Taliban issues repeated warning amidst border issues with Pakistan

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Taliban warns Pakistan that further interference with the border issue will lead to Islamabad being the second capital for the Taliban regime.


Taliban
Source: BBC News
Taliban
Source: BBC News
Taliban
Source: BBC News

A senior Taliban official has warned Pakistan of consequences in the form of suicide bombers amid their border dispute. He said he is enraged with Pakistan’s interference which has ultimately affected Afghanistan’s sovereignty. 

Abdul Basir Sherzadi who belongs to the Pashtunian tribe has released a video online in the Pashtun language which also talks about the religious differences that both states have. 

His undertone highlighted the hatred that the Afghans have had for Pakistanis since the time of the existence of the British Empire. He reminded Pakistan of Aghanistan’s 5000-year-old history and its competency to protect itself without any foreign help.

RELIGIOUS DISPARITY

The Taliban official also talked about the title given to Muhammad Ali Jinnah which is wrong as the afghans believe that there is nothing Islamic about Islamabad.

 He also added that his title should be revoked as the title belongs to one and only, the founder of the religion, the Prophet Muhammad as there is no more supreme position. 

The border tussle also claimed to have resulted in the loss of 3 lives of soldiers as declared by Pakistan with casualties on both sides. However, the Taliban hasn’t reported casualties from their sides.

THE DURAND LINE

The Durand Line which forms the Afghanistan- Pakistan border has always remained an issue of contention between the two countries. The geopolitical conditions have changed dramatically since the US withdrew its military forces from Afghanistan. 

The post-US Afghanistan has been under the control of the Taliban regime. It has taken over the roles and responsibilities of the government which is the closest thing it has as an authority. 

Since Afghanistan lost its land to Pakistan due to the Durand Line Agreement in 1893 it has been seeking opportunities to reclaim the lands. The area is called Pashunistan, belonging to the Pashtun tribes situated on this border making the Afghanistan-Pakistan border porous for them. 

Some Pashtuns even refuse to be recognized by either of the states. Afghanistan refuses to recognize the Durand line as an official security or border and has raised issues from time to time for the inclusion of the Pashtunistan region in Afghanistan territory.

The Return of the Great Game

The return of the Great Power Politics reinvigorates the Taliban regime to continue the Great Game as China and Russia seek to support Afghanistan diminishing the US effect on Afghanistan.

This re-highlights the importance of Halford J. Mackinder’s Heartland theory as states are trying to influence Afghanistan for a place in Central Asia as well as south Asia. 

Like Abdul, Basir Sherzadi mentions the 5000-year-old history of Afghanistan. 

The Great Game showcases the lessons from the British-Afghan wars and the position of Afghanistan as the crossroads of the empire highlighting its crucial geopolitical position which makes it the Heartland according to Mackinder.

Hence, its crucial position cannot be denied, the Taliban regime realizes this but the ongoing border conflict disrupts all the development.

While Afghanistan is against Pakistan’s interference in its sovereignty, the Taliban has filtered the border over the years. A separate state within Pakistan by the infiltrators as well as the residents making both sides act as belligerents have been demanded by the Taliban with encouraging words.

While both sides facing issues neither side wants to make a compromise. Consequently, the border conflict sometimes becomes dormant whereas at other times it remains very active not giving. 

Further, it is also important to note that the global level of democracy is the key to understanding the functioning of the free state. Although, some states especially neighboring states have given support to the Taliban Regime. 

Still, the fact cannot be denied that the Taliban regime is not considered a ‘legitimate’ government increasing concerns of states like the United States and of many states in Western Europe. 

Even though the Taliban is trying to improve its image by establishing and opening economic ties. Many states are apprehensive of the legitimacy that the organization holds and whether to accept it or not on the world stage due to their crimes against humanity.

The issue with the Pashtuns

Then once again a border- conflict is connected to an ethnic issue involving the Pashtuns. Pashtuns, on either side of the border with each side, encouraging to have their separate constituencies or votes reducing the importance of the Pashtuns on the opposite side. While both states continue to influence people on their side.

Till the time Afghanistan does not accept the Durand Line Agreement, the issue will continue to be on the rise. Also, who might think that this would just become another Ukraine-Russia Crisis?


Also Read: Pakistan Foreign Minister says yes to the world engaging with the Taliban


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