‘The friendly ties shared by India-Afghanistan leave Pakistan piqued and it is Afghanistan’s friendship with India that has soured relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan.’ stated the former President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai whose words assume significance especially on the background of the skirmishes at the borders that the armies of the two countries engaged in. ‘It was the British who drew the Durand Line between Afghanistan and Pakistan and Afghanistan was not going to accept it, come what may’, he stated emphatically in an iterview.
‘India has invested big money for the progress of a poor country like Afghanistan. Several development projects are seeing the light of day only thanks to India’s help. India is a true friend and earnestly wishes that Afghanistan moves forward on the path of progress. Afghanistan wishes that Pakistan play a positive role like India does. Pakistan however is not in favour of it. If Afghanistan aimed for improved ties with Pakistan, it would have to severe relations with India and this was the condition that Pakistan has laid down’, stated Karzai speaking in an interview he gave to an international news channel.
‘It is for the same reason that Pakistan is unwilling to open up the route for trade between Afghanistan and India. If this route opened up, India would be able to access Central Asian countries via Afghanistan. However, Pakistan has hindered this. Also, Afghanistan has never accepted the Durand Line since 1893 and it was not going to accept it ever in the future, he clarified. The Afghans are a people that do not take orders from anybody except their own rulers and so Pakistan’s views about the Durand Line were never going to be acceptable to the Afghan population,’ asserted Karzai in no uncertain terms.