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Durand Line is border, says US

October 25, 2012

WASHINGTON, Oct 24: The Durand Line is the internationally recognised boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan, says the US State Department while rejecting the Afghan government’s protest over an earlier US statement on Pakistan-Afghan border.

On Oct 21, US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman told a private television channel in Kabul that Washington recognised the Durand Line as the international border between the two countries.

The same day, Afghanistan’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs issued a statement, saying the Kabul government “rejects and considers irrelevant any statement by anyone about the legal status of this line”.

The issue was raised again in Washington at a State Department briefing where a reporter asked spokesperson Victoria Nuland to specify official US position on the Durand Line.

“Well, our policy on this has not changed. It was correctly stated by Ambassador Grossman that we see this as the internationally recognised boundary,” Ms Nuland responded.

The journalist then asked if the State Department had received any protest from the government of Afghanistan on Ambassador Grossman’s statement.

“To my knowledge, no, but I know that there’s been quite a bit of press commentary out there,” she said.

The Durand Line was drawn up by the British in 1893 to delineate the boundary between what was then British India and the Kingdom of Afghanistan.

After 1947, it became the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, although the Afghan government still refuses to recognise it.