Durand Line

Durand Line
Afghanistan-Pakistan border.png
Map marking the Durand Line border in red
Characteristics
Entities Afghanistan  Pakistan
Length2,670 km (1,660 mi)
History
Established12 November 1893
Signing of the Durand Line Agreement at the end of the first phase of the Second Anglo-Afghan War
Current shape8 August 1919
Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 ratified at the end of the Third Anglo-Afghan War
TreatiesTreaty of Gandamak, Durand Line Agreement, Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919

The Durand Line (Pashto: د ډیورنډ کرښه; Urdu: ڈیورنڈ لائن) forms the Afghanistan–Pakistan border, a 2,670-kilometre (1,660 mi) international land border between the countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan in South Asia.[1] The western end runs to the border with Iran and the eastern end to the border with China.

The Durand Line was established in 1893 as the international border between British India and the Emirate of Afghanistan by Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat of the Indian Civil Service, and Abdur Rahman Khan, the Afghan Emir, to fix the limit of their respective spheres of influence and improve diplomatic relations and trade. The British considered Afghanistan to be an independent state at the time, although they controlled its foreign affairs and diplomatic relations.

The single-page Agreement, dated 12 November 1893, contains seven short articles, including a commitment not to exercise interference beyond the Durand Line.[2] A joint British-Afghan demarcation survey took place starting from 1894, covering some 800 miles (1,300 km) of the border.[3][4] Established towards the close of the British–Russian "Great Game", the resulting line established Afghanistan as a buffer zone between British and Russian interests in the region.[5] The line, as slightly modified by the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919, was inherited by Pakistan in 1947, following its independence.

The Durand Line cuts through the Pashtun tribal areas and further south through the Balochistan region, politically dividing ethnic Pashtuns, as well as the Baloch and other ethnic groups, who live on both sides of the border. It demarcates Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan of northern and western Pakistan from the northeastern and southern provinces of Afghanistan. From a geopolitical and geostrategic perspective, it has been described as one of the most dangerous borders in the world.[6][7][8][9]

Although the Durand Line is internationally recognized as the western border of Pakistan, it remains largely unrecognized in Afghanistan.[10][11][12][13][14] Sardar Mohammed Daoud Khan, former prime minister and president of Afghanistan, vigorously opposed the border and launched a propaganda war – however during his visit to Pakistan in August 1976 he softened his tone by recognising the Durand line as the border.[15][16][17][18][19] In 2017, amid cross-border tensions, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that Afghanistan will "never recognise" the Durand Line as the border between the two countries.[20]

  1. ^ "Pakistan". CIA World Factbook. Archived from the original on 10 January 2021. Retrieved 30 September 2020.
  2. ^ Smith, Cynthia (August 2004). "A Selection of Historical Maps of Afghanistan – The Durand Line". United States: Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 9 January 2019. Retrieved 11 February 2011. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ "The total length of the boundary which had been delimited and demarcated between March 1894 and May 1896, amounted to 800 miles". The long stretch from the Kabul River to China, including the Wakhan Corridor, was declared demarcated by virtue of its continuous, distinct watershed ridgeline, leaving only the section near the Khyber Pass, which was finally demarcated in 1921: Brig.-Gen. Sir Percy Sykes, K.C.I.E., C.B., C.M.G., Gold Medalist of the Royal Geographical Society (1940). "A History of Afghanistan Vol. II". London: MacMillan & Co. pp. 182–188, 200–208. Retrieved 5 December 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  4. ^ An adjustment to the demarcation was made at Arundu in the early 1930s: Hay, Maj. W. R. (October 1933). "Demarcation of the Indo-Afghan Boundary in the Vicinity of Arandu". Geographical Journal. LXXXII (4).
  5. ^ Uradnik, Kathleen (2011). Battleground: Government and Politics, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 18. ISBN 9780313343131. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  6. ^ "No Man's Land". Newsweek. United States. 1 February 2004. Archived from the original on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2011. Where the imperialists' Great Game once unfolded, tribal allegiances have made for a "soft border" between Afghanistan and Pakistan—and a safe haven for smugglers, militants and terrorists
  7. ^ Bajoria, Jayshree (20 March 2009). "The Troubled Afghan-Pakistani Border". Council on Foreign Relations. Archived from the original on 25 May 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
  8. ^ "Japanese nationals not killed in Pakistan: FO". Dawn News. Pakistan. 7 September 2005. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
  9. ^ Walker, Philip (24 June 2011). "The World's Most Dangerous Borders: Afghanistan and Pakistan". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 31 December 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2012.
  10. ^ "No change in stance on Durand Line: Faizi". Pajhwok Afghan News. 24 October 2012. Archived from the original on 10 May 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013. But Afghanistan has never accepted the legitimacy of this border, arguing that it was intended to demarcate spheres of influence rather than international frontiers.
  11. ^ Grare, Frédéric (October 2006). "Carnegie Papers – Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations in the Post-9/11 Era" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2011.
  12. ^ Rahi, Arwin. "Why the Durand Line Matters". The Diplomat. Archived from the original on 29 July 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  13. ^ Micallef, Joseph V. (21 November 2015). "Afghanistan and Pakistan: The Poisoned Legacy of the Durand Line". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  14. ^ Rubin, Barnett R. (15 March 2013). Afghanistan from the Cold War through the War on Terror. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199970414. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  15. ^ Rasanayagam, Angelo (2005). Afghanistan: A Modern History. I.B. Tauris. p. 64. ISBN 9781850438571.
  16. ^ Dorronsoro, Gilles (2005). Revolution Unending: Afghanistan, 1979 to present. Hurst & Co. Publisher. p. 84. ISBN 9781850656838. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  17. ^ Nunan, Timothy (2016). Humanitarian Invasion: Global Development in Cold War Afghanistan. Cambridge University Press. p. 125. ISBN 9781107112070. Archived from the original on 16 August 2021. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  18. ^ ur Rahman, Hanif (December 2012). "Pak-Afghan relations during Z.A. Bhutto Era: The dynamics of Cold War" (PDF). Pakistan Journal of History and Culture. XXXIII: 34–35. Archived (PDF) from the original on 10 January 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  19. ^ Durani, Mohib ullah; Khan, Ashraf (2009). "Pakistan-Afghanistan relation: Historic Mirror" (PDF). The Dialogue. 4 (1): 38. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 August 2018. Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  20. ^ Siddiqui, Naveed (5 March 2017). "Afghanistan will never recognise the Durand Line: Hamid Karzai". Dawn. Archived from the original on 4 August 2019. Retrieved 9 September 2017.

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