“In response I told Mushrraf that will Pakistan ever disavow its claim on Kashmir? If Pakistan cannot, then why will Afghanistan cede claim on the contentious Durand Line,” Khan says
AT-KABUL: The Chairman of Awami National Party (ANP), Asfandyar Wali Khan, said that Durand Line was drawn to divide Pashtuns. “Durand Line is not acceptable to anyone and none has the right to accept it as an international border,” he added.
The Pashtun nationalist leader in an interview with Deewa Radio opened the lid on collusion of Islamabad regarding Afghanistan and said: “Pakistan’s former military ruler, Pervez Musharraf, had asked me to put pressure on the ex-President Hamid Karzai to recognize Durand Line as an international boundary.”
He added that Musharaf had told him that recognition of Durand Line as an international border will put end to the violence in the region.
“I responded him that it is only possible if you recognize the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir with India as international border. Musharaf infuriated and said that my nation will not accept it and then I told him that how come you expect Karzai’s nation to accept Durand Line as a border,” Asfandyar Wali went on as saying. He said that Durand Line was just a de facto frontier that still remains meaningless for Pashtuns of the region. Asfandyar added that relations between Kabul and Islamabad have recently improved. “President Ashraf Ghani and other Afghan officials recently paid a visit to Pakistan’s General Headquarters (GHQ) and Pakistani military officials paid visits to Kabul. It shows that relations between the two countries have improved,” he added.
He said that recent military offensives against militants in Nangarhar and Kunar provinces have also built trust between the two countries.
He added that peace would not come to the region, unless the two countries join hands in fight against militancy.
Ajmal Burhan, a historian and a political affairs pundit, said that Pakistan has always been in pursuit of promoting a servile mindset in the tribal belt to make the free-spirited tribesmen bowed towards Islamabad. “Now, it is the duty of Pashtun nationalist leaders to tell their people that they belong to Afghanistan,” he added.
“To promote this servile mindset, Pakistan ignited violence in North and South Waziristan and the tribal belt. Then, it started operations in the areas. “Being an astute leader, ex-President Hamid Karzai rightly expressed his concerns when he asked Islamabad to stop my people (tribesmen) on the other side of the de facto line,” he said.
Akbar Dawari, another analyst, said that if the current government shows weakness over Durand Line issue, it should keep in mind that it it will lose its eligibility as it doesn’t have the right to cede Kabul’s historical and valid claim. “Pakistan should cooperate in the peace process of Afghanistan, despite our claim to our lands on the other side of Durand Line,” he added.
It merits mentioning here that Pervez Musharraf recently in an interview to the Guardian admitted that when he was in power, Pakistan attempted to undermine the government of ex-President Hamid Karzai.