Pakistan and Taliban at odds after Durand Line clash

Both groups have had tensions heightened lately due to the recent skirmishes at their border, which is known as the Durand line.

Last year Taliban ousted the US-backed Ashraf Ghani-led Afghan regime right after the US-led coalition completed its withdrawal from the two-decade-long war against the Taliban.

The hostile takeover of Afghanistan was celebrated and cheered by the Pakistan side as they expected the Taliban to become their allies and make Afghanistan a Pakistani client state.

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However, to Pakistan’s disappointment, both groups have had tensions heightened lately due to the recent skirmishes at their border, which is known as the Durand line.

The Durand line is the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It has its roots back when the subcontinent was ruled by the British. The British drew this line after the second Anglo-Afghan war in 1880. This line divided the Pashtun lands and left them in two different countries. Since the inception of this line, no ruling afghan government including the Taliban has recognised this line as the border with Pakistan.

There have several points of contention that Pakistan and the Taliban have had lately. One was the peace talks between the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).  The TTP enjoys support and patronage from the Afghan Taliban.

The peace talks involved the Pakistani army and the government and representatives of the TTP, and the Pakistani side agreed to release TTP prisoners in return for a ceasefire.

TTP is a terrorist group that has been at odds with the Pakistani establishment and has carried out over 3000 attacks killing over 2500 security personnel since its inception in 2007. This group had also carried out the infamous Peshawar school attacks that killed 132 children.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa seems to have realised his mistake in pressing ahead with talks despite the continuous recalcitrant attitude of TTP leaders quite late as after the killing of Al-Qaeda leader, Zawahiri, TTP leader Omar Khalid Khorasrecently, made it quite clear even to Bajwa that the talks had no future.