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Pak trench alongAfghan border enrages Kabul

Pak trench alongAfghan border enrages Kabul
But like the Berlin Wall or Israel’s West Bank barrier, the planned 485-kilometer (300-mile) trench is giving physical form to a border that locals have long seen as artificial, dividing families and crippling trade. It is adding to simmering tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, US allies which have long accused each other of turning a blind eye to insurgents.

The trench runs along part of the 2,640-kilometer (2,640-mile) Durand Line, named for British diplomat Mortimer Durand, who drew the now internationally recognized border in an agreement with Afghan ruler Abdur Raham Khan in 1893. But the modern Afghan government has never accepted the border, and neither have the mainly tribal communities that straddle it. They are accustomed to moving back and forth freely and in some cases own land on both sides.

The trench is being built in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, where Baluch rebels have been battling Islamabad for decades, demanding greater autonomy and a larger share of the region’s oil, gas, copper and gold. It’s an eye-sore of construction - a massive furrow 10 feet (three meters) wide and 8 feet (2.4 meters) deep that already snakes 180 kilometers (110 miles) across the desert landscape.
Agencies

Agencies

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