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Pak has no authority to dictate terms on Durand line: Former Afghan Prez

Pak has no authority to dictate terms on Durand line: Former Afghan Prez
Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai speaks during an interview in Kabul, Afghanistan September 13, 2016. Picture taken on September 13, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

New Delhi [India]: In the wake of escalating tensions at the western border of Pakistan-Afghanistan, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai has said that Pakistan has ‘no legal authority to dictate terms on the Durand line.

Durand line is the 2,430-kilometre international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

It was established in 1896 between Sir Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat and civil servant of British India, and Abdur Rahman Khan, the Afghan Amir.

However, Afghanistan does not officially recognise the international border. It has territorial claims on areas stretching from the Afghan-Pakistan border to the Indus River, comprising nearly 60 percent of Pakistani territory.

“The Government of Pakistan has no legal authority to dictate terms on the Durand line. While we wish freedom for the people of #FATA from FCR and other repressive measures, we remind the Govt of Pakistan that Afghanistan hasn’t and will not recognize the Durand line,” Karzai tweeted.

Karzai’s comment comes against the backdrop of Pakistan deciding to close the border between the two states for an indefinite period on February 16 after a suicide attack took place at the Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine of in Sehwan, Sindh killing 88 people.

It also comes days after Afghan envoy Omar Zakhilwala expressed his apprehensions on the same stating that Pakistan does not have a valid reason for the continued closure of crossing points on the Pak-Afghan border.

Zakhilwal said Pakistan has failed to provide a ‘convincing justification’ for closing the border.

“Argument that the closure of these crossing points was needed to stop terrorists’ crossing cannot carry any weigh as these points such as Torkham and Spin Boldak have been manned by hundreds of military and other security personal and have all the checking infrastructure and equipments in place,” Zakhilwal said in his Facebook post on Saturday.(ANI)