Splintering relations?: Durand Line is a 'settled issue', says FO

Published: October 25, 2012
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Pakistan says matter of Durand Line is settled. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

Pakistan says matter of Durand Line is settled. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday clarified that the issue of Durand Line between Pakistan and Afghanistan is a settled issue as it is an internationally recognised border between the two countries.

“The Durand Line between Pakistan and Afghanistan is internally recognised border between Pakistan and Afghanistan and its a closed and settled issue,” said the Foreign Office spokesperson Mozzam Ahmed Khan in his weekly briefing at the Foreign Office.

Ties with Afghanistan

Replying to a question, the spokesperson expessed concern on statements from Afghanistan said that Pakistan is committed to fight terrorism and extremism and there should be no doubt in it.

“Pakistan does not need to clarify its position on war against terror and no need to give justification in this regard.”

Commenting on the statements coming from Afghanistan, the spokesperson said, “Pakistan wants to promote its relations with all neighbouring countries including Afghanistan on the basis of mutual respect and trust.”

Khan though said that Afghan leaders need to adopt a responsible attitude instead of raising issues through media. He added that all issues should be resolved through bilateral and diplomatic channels via a negotiations and dialogue process.

The spokesperson though said he did not want to project that Pak-Afghan relations have ups and downs adding that peace and stability in Afghanistan is in Pakistan’s interest. But he acknowledged there are issues between Pakistan and Afghanistan and there are differences of opinion, but both of them are face the common threat of extremism and terrorism.

Answering a question on the issue of release of Taliban prisoners, the Khan clarified that the Pakistan and Afghanistan government officials are discussing the issue of release of Taliban prisoners.

Replying to a question on the issue of books for schoolchildren of Afghanistan which were held at Karachi following the closure of Ground Lines of Communication, the spokesman said a decision has been taken to ensure the supply of these books to Afghanistan after reopening of NATO supply routes.

Bin Laden killing

Replying to a question on the issue of killing of Osama bin Laden and Pakistan’s policy on it, the spokesperson said, “Our position on Osama bin Laden incident, fighting terrorism and extremism within Pakistan is the responsibility of Pakistan and Pakistan does not want that any other country to take this responsibility in any regard.”

Drone Attacks

On the question of drone attacks, the spokesperson said Pakistan has very clear position adding that these are illegal, counter-productive and violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty besides these drone attacks are a violation of international laws.

 

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Reader Comments (33)

  • Khan of Jandul
    Oct 25, 2012 - 11:23PM

    Durand Line is not a settled issue. Just a statement or declaration of the Pakistan ‘s Foreign Office or the Special Envoy of President Obama cannot make it a legitimate border. Paktuns living on both sides of the Durand Line are one nation and no has the right to decide about our future. It is just we, who will decide what should be done with the Durand Line. Giving legitimacy to a crime and error of the past is neither in the interest of the US and world at large nor it is beneficial for Pakistan. If the US representatives continue to give such statements, it will turn the Afghan populace against the US and Nato and thus make it difficult for them whatever objectives they have in this region. For Pakistan, it is impossible to impose that line as international border. Such an attempt will compel many tribes to raise in rebellion against Pakistan state. Apart from tribes, the Afghan gov will never accept such an outcome and it may lead to an all out war. So in order to get out of this difficult situation and not to prolong conflict in this region, we need to further integrate people on both sides of the border. Simultaneously, there should be no restrictions on the free movement of the people. No visa and passport. Economic integration shall be stepped up. The only solution of the Durand Line is the decision of the people living on both sides of the Duran Line. Being native of the area, I reject this statement of the Pakistan State.Recommend

  • Noor Nabi
    Oct 26, 2012 - 12:08AM

    This is a sensitive matter and should be resolved amicably between the brotherly countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan without the involvement of a third party.

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  • Rommel
    Oct 26, 2012 - 1:14AM

    @Khan of jundal
    Your big Article/stance X 0 = Zero

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  • Amna
    Oct 26, 2012 - 1:47AM

    @Khan of Jandul:

    It is a settled issue. It is an international border. No one is going to “rise in rebellion against the Pakistan state” over it. The Iron Emir signed an agreement with the British, which Pakistan inherited as the legitimate successor state. The Afghan government’s absurd position on the Durand Line is in contravention with international law. under which this is the internationally recognized border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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  • The Khan
    Oct 26, 2012 - 2:38AM

    I do not want the entire area to be integrated. It will only bring hardships to Pushtuns living in Pakistan. As much as i hate to say this but Pushtuns have prospered in Pakistan while Afghanistan has bought us nothing but misery and shame across the globe.

