The controversial border between Afghanistan and Pakistan remains a great gaming hotspot after the Taliban has taken over.


Afghanistan and Pakistan have a long-disputed border called the Durand Line. Despite the close relationship between the Taliban and Pakistan, most of their leaders were based before August 15, but the group said Afghans disagree with the Durand Line.

Experts said the Taliban statement showed the continuity of the great game that defined the geopolitics of the region, which began with the threat of conquering British India in 1798. The Durand Line was created to thwart those threats.

The Durand Line is a 1660-mile long border drawn by the colonial Britain, pushing 40,000 square miles of Afghan territory into a map of colonial India in 1893 from anyone who was an enemy. Also closed the borders of Britain’s most valuable economic-led colonies. To Amb. Rajeev Dogra, author of the acclaimed book “Durand’s Curse: A-Line Across the Pathan Heart”.

“Since then, the Afghan government has protested this line because it is against historical tradition and is illegal by law. It has also been drawn with arbitrary divisions of family and people’s lands. That’s why people are outraged at it, and as far as they are concerned, they continue to connect with their families through marriage and by trading with each other, “Dogra said in an email. I told the Epoch Times.

After the British left the Indian subcontinent in 1947, the controversial territory became the property of Pakistan and today accounts for a significant proportion of it.

That same year, Afghanistan demanded a correction of its border with Pakistan, but it was rejected. As a result, Afghanistan was the only member of the United Nations to vote against Pakistan’s accession. Reported by Vinay Kaura of the Middle East Institute.

Before the Durand Line was drawn by British Foreign Minister Mortimer Durand, Britain and Afghans often invaded each other’s territory, causing severe border tensions.

These border tensions have continued between Afghanistan and Pakistan since then, with the Afghan and Islamabad governments exiled after a violent clash at a border crossing in 2017 killed 13 people and injured 80. Includes a serious dispute with.

Pakistan launched a fence along the Durand Line in 2017, when militants launched repeated cross-border attacks on Pakistan’s posts. Double fence Approximately 13 feet high is 90% complete and will be completed next summer, but the Taliban has expressed concern about it.

“Afghans are unhappy and opposed to fencing. The new Afghan government will announce its position on this issue. Fencing has separated people and divided their families. Taliban spokesman Zabifra Mujahid In an interview, he wants to create a safe and peaceful environment at the border so that there is no need to create barriers. ” Pakistan’s media, Pash to TV.

Dogra said the Taliban should not be forgotten that they are primarily from Pashtun. “They made it clear that they wouldn’t accept this artificial line that divides them,” he said.

However, Abhinav Pandya, chief executive officer of the Usanas Foundation, an Indian-based think tank, and author of “India’s Intensification,” said the Taliban’s opposition to the Durand Line was against domestic consumption of Afghan national sentiment. I told the Epoch Times that it was a thing.

“In Afghanistan, ethnic and nationalist identities are a very important factor. The Taliban claim to be free fighters exiled foreigners. At this stage, they are on the Dualand line and on the Pakistani line. They do not want to pinch and expose themselves. If so, they will be exposed as minions and agents to control Afghanistan under the control of foreign powers in Pakistan, “Pandia said.

Epoch Times Photo
Afghan border police officials continue to monitor during an ongoing battle between Pakistan and the Afghan border forces near the Durand Line in Spinboldak, southern Kandahar, on May 5, 2017. (Javed Tanveer / AFP via Getty Images)

Cursed history

Dogra said that in order to understand the Durand Line, it is necessary to understand the Great Game, which has revolutionized the world’s power equation as Britain has begun to decline as a world power.

“It was also the beginning of Russian revisionism and led to its expansion into the Soviet Union,” he added, adding that the Great Game was “harmless” in a letter to the governor of Afghanistan’s Amir (King) Shazaman in 1798. “It started, he added. Richard Wellesley of India.

“Shazaman wanted to send a military expedition to North India to expel Marasa’s army, in which he sought British help, but Richard Welleserie calmly reflected on the proposal. Instead, wild Afghans came down the mountain and began to have a nightmare of causing mayhem in India, “said Dogra.

