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1893 Durand border pact valid: Pakistan

Afghanistan has been disputing the Durand Line with historians claiming that the pact expired in Jan 1993 after completing 100 years.

india Updated: May 05, 2006 15:00 IST

Pakistan has said that the 1893 Durand Line Agreement that divides Afghanistan and Pakistan is still valid.

Releasing evidence from historical records, the National Documentation Centre (NDC) of the cabinet division of the Pakistan government rejected Kabul's contention that the pact was no more valid as it was meant only for 100 years.

Pakistan insists there was no time limit for the expiry of the pact signed on November 12, 1893 between Amir Abdur Rehman on behalf of Afghanistan and Sir Mortimer Durand for the then British India.

Apart from the original text of the 1893 agreement and the map of the demarcated boundary, the NDC released records acquired from India Office Library, correspondence between Viceroy of India and Rehman, records of the agent to the governor general in Balochistan and the survey of Pakistan.

According to declassified records, Captain AH McMahon from British India and Sardar Gul Mohammed Khan assisted by Khalifa Nur Mohammed from Afghanistan signed the demarcation of the 1,610-mile boundary between Balochistan and Afghanistan.

The border is notorious for Taliban freely travelling back and forth, finding safety and shelter in the autonomous Pashtun regions of northwestern Pakistan.

For decades Afghanistan has been disputing the Durand Line with the Afghan historians claiming that the agreement expired in January 1993 after completing 100 years.

In September 2005, President Pervez Musharraf called for the building of a fence delineating the border, which met with Opposition from Pashtuns political groups and Afghanis who view the border as illegitimate.