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  • Pashtun
    Oct 26, 2012 - 3:31AM

    Yes because the Emir really had the option of saying No didn’t he?

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  • sid Taji
    Oct 26, 2012 - 4:04AM

    The ancient maps show parts of current day Afghanistan as part of the Persian empire. So, does the current day Persia can lay a claim on parts of Afghanistan? I think we need to wake up and start living in the 2oth century

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  • Free Baloch
    Oct 26, 2012 - 4:54AM

    @Amna – Emir of Afgan signed 99 year lease with British and lease has expired long ago. But pakistan is violating the agreement by not handing over NWFP to Afghanistan. Inshahallah Pashtun’s will rise once again to reclaim their homeland.

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  • Oct 26, 2012 - 7:27AM

    If Durand Line is not settled then Pakistan can encroach into the Afghan side and even claim suzerainty over the Pashtoon areas in Afghanistan.

    I believe in Pashtoonistan as a part of Pakistan. Hindu Kush has been the ancient defense line.

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  • realist
    Oct 26, 2012 - 7:52AM

    Durand line is a settled issue but Kashmir is not?

    If you want to hold good what was signed by the Iron Emir, by the same token, you will need to accept as valid what was signed by the Maharaja of Kashmir!

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  • Khan
    Oct 26, 2012 - 9:59AM

    @realist:
    Kashmir being internationally recognized disputed area where thousands of native people have died because those native people are against the Indian government, whereas No one in KPK/NWFP even consider Durand line an issue so no use repeating this mantra here.

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  • Khan
    Oct 26, 2012 - 10:08AM

    @Free Baloch:
    I’m Pukhtoon from KPK my ancestors were probably from the other side of the border but that was at a time when the map was totally different. Every land in this world belongs to its native people and only they can decide how to rule it.
    We have no interest with other side of border and I can safely say this on behalf of 99.99% of Pukhtoons living in all settled and tribal areas. Even in those tribal areas where people are fighting against the state, those same people consider themselves Pakistanis first.

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  • Carole
    Oct 26, 2012 - 10:19AM

    People should read what Khan Abdul Ghafar Khan had to say about the Durand line. He was probably the last great leader of the Pashtuns. Pakistan is a status-co power on this issue. Pashuns would need a leader like him to successfully take up the matter with the status-co side.

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  • Bee
    Oct 26, 2012 - 11:24AM

    @realist:
    And what about Junaghar, Jodhpur and many other states who opt for Pakistan other then India..

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  • Assad
    Oct 26, 2012 - 12:05PM

    @ Khan……brother, you are living in delusion and denial……….good for you. But truth cannot be overlooked so selectively, according to your own conveniences. Hypocrisy gets exposed……the rest of the world are no fools.

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  • S K Afridi
    Oct 26, 2012 - 12:45PM

    @Free Baloch:
    As is the normal practice, the lease is always extended for another 99 years. In any case we the Pakhtuns have no desire to be part of Afghanistan. Our past generations had made a choice to be part of Pakistan and for all the intent and purposes we are now Pakistanis and would not hesitate making any sacrifice if we are called upon to defend our existing frontiers.

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  • Atheist
    Oct 26, 2012 - 12:57PM

    @Realist:
    I am sorry but I tend to disagree…Kashmir is not a settled issue and LOC most certainly can not be considered an international border unless GB and POK is formally merged with Indian J&K…Pakistan’s illegitimate rule can not be recognized…

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  • Arindom
    Oct 26, 2012 - 2:38PM

    Both Balochistan and Pakhtoonistan should become independent countries to solve terrorism issue in Asia.

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  • Enlightened
    Oct 26, 2012 - 4:02PM

    Pakistan inherited 1893 Durand line one hundred year agreement after its partition from the British in 1947 but there was never been any formal agreement or ratification between Islamabad and Kabul. Since the hundred years validity period of the said agreement has elapsed in 1993, this document has become null and void for both countries therefore as on date, Durand line cannot be considered as international border. The Durand line has even been rejected by the Talebans who during their rule sent 95 delegates led by their Interior Minister Abdur Razzak to Pakistan in summer of 2001 to discuss the validity of this imaginary line and despite lot pressure from Pakistan refuse to ratify it, categorically stating that there shall be no border among the Muslims. Though Karzai’s statement on Durand line may cause no worry to Pakistan but Taleban’s known stand based religious ideology should be a matter of great concern to all Pakistanis who are being backed as rulers of Afghanistan in 2014 by none other than Pakistan.

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  • Zalmai
    Oct 26, 2012 - 6:03PM

    I can understand defensive or offensive posturing here by Punjabis and other Indian ethnic groups of Pakistan on the issue of Durand Line but to read belligerent comments by Pashtuns is downright comical.

