pakistan tries to continue fencing along the line, Afghans would not accept.

Rangin Dadfar Spanta foreign minister under Karzai was present in the meeting. He said that Afghanistan raises voice for its soil ownership in the UN and other international sessions.

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