Pakistan giving identity cards to the Afghan nationals across Durand line

Kabul, Afghanistan: Pakistan is giving identity cards to the people living across Durand line, Pakistan is attempting to change the demography of the territory by doing so.

Ayanangsha Maitra, writing in an opinion piece in The Khaama Press said that by issuing citizenship to Afghan nationals across the Durand border, Pakistan may bring a demographic change to the territory. Pakistan’s act of forcefully issuing ID cards to Afghan nationals is not just an authoritarian move but raises questions on Afghan sovereignty.

The incident occurs at a time when Afghanistan is severely suffering from a slew of challenges and relying much on Pakistan to get out of the trauma.

Last week, a reliable Afghan news wire published a news article which read “Luqman and Jahangir villages, in the Spin Boldak district of southern Kandahar province near the Durand Line have been issued Pakistani identity cards,” reported The Khaama Press.

Pakistan earlier initiated a census study in the surrounding areas of Luqman and Jahangir villages and claimed the two as their territory. When Afghan security forces attempted to stop them, it escalated into fierce battles. The Provincial government in Afghanistan is believed to have started probing the case.

The Durand Line, the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is named after a British colonel from the 1890s. Albeit Pakistan and the international community recognize the Durand Line, Afghanistan has always denied accepting it formally.

Thousands of Afghan villagers along the Durand Line have received a national identity card from Pakistan, all though they hold valid Afghan tazkira (national id card).

Moreover, Pakistan’s fencing along the border has severely affected the residents on both sides of the Durand Line. Pakistan has almost fenced the whole of its disputed 2,670-kilometer border with Afghanistan. According to the DG ISPR of Pakistan, 94 per cent of fencing is complete.

Last year Pakistan set up 67 new wings of Frontier Corps Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to ensure strict border policing. Pakistan will further establish 6 more wings, wrote Maitra.

Most recently, videos were viral on social media which showed the Taliban uprooted a part of the fence along the Pak-Afghan border, demanding that the fencing had demarcated and forcefully occupied Afghan territory.

Pakistan’s National Security Advisor (NSA) Moeed Yusuf had to cancel his visit to Kabul on January 18, following a massive protest at the Kabul airport. On January 29, NSA Moeed Yusuf met with Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salaam Hanafi and Foreign Minister Amir Khan Motaqi in Kabul.

There are also serious allegations that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is operating from Afghanistan. It has become a massive security threat to Pakistan, said Maitra.

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