The Durand Line was drawn by British authorities in 1893 to separate British India from Afghanistan. Since that time, very few Afghan governments have recognized the border’s legitimacy. In the post-invasion Karzai era, rejection of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border is perhaps the only thing all parties and factions can agree upon. This month, however, tensions seem to be starting to boil over.
Thomas Ruttig, writing for the Afghanistan Analysts Network, delves into recent events.
It started at the so-called Goshta Gate, a small crossing on the Durand Line, the disputed Afghan-Pakistani border, almost two weeks ago. On the night of 1 May 2013, Afghan security forces took down Pakistani border installations that had been newly erected by the neighbouring country’s paramilitary forces at the Gorsal post on territory claimed by Afghanistan.
The gate and the other installations are located between the Afghan district of Goshta, in Nangrahar province, and the Mohmand Agency, one of the seven Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (FATA) administered by Pakistan. This has led to armed forces from both sides exchanging fire on various occasions, causing a number of casualties. The Kabul government put its forces on alert along the entire border, more 2,600 kilometres long. The government has also sent additional hundreds of troops to Goshta. President Hamed Karzai called US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the issue. Pakistan protested against what it called an ‘unprovoked’ incident.