    Pashtuns and Baloch are the least integrated people in Pakistan and still referred to as tribal yet you talk about defending your country and fighting your kith and kin at the behest of Punjabis, the erstwhile Sikhs.

    Pashtuns are so easily duped into fighting each other by the wily rulers of Pakistan. Wake up my Pashtun brothers, you will never become part of mainstream Pakistan and you will always play second fiddle to Punjabis and be at their beck and call ready to fight your own brother.

    How come the powers that be don’t conduct operations against Punjabi Taliban and other Punjabi militant groups yet they are always ready to go kill and displace Pashtuns in FATA at the drop of a hat. Pashtuns are asking questions everywhere except for Pakistan where they have been lulled into a deep slumber by the cunning Punjabis.

    You forgot what they did to Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and where he is buried.

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  • Sadozai Durrani
    Oct 26, 2012 - 6:38PM

    @Zalmai:

    Dear brother! Give away the Tajik and Uzbek lands to their respective ethnicities, kiss them a hearty goodbye, and then we can talk. Talk, that is. If you can be an Afghan and a Pashtun at the same time, why cant I be a Pakistani and a Pukhtun likewise?

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  • Zalmai
    Oct 26, 2012 - 8:54PM

    @Sadozai Durrani

    Your name suggests that you belong to the Durrani federation of Pashtuns but you talk of giving up Uzbek and Tajik lands. Which Uzbek or Tajik land are you talking about? You forget that Afghanistan has been around since 1747 and Uzbekistan and Tajikistan came into being in the 1990s. Afghans were magnanimous and allowed Uzbeks and Tajiks to settle in Afghanistan when imperial Russia annexed their lands.

    I can be an Afghan and a Pashtun because Afghanistan is the birthplace of Pashtun leaders like Ahmad Abdali and Mirwais Hotak and Pakistan is the birthplace of Indians like Jinnah, where Pashtuns have no identity apart from the truck driver, fruit vendor and chowkidar.

    You don’t deserve your moniker, which represents the Abdali family name because you obviously have no reverence for your kith and kin.

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  • Sadozai Durrani
    Oct 26, 2012 - 10:44PM

    @Zalmai:

    “Which Uzbek or Tajik land are you talking about?”

    Ask a proud Panjshiri for a fitting answer. Or rather not.

    “Afghans were magnanimous and allowed Uzbeks and Tajiks to settle in Afghanistan when imperial Russia annexed their lands.”

    Don’t know what your’e on, but Imperial Russian conquests in that region happened in the nineteenth century. Emperor Babur was recruiting soldiers from the Tajiks of Badakhshan centuries before that. And as for the magnanimity thing, this is the realpolitik section.Try the fairy tales section.

    “…where Pashtuns have no identity apart from the truck driver, fruit vendor and chowkidar.”

    Do you see any shame in these professions? For I see only honest hard work. Do you want to know what is the Afghan national stereotype in Pakistan? Throughout Sind & Punjab, the term ‘Lala’ is used to address Pakistani Pukhtuns. Of course not for the Afghans. Next time your refugee uncle/aunt visits you, hopefully they’ll tell you about Pukhtun-owned buses, trucks, and multistory buildings as far away as Karachi.

    “You don’t deserve your moniker, which represents the Abdali family name because you obviously have no reverence for your kith and kin.”

    I don’t need you to tell me what my name represents, thank you.Until you’re OK with the Turkic-origin Uzbeks & Tajiks using the Pukhtun term ‘Afghan’ in your country, don’t even whisper a judgement, for you don’t deserve it.

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  • Majority is authority
    Oct 26, 2012 - 11:16PM

    Pakistani Pashtuns consider themselves Pakistani first and want to remain part of Pakistan. Afghanistan, or whatever remains of it, is no home for them. I grew up around Pashtuns who were far more patriotic than their Punjabi bretheren. Even if it infuriates these Afghans, even if Pashtuns are being ”duped” by Punjabis, life in Pakistan has much more to offer. That is a choice made by PASHTUNS. No-one can impose their own judgement on their choice, and definitely not a crumbled state like Afghanistan.

    Afghanis : focus on rebuilding your shattered country before resorting to revanchist sentiment. That is the only comical part of your statements. You sit abroad in the safety of the West, or in Peshawar or Karachi (lol) and type away these statements. Please brothers. Hypocrisy doesn’t look good. Written or otherwise.

