The Durand Line is the internationally recognized boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan, says the US State Department while rejecting the Afghan government’s protest over an earlier US statement on Pakistan-Afghan border. On Oct 21, US Special Representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman told a private television channel in Kabul that Washington recognized the Durand Line as the international border between the two countries. The same day, Afghanistan’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs issued a statement, saying the Kabul government “rejects and considers irrelevant any statement by anyone about the legal status of this line”. The issue was raised again in Washington at a State Department briefing where a reporter asked spokesperson Victoria Nuland to specify official US position on the Durand Line.
“Well, our policy on this has not changed. It was correctly stated by Ambassador Grossman that we see this as the internationally recognised boundary,” Ms Nuland responded.
The journalist then asked if the State Department had received any protest from the government of Afghanistan on Ambassador Grossman’s statement.
“To my knowledge, no, but I know that there’s been quite a bit of press commentary out there,” she said.
The Durand Line was drawn up by the British in 1893 to delineate the boundary between what was then British India and the Kingdom of Afghanistan. After 1947, it became the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, although the Afghan government still refuses to recognise it. Dawn, The Frontier Post.
Four men and a woman were killed when a US drone attacked a suspected militant compound near Miramshah in North Waziristan on Wednesday. According to local people, two missiles were fired at the house of Malang Dawar in Ghundai Village, 25km from Miramshah. Five people were killed in the attack, but their identity could not be ascertained. A residential compound was targeted in the attack and three people died, security officials said, according to AFP. Dawn, The Frontier Post, The News, Daily Times.
Four labourers were killed when a mortar shell landed at a factory in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency on Wednesday. The shell, which was fired from an unknown location, hit the factory located in Spah area of Bara, killing four labourers and damaging the building. The Frontier Post.
People in North Waziristan will celebrate Eidul Azha on Friday, one day earlier than the rest of the country. Ulema have announced that they will follow Saudi Arabia in celebrating Eid on Friday. Maulvi Mohammad Roman, prayer leader of the Qari Mosque in Miramshah, made the announcement on Wednesday and other Ulema in the area endorsed the decision. Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee and private moon sighting committees in Peshawar had announced that Eid would be celebrated on Saturday. It may be mentioned that in accordance with a decision of local Ulema, people in North Waziristan Agency had celebrated Eidul Fitr one day ahead of Saudi Arabia. Dawn, The News.
Two non-combatants succumbed to their injuries in Bara tehsil of Khyber Agency on Wednesday as they could not be provided timely medical treatment owing to precarious security situation in the area. Local sources said that Mohammad, a labourer, was critically injured along with three other colleagues when a mortar shell fell on a factory in Alamgudar area of Sipah on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday. Dawn.
In Mohmand Agency, suspected militants blew up two government primary schools in Haleemzai tehsil on Wednesday morning. Sources said that militants planted explosive devices at the buildings of primary schools for boys in Wazir Kallay and Khwajawas Kor areas in the night that went off on Wednesday morning. As a result, both the buildings were destroyed completely. Security forces arrested three local tribesmen with the help of sniffer dogs after the blasts in the area. Taliban spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan talked to local journalists by telephone from an undisclosed location and claimed responsibility for the blasts. In Swabi, suspected militants blew up a government middle school in New Nehar Jahangira on Wednesday. Police said that two classrooms of the school were destroyed completely while the third one was damaged in the pre-dawn blast. They said that militants had planted explosives at the veranda of the school building. About 290 students, enrolled in the school, were told on Wednesday to remain in their homes till further order. Dawn, The Frontier Post, Daily Times.
A bridge and few houses were damaged in a blast near Bacha Khan Markaz, the central office of Awami National Party, here on Wednesday evening. Police said that the bomb was planted along Pejagi Road to target the law-enforcers. However, terrorists failed to achieve their target, they said, adding that no casualty was reported in the blast. Provincial Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour told journalists at the blast site that the explosion was aimed at creating panic among people. He said that government was determined to eliminate extremists at all costs. Dawn, The Frontier Post, The News, Daily Times.
The reconstruction of all destroyed government schools in Landi Kotal and Jamrud tehsils of Khyber Agency would be started soon after Eid, said Political Agent Mutahir Zeb. Talking to tribal elders and journalists during his two-day visit to Landi Kotal, he said that solar energy system would be also installed in the schools. The political agent said that warm tents would be provided to the students of destroyed schools in cold areas so that they could continue their studies before reconstruction of their schools. He said that technical and teaching staff as well as security would be provided to the vocational training centre in Kam Shalman area to make it operational immediately. The centre, constructed at a cost of Rs13.5 million in 2001, has been lying useless since then. Mr Zeb said that he along with the assistant political agents would pay surprise visits to schools and health centres in Landi Kotal and Jamrud to ensure attendance of teaching staff and health workers. Dawn.
Mobile veterinary clinics have been reactivated in remote areas of the district, including Kalil Kandow, to cut animal mortality rate by vaccination against heterogenic septicemia (HS) and entero toxemia (ET). Dr Ahmad Khan, in charge of the clinics, told Dawn on Wednesday that hundreds of cattle were brought to the clinics for vaccination against HS and ET and free medicines and food supplements were distributed to their owners. He said cattle farmers and owners had been educated about seasonal animal diseases, including HS and ET, at these clinics. Dr Ahmad said these diseases negatively affected the cattle’s health. Dawn.
The tribal people have demanded of the political administration to take effective steps to stop smuggling of livestock as it was causing hike in the prices of sacrificial animals in Bajaur Agency. The people from different areas of the agency said that the prices of sacrificial animals increased manifold owing to smuggling of cattle from the tribal region. They asked the administration to imposed ban on movement of animals from agency till Eidul Azha. Aziz Khan, a resident of Khar, told Dawn that he was not able to buy a sacrificial animal owing to financial restraints. He said that the recent increase in prices of animals put tribal people in trouble as they couldn’t buy the animals of their choice. “I would like to buy a goat or another small animal because the prices of big animals are very high this year,” said Abdul Manan Khan, another tribesman. Dawn.
A body was recovered near Ghari Suhbat Khan, Khazana. Cops said they were on patrol in Khazana where they found the body idenfitied as of Nisar son of Syed Wali of Mohmand Agency. Police said that they recovered identity card and some medicines from his pocket. The Frontier Post.
NAWAF KHAN ,SHARAFAT ALI CHAUDHRY