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Durand Line will remain line; Pakistan has no legal authority to dictate term on Durand Line: Karzai

By Mansoor Faizy-KABUL: Reacting to the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the former President Hamid Karzai has said that the government of Pakistan has no legal authority to dictate terms on the Durand Line, a de facto border between the two states.

“The government of Pakistan has no legal authority to dictate terms on the Durand Line. While we wish freedom for the people of FATA from Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR),” Karzai said in his twitter account.

He furthered, “and other repressive measures, we remind the government of Pakistan that Afghanistan hasn’t and will not recognize the Durand Line.”

This is not his first time as the former President Hamid Karzai in different occasions opposed against reorganization of the line, where his stand always welcomed by Afghan masses.

Last year when addressing inauguration of Afghanistan Naween Research and Study Organization, the ex-president said that the Line was an imposed one as the result of British colonialism, where Afghan nation and dwellers of both sides of the line have suffered enough from its consequences.

“Afghanistan has never accepted this border line since the beginning (1893), and will never accept it in future,” Karzai had said that time.

He furthered, “it is correct that Pakistan was the successor of British imperialism, and the line was imposed on Afghanistan by Britain while Pakistan was not in existence.

As Pakistan is the successor of British rule, Islamabad must understand and recognize that Afghanistan has not accepted the Line as border since the beginning.

Recently, Pakistani media reported that the government of Pakistan approved a set of steps to be taken for proposed merger of the FATA with Kyber Pakhtunkhwa and a 10-year reform package to bring the tribal region on a par with other developing areas of the country.

The FATA is located along Pakistan’s north-western Hamalaya zone and south-western Sulaima Mountains and runs as a narrow tract along the River Indus with the parallel lines almost north to south.

The 1400 miles (2500 KM) long Durand Line, which was drawn in 1893 by the British colonial ruler of India, geographically divides the Pashtun tribes in the region between Afghanistan and the FATA of Pakistan.

“In course of my umpteen discussion, I have not come across with a single Afghani, who would accept the Durand Line,” Sujeet Sarkar and Indian intellectual, who works as a global advisor on governance and writes columns on international affairs for leading international dailies told Afghanistan Times.

“Durand Line can serve as a strategic check on Pakistan, and if used well, it posses the potential to put Pakistan on the back foot,” Sarkar, who is also authored on acclaimed book on Afghanistan titled “In Search of New Afghanistan.”

Moreover, a Pashtun nationalist, and Awami National Party central leader, Afrasiab Khattak said, discrimination against Pashtuns was going on in Punjab for the last so many year. “But it didn’t become a political issue: pride to complain against mistreatment meted out to them.”

Looking deeply, Pakistan is very much against stability of Afghanistan and that’s why it doesn’t shun supporting and harboring militants. It is worth mentioning that Afghan leaders repeatedly said that people and the government of Afghanistan will never recognize Durand Line as an official boundary between two countries under any circumstance and condition.

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