Kabul: Afghan-Pak border tribes keep on confronting the ire of Pakistani forces as the latter demands to stamp its view on the border dispute with the neighboring country, which continues to claim innocent lives.
Writing for the Afghan Diaspora Network, columnist Hamid Pakteen said that those losing their lives include poor tribals from both sides who have been living through uncertainty for more than a century now.
“At the heart of the dispute is the disagreement of the two countries on the Durand Line which is a border established under British colonial rule,” he added.
Pakteen said the line splits the traditional Pashtun regions and population between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said that Afghanistan has always dismissed all Durand Line agreements, maintaining that Afghan rulers were constrained by British pressure. The border conflict between two neighbors is over the line that divides not just the two countries but also the Pashtuns remains a bone of contention between the two countries, however, both chose to stay silent on several issues related to human rights. The Durand Line passes through the Pakistani provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Balochistan.
It also includes 10 regions in Afghanistan. Disputed in the context of the struggle for the Pashtun homeland, it has of late become the cause of heightened border tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to reports.
While Pakistan blames Afghanistan for harboring Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on its soil, the Taliban do not recognize the Durand Line which separates the two nations and divides the home of ethnic Pashtuns. Since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August last year, Pakistan has been trying to persuade the Afghan Taliban to crack down on TTP.
Instead, the Afghan Taliban mediated talks between Islamabad and the Pakistani Taliban that led to the release of dozens of TTP prisoners in Pakistan, according to Al Arabiya. However, the recent resurgence of militancy in northwest Pakistan is evidence enough that talks have failed. Pakteen said the last year has been particularly volatile with several instances being reported of firing and violation of Afghan airspace through Pakistan Army drones.
“While the border areas remain the combat zone, Pakistan Army’s hatred for Afghans seems to have reached the interiors of Pakistan now,” he added. But, this time around Taliban-led Afghanistan seems determined to confront Pakistan on the continued hostilities.
“Kabul’s new resolve to confront Pakistan has brought a welcome change. Through its recent postures, the Taliban administration has made it clear that it is not ready to provide further leverage to Islamabad,” Pakteen said.