News - Afghanistan
President Hamid Karzai's spokesman on Wednesday said the Durand Line dividing Afghanistan and Pakistan is a matter for the Afghan people to decide, dismissing statements by American officials on what the demarcation means under US policy.
Aimal Faizi said the comments of foreigners on the Durand Line will not have any effect on the verdict of the Afghan people, to whom the decision belongs.
"Whatever their position is, it will not affect the Afghan people and government. The Durand Line is a historic matter and it is up to the people of Afghanistan to decide about this," Faizi said at a press conference in Kabul.
The Durand Line Agreement was drawn up by the British in 1893 to divide the Pashtun region between what was then British India and the Kingdom of Afghanistan.
Pakistan inherited the agreement after its partition from the British Raj in 1947 but there has never been an official ratification of the line between Islamabad and Kabul.
Faizi's statement comes US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Marc Grossman triggered a renewed debate on the demarcation with his comments in an interview on a private television network in Kabul on Sunday.
"Our policy is that border is the international border," Grossman said on October 21. "I think it is time to lift everybody's vision here to a regional conception of what the region could be."
US State Department spokesperson Victora Nuland reiterated Grossman's statement on Tuesday in the US after she was asked by a reporter about the matter.
"Well, our policy on this has not changed. It was correctly stated by Ambassador Grossman that we see this as the internationally recognised boundary," she
The Afghan government has already responded to Grossman's comment with a statement on Tuesday from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying it "rejects and considers irrelevant any statement by anyone about the legal status of this line.