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Kabul Rejects U.S. Envoy Statement On Durand Line

October 23, 2012


The Afghan government has strongly rejected a recent statement by the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the boundary dividing the two countries.

On October 21, Marc Grossman told a private television channel in Kabul that Washington recognizes the Durand Line as the international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In a response issued the same day, Afghanistan’s Foreign Ministry said the Kabul government "rejects and considers irrelevant any statement by anyone about the legal status of this line."

The Durand Line was drawn up by the British in 1893 to divide the region's Pashtun population between what was then British India and the Kingdom of Afghanistan.

It has marked the de facto border ever since.

But Afghan governments have never recognized the Durand Line as an official international border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Taliban Attacks Convoy

Meanwhile, in related news, Taliban militants have ambushed a convoy in western Afghanistan, killing at least six security force members.

The attack happened on October 21 in Herat Province.

The Herat governor's spokesman said Taliban forces opened fire on the convoy in the Obe district.

Among those killed were the Obe district security commander and the acting security commander of the neighboring Chesht district.

The governor's spokesman said the Taliban commander in Chesht district was also killed.

Reports on the battle gave different casualty figures.

Obe district officials said five policemen, five soldiers and three Taliban were killed.

Herat 's police chief also said several militants, including a local commander, were killed. But he said only six policemen were killed.

With reporting by thenews.com.pk, AFP, dpa, and the Afghan Islamic Press

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/kabul-rejects-us-envoy-statement-on--durand-line/24748245.html

Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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