Kabul’s ‘irresponsible, unwarranted’ statement on Durand Line runs afoul of Islamabad

September 20, 2019

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has termed its Afghan counterpart’s renewed refusal to recognise the international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan as “irresponsible and unwarranted”.

The Afghan foreign ministry’s statement, issued on Friday in response to the opening of the 24-hour Torkham crossing by Pakistan earlier in the week, emphasised that Kabul “does not recognise the Durand Line as an official border between the two countries”.

The statement issued by the Foreign Office in response pointed out that the “Pakistan-Afghanistan border is an internationally recognised, official border between the two countries in accordance with all relevant international laws and conventions”.

The statement further highlighted that Pakistan believes the 24/7 opening of the new Torkham crossing point to be a “significant step forward to facilitate the people and traders of both sides”.

“Such statements only serve to undermine the resolve for peace and cooperation between the two countries and should be avoided,” the FO regretted.

The Afghan foreign ministry statement had issued a muted acknowledgement of Pakistan’s move to open the Torkham crossing.

“The Torkham crossing in order to further help patients and facilitate trade between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan will operate round the clock,” it said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had formally inaugurated the border crossing on Wednesday.

“I consider this to be a very historic day,” he had said, noting that trade with Afghanistan had jumped by 50 per cent alone in the period the border opening had been trialed for a 24/7 opening.


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