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  • S K Afridi
    Oct 27, 2012 - 12:18AM

    @Zalmai:
    You are sadly mistaken if you think that Pashtuns have any desire to join Afghanistan. We are Pakistanis by birth and Pakistan is our identity. Whatever we are today, it is all because of Pakistan. The education facilities, career opportunities and affluence our people enjoy today would not have been available to us if we were to be part Afghanistan. Afghans are our brothers and we wish them well but that does not mean that for that love sake we are prepared for any compromise on Durand Line. It is our territory and all the Pashtuns consider it as their sacrad duty to protect their country’s frontiers.

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  • Pakistani Pashtun
    Oct 27, 2012 - 12:32AM

    @Zalmai:
    I am a Pakistani Pashtun. I love Pakistan. And yes, the Punjabis act cunningly but you know what? Pashtuns are ‘OVER REPRESENTED’ in Pakistani bureaucracy, politics, military and sports. (Keep in mind – over represented meaning as per the population proportion).
    You claim that Afghanistan is the motherland of Pashtuns and trust me, we Pashtuns will die for Afghanistan but STOP hating our country for what it is. Why do you insist that we have no identity? We do – we are Pakistani Pashtuns. And if you are so concerned about Pashtuns in Pakistan, first begin by taking complete control of Afghanistan.

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  • ANP_Karachi
    Oct 27, 2012 - 12:41AM

    In today’s modern world national boundaries hold many ethnic groups. If Afghanistan insists on creating a state based on ethnicity, then Tajik areas ought to go to Tajikistan, Uzbek areas should go to Uzbekistan. Hajazarat should be created as an independent state. Sindh should be Sindhudesh. Indian and Pakistani Punjabis need to create a united Punjab. Balochistan should be independent and Iran should give up a large part of its land to Balochistan. India should be divided into 30+ countries. All Arab countries need to be united into a single Arabia. US, Canada, Australia and other multicultural areas should be wiped away from the map.
    Wake up Afghans. We Pakistani Pakhtuns love and like Pakistan. Pakhtuns have lived and ruled in this land (west and east of Indus) for thousands of years and we are not going away.

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  • Pindi Pathan
    Oct 27, 2012 - 12:54AM

    Pakistan Pukhtuns =
    Pakistan’s Pukhtun population – 40 million (Afghanistan is 15 million and by the way of those 15 million, 3 are in Pakistan as ”refugees” away from the motherland of Pukhtuns)
    City with the largest Pukhtun population – Karachi
    And I have traveled Pakistan fully. There are Pukhtuns in Balochistan. There are Pukhtuns in Karachi. And even Rawalpindi is fast becoming a Pukhtunized city. 30-40% of Islamabad’s under construction Defence areas are booked by retired Pukhtun army men and business owners. The Pukhtuns in Pindi will agree with me. I visited Lahore (traditionally the purest Punjabi city) and one only needs to go to Shah Aalmi Market and Gulberg or the many madrassas to see how many Pukhtuns there are in Lahore.
    I have even heard that that by 2050 (far away but still), the largest ethnic group in Pakistan will be Pukhtuns, inshAllah. Pukhtun population will cross Punjabi population :-) If anybody can confirm pls do so.

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  • Owais Khan
    Oct 27, 2012 - 1:00AM

    Pashtuns in Pakistan are politicians, sportsmen, Generals, scientists, businessmen and many other professionals.
    Pashtuns in Afghanistan are REFUGEES in Pakistan.

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  • Malla
    Oct 27, 2012 - 3:56AM

    The Durand Line agreement had no time limit hence there is no 100-year deadline and the events of 1893 and afterward clearly indicate that the Durand Line was always meant to be a permanent border and even the Afghan king and Afghan governors of the divided areas fully understood that when they entered this agreement. Afghanistan is insisting on maintaining an unreasonable claim and all its territorial claims in Pakistan are completely and totally illegal and indefensible. It is in Afghanistan’s own best interest to accept this fact and focus on governing the country they already have. As long as they continue their illegal claims on Pakistani territory, they will continue to suffer from Pakistani retaliation, and they will have only themselves to blame for it.

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  • realist
    Oct 27, 2012 - 5:12AM

    @Atheist:
    Agree with you 100% regarding GB and POK. My point was only to highlight the hypocrisy of Pakistan.

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  • Malla
    Oct 27, 2012 - 4:12PM

    @realist: Pakistan has no hypocritical position in Kashmir. The UN has passed a resolution on Kashmir which India is obstructing and Pakistan is calling for the implementation of that resolution. India has absolutely zero legitimate claim on Kashmir and the treaty of accession was a complete fraud. On the other hand the Durand Line is perfectly legal and its legality is well established. Your attempt to compare the two things was just a desperate bid to divert attention from the inherently indefensible nature of India’s occupation of Kashmir. Smearing others to make your own hands look clean.Recommend

  • Nov 19, 2012 - 3:32AM

    Pakistan is the best of All.

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