The Great Game – Renewed – I.2


In 1893 the British created the “Durand line” as a buffer between the Czars and the British Empire. After the British departure Kabul refused to recognize Pakistan, challenging the legitimacy of its borders. India jumped in, to encourage Afghan claims – supported by its ally the USSR. Despite the tension in its Frontier province, Pakistan’s founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah had already pulled out troops from the Pashtun areas, confident that Pakistan had the allegiance of the tribes. Subsequent events were to prove him correct. Aslam Khattak then first secretary and later ambassador in Kabul even started a proposal for a Pakistan-Afghan confederation. Both sides agreed to work for a confederation in which the two regions would be autonomous in all matters, except for defence, foreign policy, foreign trade and communications.
IMAGE ABOVE:PAKISTAN AFGHANISTAN BORDER NEAR CHAMAN (BALOCHISTAN) EPA/OLIVIER MATTHYS
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AFGHANISTANPAKISTAN FRICTION

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by Hassan Rizvi

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             ♦     A Wider Northern By-Pass (Route 3)

Russia has proposed exporting oil north to join its existing pipeline system at Novorossiysk .This development would remove the pipeline further from Chechnya and help maintain regular flow of Caspian Sea and Kazakh oil.

            ♦      The Trans Caucasus Route (Route 4)

The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) built an initial line from Baku through Georgia to the Georgian port of Supsa on the Black Sea. It is pumping a limited amount of oil since l999.This is relatively an inexpensive option, but the oil still has to move from Supsa by oil tankers through the Black Sea and the Bosporus. Turkey controls the traffic between the Black and Mediterranean Seas and does not want increased oil tanker traffic through the straits because of environmental concerns. Russia objects to this route because none of the pipeline passes through Russia. Further, this pipeline runs through domains of many fractious mountain tribes. (more…)