Afghanistan, National, Opinion

Afghan ambassador Omar Zakhilwal terms Pak-Afghan border as mere “crossing routes”

File photo of Afghanistan ambassador to Pakistan, Dr. Omar Zakhilwal.

Dr. Omar Zakhilwal, Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, refrains from naming Pak-Afghan border, as a border on his facebook post while announcing a high-level meeting between Pak-Afghan officials in London. He tactfully used the words, “crossing routes” for the border when he was explaining agenda of the meeting.

Afghanistan has historically refused to acknowledge the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, popularly known as the Durand Line. Kabul believes the Durand Line agreement was imposed on them under duress by the ruling British government.

The official stance of Kabul is that at the end of British rule in subcontinent, the Durand Line agreement stood null and void and Pakistan did not have the right to inherit it.

However, Kabul’s interpretation is not consistent with the rules of International Law and no other sovereign state sides with Kabul on this matter, including its ally United States.

Pakistan recently closed its border with Afghanistan after various deadly terrorists attacks on its soil the responsibility of whom was accepted by militants residing in Afghanistan. Islamabad has repeatedly called on Kabul to implement a joint border monitoring system to counter free flow of terrorists to both countries, demand rejected by Kabul each time.

Kabul sees joint border monitoring system as a move by Pakistan to legitimize the border and weaken its stance. It fears that agreeing to a border monitoring system will be taken as a tacit approval of the legitimacy of the border.

Now that Pakistan has completely closed the border from its end, the relationship of both neighboring countries has touched an all time low. The UK mediated talks in London is the first serious attempt to bring a thaw in their hostility.