Pakistan responds to Taliban remarks on Durand Line

Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, responded to Taliban deputy foreign minister Abbas Stanikzai’s comments on the Durand Line, stating that “any self-serving and fanciful claims” regarding the Pakistan-Afghanistan border cannot alter geographical realities.

Stanikzai, in a recent gathering in Logar, claimed that half of Afghanistan’s soil lies beyond the Durand Line and stated that Afghanistan will never recognize this border demarcation. He also criticized Pakistan’s treatment of Afghan refugees.

In response, Baloch noted that Pakistan advises Afghanistan to address its “genuine security concerns” rather than diverting attention with such public statements.

The relationship between the Taliban and Pakistan has been strained recently, with Pakistan alleging that the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an anti-government militant group, operates from safe havens in Afghanistan under the Taliban’s regime. In November, Pakistan’s caretaker government required over 1.73 million Afghan refugees to leave the country.

Baloch also stated that Pakistan remains committed to facilitating regulated movement across the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and will continue steps to ensure this.

The tensions escalated when new visa and passport requirements imposed by Pakistan led to a temporary halt in bilateral trade, stranding thousands of commercial trucks at the border.

In a meeting in Logar, Taliban official Abbas Stanikzai described the Durand Line as a hypothetical boundary and criticized Pakistan for deporting immigrants, labeling the Pakistani government as “shameless.” He warned of repercussions if Pakistan’s actions continue, referring to the Afghan territory incorporated into Pakistan post-Durand Treaty as potentially “liberated.”