کور / د ډيورنډ کرښه / Durand Line and Afghans/Pakhtoon National Unity

Durand Line and Afghans/Pakhtoon National Unity

ZAR ALI KHAN MUSAZAI
Chairman Pakhtoon/Afghan Democratic Council
PESHAWAR, PAKHTOONKHWA

A well- Known and reputed Afghan writer Abdul Ghafar farahi in his book: The Era of Democracy and Republic in Afghanistan; writes about Durand Line; When the people of Afghanistan came to know about the agreement of Durand Line between Ameer Abdul-Rehman Khan and the British, they turned down the said pact and strongly opposed it and those Pakhtoons/Afghans living this side of Durand Line started a war against the occupied forces until they left the sub-Continent in 1947 and he further says; they people of Afghanistan have a strong disliking for that so-called agreement of the Durand Line. When Wazirs and Masood and other Pakhtoon tribes sensed that their national identity was at stake by imperialist forces and were divided, they were greatly perturbed and immediately sent a representative to Pakhtia where he visited Sardar Gul Ahmad Khan the Governor of Pakhtia to let them know about the signing of the agreement between Abdul-Rehman Khan and the British.

 The representative told the Governor that his people were not ready to recognize their division, and would keep continued their war against it and would never surrender. Sardar Gul Ahmad Khan expressed his ignorance about such an agreement and assured the representative that no such pact was ever signed. But when Pakhtoon/Afghan tribes sensed it they took up arms and initiated the armed struggle to foil the conspiracies, which led to their division.

 The Durand Line had not only divided one nation but its worst impacts had suffered houses and same tribes, as it had segregated one body into many parts. When Ameer realized that his decision was not accepted to his people and were opposed to it tooth and nail, he then started helping them with weapons and pelf. Ameer called famous Pakhtoon freedom fighter mullah Pawinda Waziri and mulla Najmuddin and many more tribal chiefs to Kabul and he showed his reverence and respect to them all.  Ameer Abdul Rehman Khan was a wise man.

 He knew well that he was unable to defend his all areas and the entire Afghanistan could be suffered if he was reluctant to sit with the British and hand over them some areas of his country Afghanistan for administrative purpose. The region where Pakhtoons are living today which was and is still called with an infamous nameless name (NWFP) was occupied by the British in the year of 1849. When the English forces were badly routed in Kabul by Afghans under the courageous and bold leadership of wazir Muhammad Akbar Khan.

 The English forces and rulers alike were disgusted and dejected as Afghan forces had left their one man Doctor Brydon alive with a purpose to go back to Jalalabad and apprise his army about their shameful and ignoble defeat at the hands of Afghans in Kabul. Sensing gravity of the situations and defeat after defeat, the British rulers of India opted to come to negotiating table with Afghans, weaken their combined force and save themselves from the further ignobility and disgrace. Henry Mortimer Durand the then foreign secretary of British India went to Kabul where he visited Ameer Abdul Rehman Khan and got him signed the pact.

 The real aim of the pact was to hamper the onward advent of Russians to the warm waters of sub-continent and divide Pakhtoon nation to decrease its might so that they could not stand as a threat to their interests and challenge their authority in this important region. The Durand agreement or the Kabul convention of 1893 is briefly given as follows: whereas certain questions have arisen regarding the frontier of Afghanistan on the side of India and whereas both His Highness the Ameer and the Government of India are desirous of setting these questions by friendly understanding, and of fixing the limit of their respective sphere of influence, so that for the future there may no difference of opinion on the subject between the allied Governments, it is hereby agreed as follows:

1The eastern and southern frontier of His Highness domains from Wakhan to the Persian border shall follow the line shown on the map attached to this agreement.

2The Government of India will at no time exercise interference in the territories lying beyond this line on the side of Afghanistan, and His Highness the Ameer will at no time exercise interference in the territories laying beyond this line on the side of India. 

3The British Government of India thus agrees to His Highness the Ameer retaining Asmar and the valley above it, as for as Chanak. His Highness agrees, on the other hand, that he will at no time exercise interference in Swat, Bajour, or Chitral, including the areaway or Bashgal valley. The British Government also agree to leave to His Highness the Barmal tracts as shown in detailed map already given to His Highness, who relinquishes his claim to the rest of Wazir, s country and Dawar. His Highness also relinquishes his claim to Chageh. 

4The frontier line will hereafter be laid down in detail and demarcated, whenever this may be practicable and desirable, by joint British-Afghan commissioners, whose object will be to arrive by mutual understanding at a boundary which shall adhere with the greatest possible exactness to the line shown in the map attached to this agreement, having due respect to the existing local rights of the villages adjoining the frontier. 

