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Editorial: Durand Line fencing denounced

First ever resentment/opposition against fencing of controversial Durand Line was raised by tribesmen from Shalman area of Khyber, adjacent to Lalpura area of Nangarhar province. The tribesmen from Shalam situated on the banks of Kabul River assembled in Landikotal town, lying only five kilometers from Torkham crossing point whereas they narrated tale of their miseries erupted with one sided decision of Pakistan of fencing the Durand Line called as Afghan-Pak crossing points. The tribesmen informed that they own lands and properties across the line in Afghanistan and Durand Line fencing deprived them from these inherited properties including agriculture fields. Secondly, since a long they have established canals for irrigating lands in Shalman Khyber Agency from Kabul River. But fencing also deprived them from such facilities. They requested Pakistani authorities to review decisions pertained to fencing of Afghan Pak crossings as it is in contrast to their economic, communal, historical, religious and cultural traditions. Tribesmen from Khyber are not the first or last, who oppose fencing of Durand Line. Similar opposition was raised from all other tribal agencies situated along the Line right from snow-covered Wakhan strip in Chitral to Pak-Iran borders in Baluchistan. Though Pakistan insists this as an international border with Afghanistan, Kabul opposes the idea and believes that the 2,430-kilometer long line has disintegrated the Pashtoon Afghan tribes when Indo-Pak subcontinent was governed by British colonial rulers. Afghans have a unanimous stance on the issue over the Line and the Pashtoons who at the other side of the Line also support Afghans. Pashtoon in Pakistan never want to be divided from their Pashtoon brothers and sisters in Afghan soil. Allegations by Pakistani policy-makers that Pakistan Taliban are harbored in Afghanistan is very childish and away from the thoughts of experienced statesmen, because not letting anyone to bother neighboring countries is a firm foreign policy in Afghanistan. Villages of eastern parts in Afghanistan are under aggression and suppression of Pakistani forces who violate international laws by shelling Kunar and Nangarhar provinces.

The Durand Line is a colonial line drawn to reach the goal of “divide and rule” by keeping the region in combat and mistrust. Afghans both the government and people never accept the fencing and ask Pakistani authorities to be cautious of a likely resistance by Pashtoons inside Pakistan against the fencing that will put our neighbor’s stability in danger, the thing that Afghans never want. 

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