November 12 – The Durand Line

On November 12, 1893, a treaty was signed that created a boundary between tribal Afghanistan and British India.  Today, it creates the boarder line between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  After the British took over part of the land around the Pakistani tribes, boarder disputes began over where the board would be.  After two wars and many arguments over where the boundary should be placed, it was finally decided that each member of the argument would receive approximately the same sphere of influence.  While the argument may have been settled for the rest of the British occupation, today, the boundary still plays a key role in the political affairs of the Middle East.  After Pakistan officially became a country, Afghanistan demanded that those from Afghanistan that lived on the Pakistani side of the Durand Line be given the right to self determination.  Unfortunately, both the British and the Pakistani declined, which caused the tensions to rise between the two nations.  Afghanistan stopped recognizing the Durand Line as a legitimate boarder.  While no formal wars have been started between Afghanistan and Pakistan, tensions have led to terrorists crossing the Durand Line to harm the other side and shelling happening.  Ultimately, mutual distrust of each other has led both sides to resist peace talks or any sort of negotiation.  Thus, while it seemed like a step towards progress, the treaty that created the Durand Line actually just created more trouble for two future nations that never liked each other.


Why the Durand Line Matters


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