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Pakistan blackmails Taliban over border transit

International Desk
|  07 Nov 2021, 17:52
Pakistan blackmails Taliban over border transit
Photo: Collected
Pakistan has threatened to stop the transit of the Afghans across the Durand Line if the Taliban government failed to accept the fence being constructed along the border.

Pakistan is said to be arm-twisting the Taliban government in Kabul to accept the Durand Line, reported The Singapore Post.

The Taliban government is reportedly miffed at this Pakistani blackmail and has made it clear in no uncertain terms those conditions on the Durand Line were unacceptable.

The Durand Line divides the traditional Pashtun homelands in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The border was mainly porous until recently fenced and heavily guarded due to the tribal, linguistic, social, and economic ties.

Afghanistan for long has always refused to recognize the Durand Line as an international border. Durand is currently a disputed boundary for several reasons. Pashtuns on both sides believe that they have been indiscriminately divided and separated from their family and land on either side.

Pakistan has viewed the Durand Line as critical to its survival as a Punjabi- dominated Sunni country. Even whispers of Great Paktunistan, a Pashtun nation encompassing Pashtun-dominated areas across the current border, raises grave suspicions in Pakistan, especially in the army. The area is home to some 35 million Afghans, 15 million of them in Afghanistan, reported The Singapore Post.

As it began to lose clout over militant groups, once spawned and controlled by them, the Pakistan Army decided to fence the long and arduous border with Afghanistan, a move which triggered several run-offs between the armed forces of both countries. With the Taliban taking over Kabul, Pakistan visualized a cakewalk.

But, the Taliban government refused to make any commitment on the issue despite Pakistan making it clear at the outset that it could become a stumbling block in their relationship.

Once the Taliban spokesman made its opposition to the border fencing, Pakistan hit back with a crippling blockade at the Chaman border post early October.

It is the second-largest border checkpoint with thousands of trucks and men travelling across the highway every day. The crossing is a major source of revenue for the cash-strapped Taliban government.

With border disruptions at Torkham and withdrawal of PIA flights from Kabul, Pakistan's message to the Taliban is loud and clear--fall in line or face consequences, reported The Singapore Post.

These brazenly threatening posturing from Pakistan has riled the Taliban government where there is no consensus on any remission on the issue of Durand Line or the border fencing. It is well known how fiercely the Taliban founder, Mullah Omar, had opposed any reconciliatory position on Durand Line, reported The Singapore Post.

The Durand Line could thus become a point of conflict between the two allies.

Source: ANI


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