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The Durand Line


The Durand Line  refers to the 2,640 kilometers (1,640 mi) long porous border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It was established after an 1893 agreement between Mortimer Durand of British India and Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan for fixing the limit of their respective spheres of influence. It is named after Mortimer Durand who was the Foreign Secretary of colonial British India at the time. The single-page Durand Line Agreement, which contains seven short articles was signed by Durand and Abdur Rahman Khan, agreeing not to exercise interference beyond the frontier Durand Line. 

A joint British-Afghan demarcation survey took place starting from 1894, covering some 800 miles of the border. The resulting line later established the "Great Game" buffer zone between British and Russian interests in the region.[4] The Durand Line cuts through the Pashtun tribal areas, dividing ethnic Pashtuns and Baloch who live on both sides of the border. It demarcates Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of western Pakistan from the eastern 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 shown on maps as the western international border of Pakistan, it remains unrecognized by the Government of Afghanistan. 

Historical background
The area in which the Durand Line runs has been inhabited by the indigenous Pashtuns since ancient times, at least since 500 B.C. The Greek historian Herodotus mentioned a people called Pactyans living in and around Arachosia as early as the 1st millennium BC. The Baloch tribes inhabit the southern end of the line, which runs in the Balochistan region that separates the ethnic Baloch people.

Arab Muslims conquered the area in the 7th century and introduced Islam to the Pashtuns. It is believed that some of the early Arabs also settled among the Pashtuns in the Sulaiman Mountains. It is important to note that these Pashtuns were historically known as "Afghans" and are believed to be mentioned by that name in Arabic chronicles as early as the 10th century. The Pashtun area (known today as the "Pashtunistan" region) fell within the Ghaznavid Empire in the 10th century followed by the Ghurids, Timurids, Mughals, Hotakis, and finally by the Durranis. 








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