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The Durand line between Pakistan and Afghanistan

The Durand Line (Pashto: د ډیورنډ کرښه‎) is the 2,430-kilometre (1,510 mi) international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan (AFPAK in the american terminology) . It was established the 12 November 1893 between Sir Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat and civil servant of British India, and Abdur Rahman Khan, the Afghan Amir, to fix the limit of their respective spheres of influence and improve diplomatic relations and trade. It artificially divides Pashtun tribes which share the same language and social organization, therefore it is difficult to control.

The single-page agreement contains seven short articles, including a commitment not to exercise interference beyond the Durand Line. A joint British-Afghan demarcation survey took place starting from 1894, covering some 800 miles of the border. In fact, as early as 1897 a general insurrection of the tribes broke out when the British attempted to occupy the land

Established towards the close of the "Great Game", the resulting line established Afghanistan as a buffer zone between British and Russian interests in the region. The line, as slightly modified by the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919. Pakistan and Afghanistan later inherited the treaty.

The Durand Line cuts through the Pashtun tribal areas and further south through the Balochistan region, politically dividing ethnic Pashtuns, as well as the Baloch and other ethnic groups, who live on both sides of the border. It demarcates Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan of northern and western Pakistan from the northeastern and southern provinces of Afghanistan.

From a geopolitical and geostrategic perspective, it has been described as one of the most dangerous borders in the world. Although it is recognised internationally as the western border of Pakistan, it remains largely unrecognised in Afghanistan. According to Aimal Faizi, spokesman for the Afghan President, the Durand Line is "an issue of historical importance for Afghanistan. The Afghan people, not the government, can take a final decision on it."

Source : Wikipedia