Vol. 3 No. 2 (2020): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs

The Impact of CPEC on Regional Politics around Durand Line

Published 2020-12-29


The Purpose of this Research is to explore the impact of CPEC on Regional Politics around Durand Line while establishing links of such influences with socio economic history of this region. The research effort shall also help to identify avenues and opportunities for Afghanistan and Pakistan in accepting the Durand Line as an International Border. It is a fact that despite being neighbors with socio-cultural and ethnic alignments, the two countries have experienced strain in relations during seven decades of coexistence. Political stability has never been good in the region because of weak administrative control on this border. Optically, Durand Line has been the main reason. Unaccounted movement of refugees, tax evaded businesses and trade, cross border tribal influences, human trafficking, illegal manufacturing and exchange of arms and ammunition kept the region under turmoil. Security situation all around Pakistan Afghanistan Border remained a question mark. The last One decade has been a decade of realization. The post 9/11 attacks in New York and US War on Terrorism paved way for re-identifying legitimacy and acceptance of the Durand Line. And then the China Pakistan Economic Corridor played a defining role in re-affirmation of Durand Line. Security situation and controls needed to be improved before crafting such huge BRI Investments by China. Governments in Pakistan & Afghanistan have begun to feel that clarity on Durand line will resolve half of their security issues if not all. Pakistan started putting up physical barriers all along, the Durand Line. Afghanistan’s Military responded with equi-controls. About 10-15% of the border belt areas resisted to this call. But Pakistan’s Resolve continues to strengthen the border. This is leading to an increased control and acceptance of the Durand Line. For US these enhanced controls would lead to segregation of Afghan extremists from some of the Tribal Radicals of Pakistan, ultimately weakening their opposition in Afghanistan. The government in Kabul has also been demanding non-interference from Pakistani Tribal Areas. For China strengthening Durand Line means security of CPEC. All these developments put together create an opportunity for both Afghanistan and Pakistan to increase cordiality with each other. This research effort can draw the attention of experts not only on both sides of this border but other states as well supporting the demarcation drive of the Durand Line. Moreover it will also enlighten about the likely repercussions for regional players in case of non-acceptance of the Durand Line.