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Are Pashtun Protesters Demanding Redrawing of The Durand Line?

Responding to the killing of a Pashtun model, Naqeebullah Mehsud, the angry Pashtun protesters chanted anti-Taliban and freedom slogans and demanded to redraw the Duran Line in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province according to Afghan sources. The angry Pashtun protester’s also torched the office of Taliban in the region.

The police, following the Jan 3 killing of Mehsud, had said that they were conducting a raid at an apparent ‘terrorist hideout’.  The angry mob set out in protests along the Durand Line, and throughout the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region expressing their anger towards the rise in assaults by the Pakistani military against the Pakhtuns.

Durand Line: A Quick Brief

The Durand Line is a highly disputed, over 2400 km border that separates Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Durand Line was established in 1896 between Sir Mortimer Durand, a British diplomat and Abdur Rahman Khan, the Emir of Afghanistan.

Pashtun Protesters Demand Freedom

Pakhtuns are now demanding freedom for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and (FATA) Federally Administered Tribal Areas. There has been a rise in the number of incidents of injustice and state-sponsored terrorism in the regions. The area has over the years become a safe haven for criminals, terrorist groups and arms dealers, who in broad daylight roam the streets with arms and sell smuggled goods and weapons. The lawlessness and support for Al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists from Pakistan have become a matter of concern for the locals. This further marks a major threat to the US, Afghan troops and NATO in the region.

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Over the last 16 years, the insurgents have found their safe home from attacks from US and Afghan forces in the region. The insurgents are sure that the US and Afghan troops will not dare to attack them once they cross over to the other side of the boundary. To tackle this ongoing trend, a bold and confident decision is required from the ruling governments. Redrawing the Durand Line, according to an article published in May 2017, be in the best interest of NATO, Afghanistan and the United States.

Redrawing The Durand Line Could Keep Terrorism In Check and Calm the Pashtun Protesters

The Afghan locals and government have never recognised the Durand Line as a legal international border and have always demanded that the controversial region be reincorporated into Afghanistan. Merging FATA, Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of Balochistan into Afghanistan by redrawing the line could indeed help in ending the atrocious bloodshed in the region. It would further bring a sense of law in the area thereby eliminating the safe haven developed by the terrorists. Redrawing the line would also make it next to impossible for the terrorists to train in the region while helping the lawmakers to keep an eye on the activities of Al-Qaeda. The move could also give Afghanistan access to international waters.

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