11:59 GMT09 May 2021
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has sparked a debate as he shrugged off the years-long position of the country on the Durand line, which divides it from Afghanistan.

    While discussing the act of terrorism along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Imran Khan said the Durand Line is a line made by the British but “there is no border there".

    "We have 2.7 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan. There are camps of 500,000 refugees living there. How do we know who’s coming in and going out? The Durand Line is a line made by the British which—there is no border there," the Pakistan prime minister said while speaking at a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) think-tank event in New York.

    The statement came only days after Pakistan's foreign ministry rejected Afghanistan's claims over the “internationally recognised” Pakistan-Afghan border (Durand Line), describing such a claim as “irresponsible and unwarranted”.

    While responding to a statement of Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs on “not recognising the Durand Line as an official border between the two countries,”  Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal recently emphasised that the Pakistan-Afghan border is an "internationally recognised official border between the two countries, in accordance with all relevant international laws and conventions".

    Last week, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani had clarified that Afghanistan will not compromise on the Durand Line. "Afghanistan people have the right to decide on the Durand Line. Fences cannot separate us," Ghani added.

    Over the past week, at least five Pakistani soldiers have been killed in terrorist incidents near the Afghan border when they were engaged in border fencing in the Dir District of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

    ​Pakistan claimed it has 2.7 million Afghan refugees, and Islamabad is fencing the border because of the allegations that fighters are going from Pakistan.

    The Durand Line is the 1,400 mile-long border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, established in 1893 following an agreement between Sir Mortimer Durand, a representative of British India, and Abdur Rahman Khan, the Amir of Afghanistan.


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