“Welesley had a vigilant historical reason as Mongolia, Hung and Mughal invaded and plundered India through the same pass. British troops ruled Iran to keep Afghanistan’s Amir away. Approaching Fatov Ali Shah, but involving him did not end their problem. By this time, Napoleon and the Russian Emperor wanted to march to India by land via Afghanistan. ” Said Dogura.

Napoleon finally abandoned his plan, but Britain imagined that its territory was threatened by the Russian emperor, 2,000 miles away.

“This was just the beginning that ambitious young British officers needed to promote adventure and their career prospects. Then the” Great Game “began to avoid the fictional Russian threat. I did.

“It ended in 1893 when British Foreign Minister Mortimer Durand tricked Afghanistan’s Amir into signing an agreement to agree on a rough line on a small map that became known as the Durand Line. Ironically, Dogura added Afghan Amir. He signed a contract written in English that he could neither read nor speak.

“But at that moment of misunderstanding, he gave up 40,000 square miles of Afghan territory. How and why he did so remained a mystery for over a century,” his book “Durand.” Dogra said’s Curse’talks about this mystery.

Epoch Times Photo
On May 9, 2013, Afghan border police officers are targeting a rocket launcher on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Gosta district of Jalalabad, eastern Kabul, Afghanistan. Condemn other unprovoked attacks. (AP Photo / Ramat Gull)

Taliban and Durand Line

According to Kaula, when the Taliban briefly ruled Afghanistan in the late 1990s, Pakistan believed that it would support the Durand Line claim, dominate Pashtun nationalism in the northwestern frontier, and provide an exit for Pakistani Islamists. rice field.

“The actual result was the exact opposite. The Taliban categorically rejected the recognition of the Durand Line and continued to promote Pashtun nationalism despite the Islamic character that had a great influence on the Pakistani Pashtuns. The overthrow of the Taliban following the 2001 US invasion also changed the nature and aspects of Pakistan’s Afghanistan policy. Pakistan’s pro-Taliban policy sacrificed the compassion and support of non-Pashtuns in Afghanistan. ” Said. He said it sacrificed them the loyalty of the Pashtun clan in Afghanistan after 9/11 when Pakistan made a U-turn in relation to the Taliban.

Mr Dogra said the Durand Line was not intended to be the border between Afghanistan and British India, which was supposed to be an “influential region” in the first place.

“It is also important to remember that the Pashtuns have lived for centuries with a norm of honor called” Zan, Saar. “, “ And “The Main” (Women, Gold, Land) As their only roadster. Therefore, a loss of 40,000 square miles is as physical a wound as a loss of macho pride. The Taliban wants to eliminate this national insult, “Dogra said. He said the international community should intervene on the side of justice and the United Nations should protect Afghanistan’s interests in the Durand Line.

The Taliban, in principle, disagreed with the Durand Line, but said the Taliban had never “tried to foster anti-Pakistan anxiety and the Pashtun rebellion.”

“Therefore, this is just a stance to project a moral face and show yourself as a champion of Afghan identity. I don’t read it much,” he said. Pandia added as a reminder in understanding the Taliban’s position that Islam does not accept the idea of ​​a nation-state.

“Whole Ummah [the collective community of Islam] Is 1. Believing in this radical Islamic ideology, the Taliban will also affect Pakistani societies that are experiencing massive radicalization in their own right. If so, it should be remembered that the Taliban’s religious idealism has a huge organization in Pakistan and is an older Deobandi sect than the founding of Pakistan. They may be out of control of the Pakistani army. A drastic jihad radicalization will be a problem for Pakistan in the future, “Pandia said.

Venus Upadayaya

Venus Upadhayaya reports on various issues. Her area of ​​expertise is geopolitics in India and South Asia. She reports from the highly volatile Indian-Pakistan border and has contributed to India’s mainstream print media for almost a decade. Community media, sustainable development and leadership continue to be her key areas of interest.