Pakistan acceptance of Durand Line will be its failure on Kashmir front

February 28th, 2008 - 5:09 pm ICT by admin  

Ontario, Feb 28 (ANI): If Pakistan attempts to secure the Durand Line by withdrawing its security forces from the Indian border, it would be seen as a failure of the Pakistan Governments Kashmir policy.

In fact, the Pakistan Governments excessive much focus on India-centric confrontationist policies is also a reason for Pashtun backwardness in that country, Hari Sud writes in his column in UPI Asia Online.

Commenting about held elections in Pakistan, Sud says that it will not make a difference as Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar is cleverly arousing Pashtun tribes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) to take the take Pashtun dominated areas away from Pakistan.

Omar wishes to slowly weaken the Pakistani hold in these areas and then snatch them away, he further commented.

According to Sud, the Taliban leader has developed his strategy by taking a cue from history when Britain created the Durand Line in 1893.

Britain found it convenient to divide the Pashtuns in order to maintain peace. They continuously bribed tribal chiefs on the eastern side of the Durand Line to cooperate with them. Pashtuns on the other side of the border were continuously aroused to prevent a Russian takeover during much of the 19th century. This strategy worked until the 1978 Russian invasion, he writes.

The erstwhile USSRs occupation of Afghanistan from 1978 to 1987 allowed tribes on both sides to cooperate.

According to one estimate, there are around 37 million Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan, of which about 17 million live in the FATA and the NWFP.

Sud pointed out that Pashtuns have never accepted foreigners ruling over them.

First they fought the British, then the Soviets and now the U.S. and NATO forces, he says.

Excessive interference of government instrumentalities is resented, hence the Pakistani Government on its side of the Durand Line often invites tribal elders to meetings, called “Jirga,” to settle differences, with the Afghan Government also doing the same, he further pointed out. (ANI)

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