Skip to comments.US WEIGHS IN ON THE DURAND LINE [Afghanistan/Pakistan]
Posted on 11/11/2012 9:15:46 PM PST by bruinbirdman
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman stirred controversy last month when he acknowledged on Afghan television that the U.S. recognizes the Durand Line as the international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Though it was a mere restatement of longstanding US policy, the Afghan foreign ministry protested. Kabul rejects and considers irrelevant any statement by anyone about the legal status of this line, read an October 23 statement. The colonial-era border was drawn in 1893 to separate British-India and Afghanistan. It cuts the Pashtun nation, one of the largest tribal societies in the world, virtually in half. No Afghan government has ever recognized the Durand line, including the Taliban regime from 1996-2001.
the Pashtun nation...they only thing surprising is that
they don’t list Jerusalem at their capital. /s
I wonder how much of Pakistan the Afghans think they should have. Is the Pashtun area really that large, or is this a matter of moving a short section of the border a few miles one way or the other?
The Brits conquered the last states in India around 1820 (the Punjabi Sikh Empire) and moved against the Ahmed Shah Durrani Pathan Kingdom in Afghanistan (which had conquered some Tajik and Uzbek controlled areas) and artificially divided the Pathan tribes with the Durrand line
This continued with Pakistan
Note that in the 1940s period the Pathans actually had a non-violent movement led by Khan Abdul Gaffar Khan (the frontier Gandhi) which was non-Islamist
Pakistan, however saw Afghanistan as a threat, which was true as if the Pathan areas went back to Afghanistan, Pakistan would be thinner and also the Baluchis (who are ethnically Irani -- and the same tribes as the Balochis in the neighboring sistan-e-Balochistan province in Iran and related to the Kurds (another Irani people)) would want to separate as well
So Pakistan fomented the troubles with the Mujahideen, Taliban etc.
The Taliban hid in Pakistan (that's where Osama went too) and hit Afghanistan
It would be better for the entire region if the Pathani provinces went back to AFghanistan and Baluchistan went to Iran (an ulterior motive for the latter is that the Baluchis are Sunnis but Irani people so will foment discord in Shia Iran)
Also, it is analogous with the Pakistani North-West Frontier Province. The entire province should go to Afghanistan -- it will make Afghanistan a safer place.
Pathani is in a different sub-branch of the Indo-Irani branch of Indo-European from Punjabi&sindhi&urdu (which are the main languages in Pakistan by population)
however, genetically they are not at all Semitic, but Aryan, related to the Dardic sub-group of the indic group of peoples. Yet their language is part of the Irani group :)
Can we really think of Afghanistan as a country or more as a loose collection of city states surrounded by barbarous, uncontrollable land regions?
Thanks for the ping. Karzai is visiting India and is expected to hold talks about India’s role in the security of Afghanistan. US representatives must be there too.
It has never had an urban culture, so no city states
I was not so sure that the 2000 year-old people/culture of Afghanistan would be a country, as in a political division. I was under the impression that local war lords have a lot more to say over the functioning of the local populace than a sovereign of any type claiming jurisdiction over the whole of Afghanistan.
Then in 1973 the royals were overthrown and since then, chaos.
You obviously know more about it than I. My first exposure to the society Afghanistan was the fight of the Mujahedeen (sp?) against the Soviet invaders. Thanks for the corrections.
Afghanistan in the 60s was actually "modern" -- in Kabul there were no headscarfs to be found, forget about burqas. Actually that was the same in Tehran
But then in the 70s they replaced the westernised monarchy with a "democratic" government and that was soon replaced (5 years later) by a communist government
Then the Saudis used their oil money to sponsor jihad and we in the US played along and supplied money and weapons to Pakistan and to the Mujahideen -- they were created in part by us
This caused 8 years of misery in Afghanistan ruining the country and pushing many to camps in Pakistan's NWFP (north west frontier province) where the Pakistanis, with SAudi money started converting the Afghanis to Wahabbiiism -- the most virulent form of Islam.
as an aside, Wahabiism arose in the 1700s in Arabia and was initially put down by the moderate Islamic Turks
But then in the early 1900s theWahabbiis united with the house of Saud and they were sponsored by the British who used them to toss out the Ottomans (a colossal mistake).
The Wahabbiis are ultra-radical fundamentalist Islamists who believe anything new since the 7th century is wrong
They never had money until the oil crisis of the 1970s. Using this they sponsored madrassas and Islamic training schools in Pakistan, India, etc. etc.
Pakistan in 1977 had a military coup where an Islamist general, Zia, came to power and islamisized the country (prior it was Sufi Islam mainly). This was ideal for Saudis to use him to train the Afghanis in the ways of Wahabb
Now they had 8 years of chaos fighting the communists but THEN, the Mujahideen, having won, started fighting each other causing even more misery -- Kabul which had not suffered as much in the war against the communists was ruined in this period (the 90s).
And more refugees came to the Pakistani camps to be radicalised and THEY became the Taliban (Talib = students). in this, we the US played a chumps role - providing weapons through the Pakis
This then came back to bite us in the butt due to the Taliban taking over and giving AlQaeda safe refuge
In addition we made the mistake in 1979 of not pushing against the Ayatollahs — the Irani revolution was initially like the Bolshevik in 1917 — a number of disparate groups just united to knock off the king/Tsar/Shah and then the most radical sneakily takes over the movement. There were secularists in Iran, but they were blindsided by Khomeini
Gulf War I was a cardinal mistake and it, along with the Afghan sponsorship of the Mujahideen was a root (among many) of 9/11
Saddam conquered a Saudi sponsored monarchy. It then threatened both SAudi and the Ayatollahs inIran.
Remember that Saddam had fought 8 years with the Iranis to a statemate. But with Kuwaiti oil money he could have restarted the war and killed off many Iranis
Also, and more to the point, he threatened Saudia
The Saudis didn't like him because he was a secular murderer, not an Islamic murderer like them
And we, like fools, became the Saudi kings "blue-eyed slave boys/fighters" fighting and dying for him.
Then, we had troops on Saudi soil and that p*ed off Osama who didn't want infidels on the "holy soil of Saudi Arabia" -- net net, 9/11
And we are doing the same thing with letting Islamists knock off the secular dictator of Egypt and the mad man Gaddafi and now we want to replace Assad with jihadis? Are we suicidal?