5With reference to the question of Chaman, the Ameer withdraws his objection to the new British cantonment and concedes to the British Government the rights purchased by him in Sirkai Tilerai water. At this part of the frontier the line will be drawn as follows:
From the crest of Khwaja Amran range the sha kotal, which remains in the British territory, the line will run in such a direction as to leave murgha Chaman and the Shorab spring to Afghanistan, and to pass half- way between the new Chaman fort and the Afghan outposts known locally as Lashkar Dand. The line will then pass half-way between the railway station and the hill known as the Main Buldak, and, turning southwards, will rejoin the Khwaja Amran range leaving the Gwasha post in the British territory and the road to Shorawak to the west and the south of Gwasha in Afghanistan. The British Government will not exercise any interference within half a mile of the road. 

6The above articles of agreement are regarded by the Government of India and His Highness the Ameer of Afghanistan as a full and satisfactory settlement of all principles of which have arisen between them in regard to the frontier, and the Government of India and His Highness the Ameer undertake that any difference of detail, such as those which will have to be considered hereafter by the officers appointed to demarcate the boundary line, shall be settled in a friendly spirit, so as to remove for the future as for as possible all causes of doubt and misunderstanding between the two governments.

7Being fully satisfied of His Highness, goodwill to the British Government and wishing to see Afghanistan strong, the Government of India will raise no objection to the purchase and import by His Highness of munitions of war, and they will themselves grant him some help in this respect. Further, in order to make their sense of the friendly spirit in which His Highness the Ameer has entered in to these negotiations, the government of India undertake to increase by the sum of 6 lakhs of rupees a year the subsidy of 12 lakhs now granted to His Highness.
Kabul, November 12, 1893
H.M Durand
Ameer Abdul Rehman Khan

If one studies the agreement seriously he will at once realize that the agreement was signed between the British Government and His Highness Ameer Abdul Rehman Khan. The name of Pakistan has never been mentioned anywhere in the entire text of the agreement. There were still more than 50 years in the birth of Pakistan at the time of agreement. The British left the sub-continent in 1947.

All the agreements and pacts between Afghanistan and the British Government of India automatically remained revoked, because one party of the agreement is no more in India and the agreement was also not signed willingly. The Ameer was weaker and the British Government was strong enough to have exerted the pressure and brought the weaker under duress to sign the agreement. If the agreement taken to a third party it has no such complicated thing, which will turn against Pakhtoon and Afghanistan.

Just after the departure of the English from the sub-continent the parliament of Afghanistan announced revoking their all agreements with the British Government of India .So there seems no validity of the Durand line, which has segregated Pakhtoons/Afghans for the last several decades. Pakistani establishment has been struggling to befool the world, calling for mines and to fencing the line on the clever pretext of stopping the infiltration of the terrorists and insurgents to Afghanistan .

The demarcation of the line is nowhere is clear and the world should realize that the pact has never been signed with Pakistan. Gone are the days when the British forces had a threat to that side of the Durand line but today they have faced a threat from this side of the Durand line. If the British forces and Americans stationed in Kabul take a decision to take their line somewhere away from the Durand line then what will be her reaction to the decision? Pakistan establishment is bent upon to perpetuate the artificial division of the Pakhtoon on the pretext of terrorists and containment of the Taliban. If one looks he can very easily find out that the real fault does not lie on the Durand line it lies in Islamabad.

The Pakistani establishments and the Governments have never been sincere with Afghanistan, and the foreign office of Pakistan is not ready to stop its policy of interference in Afghanistan. The world should open its eyes and to see as to who are standing behind the Taliban and terrorists who are frequently crossing over to Afghanistan and destroy the peace there? And why they are being supported? What are the nefarious designs behind the entire drama? But no Government in Afghanistan could dare to bargain on heads of the Pakhtoons living this side of the Durand line and accept it as a permanent border between two countries as it is an important question concerning more than 7 crore Pakhtoons living both sides of Durand line and in the different parts of the world. Until this artificial division of one nation is finished the world in general and Asia in particular will not be able to see a prosperous dawn.

But the Pakhtoons will have to struggle in a peaceful way and aprise the world of their bad days and troubles, which the others have created for them. Now we have to wait and see what the allied forces and their countries have in their pockets for Pakhtoons, whom they had divided earlier, and the policy of hot-pursuit to hit the enemy anywhere to eliminate the menace of Taliban, terrorism, fundamentalism, and anti-Pakhtoon forces who are killing Pakhtoons and destroy the future of their posterity, which have had an institutional support somewhere away from the Durand line.

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