Durand Line is a non-issue

By Farman Nawaz


“What can not be cured must be endured” is the proverb if I use this for Durand Line issue then surely Afghan brothers will advise me to use the same principle for the solution of Kashmir issue. But the fact is that really Pakistan is practically doing the same regarding Kashmir issue.

Today if we are negotiating with India it is because of our previous experience of wars and war like situations with India. Proxy wars, border skirmishes, full-fledged wars, moral and diplomatic support, all these options have been applied during the past six decades but the fact is that we have not occupied an inch in Indian occupied Kashmir. Rather we both India and Pakistan have created such an environment in Kashmir that now slogans of ‘Independent Kashmir’ are heard in the valley.

Reading an article “Durand Line – the future time bomb” published in Daily Outlook Afghanistan, I have come to the conclusion that it was the fear of Durand Line issue that Pakistan joined US supported Jihad in late 70’s. But now Afghan brothers must think over it again that was it a justified fear of Pakistan or it was just a nightmare and self-deception. I am not an expert of Pak-Afghan history but I think that instead of discussing the historical blunders we must look forward.

Last night I tried my best to find out some thing about Durand Line in the constitutions of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but I could not. Similarly may be I am wrong but there is no information available about any resolution presented in the constitutional bodies of both these countries. It proves that both these countries have accepted the statuesque.

But it is also a fact that from some segments the issue of Durand Line is raised on different occasions. Though it is a non-issue but we must understand the motives of those who wish to see this issue burning. For the last few decades our region is burning. We both Afghans and Pakistanis have sold our conscience for the sake of dollars. Whatever justification we provide for our wrong doings but it is a fact that we have destroyed our region. Still we are puppets in the hands of our rivals and strangers. We have not learnt how to awaken our youth and to fill the spirit of nationalism in them. Still we want to motivate them by religious and regional biases.

Now the circumstances have given us the chance to rebuild this region and to end the negative nationalism. Imperialist powers have set our interests in such a way that accomplishment of the interest of one means the grabbing of the interests of the other. For example if Pakistan engages itself in purchasing gas from Iran then Turkmenistan and Afghanistan interests are at stake. But if Pakistan purchases gas from Turkmenistan then American presence in Afghanistan can become trouble any time. Therefore our resources might not become the bone of contention.

The resources or opportunities, these regional countries are having, must become our strength. Western countries, pretending to be custodians of culture and development, have practically become masters of our fates. Afghans are worried about their future, Pakistan and Iran are worried about their sovereignty and integrity, India and China are busy in finding opportunities, Central Asian Countries want to find markets for their resources, but there is lack of harmony among these countries. All are looking towards US for resolving their issues. Afghanistan future is in the hands of US, Pakistan, after being deserted, is working hard to affix its trembling feet firmly, India and China have also fixed their eyes on the treasures of Afghanistan, Central Asian Countries, full of natural resources, are starring at these developments but again dependent on western powers to provide them safe passages.

But our fate must be different from the Arabian states. We must fabricate our own philosophy and strategy to get rid of dependency on others. These powers will always keep us divided for their vested interests. Pakistan and Indian conflicts must be an eye opening example for all of us. After fighting for six decades now we have resorted to negotiations. Now the hue and cry about border issues like ‘Durand Line’ is just a repetition of the Indo-Pak history. Debates about such issues will only serve the purposes of foreigners. We must sit together and burry the past to snatch our destiny from the cruel clutches of imperialist powers.


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