Published on: September 3, 2021



What :

  • Important international boundary line
  • Between the countries of Pakistan and Afghanistan


  • Fixed by British civil servant Sir Henry Mortimer Durand and the then Afghan Emir, Abdur Rahman Khan in 1893.
  • Established in order to fix the respective spheres of influence and also to improve the diplomatic ties between the British establishment in India and the Afghan Kingdom. It was accepted as the then Indo-Afghan border.
  • The line cuts through the Pashtun homelands of the region. The line divides ethnic Pashtuns and Balochs, who live on both sides of the border.
  • The Pakistani side of the border includes, among others, the North Western Frontier Province, which was renamed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2010.
  • The length of the Durand Line is 2430 km.
  • The line was slightly modified by the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919. The treaty was meant to be for 100 years, but in 1999, it was not renewed.
  • The modern state of Afghanistan does not accept the Durand Line.
  • However, it is internationally recognised as the western border of Pakistan.
  • India also has a small claim to the borderline, through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (about 105 km of the easternmost section of the boundary line).

Present situation :

  • The borderline is deemed as one of the most dangerous in modern times.
  • The ongoing conflict in the Waziristan region, which is located on the Pakistani side of the Durand Line, has become a hub of drug trafficking, kidnapping and general lawlessness.
  • The region even acts as a feeder area for the larger Golden Crescent, one of the largest drug trafficking networks on the planet.

What is in news : The new Afghan government is yet to announce its position on this issue.