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Need for strategic thinking

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By Times of India

It is time India shifted battle to Pakistan’s soil. Pakistan needs to be targeted where it hurts the country most.

The fault lines in Pakistan’s cupboards are many and the most sensitive one being the status of ‘Durand Line’ bordering Afghanistan.

The plot behind Pakistan’s plan to merge Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), a neglected area where over 95 percent population are Pashtuns, with Pakistan’s province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) needs to be viewed in context. A large number of this tribe also live in the neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Northern Baluchistan.

The British demarcation of the Durand Line was a deliberate strategy designed to divide the Pashtun territory along the border region of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Today, 1.3 million Afghans continue to remain as refugees in Pakistan of whom majority are Pashtuns. The world is aware of profiling of Pashtuns being carried out by Pakistan. These refugees are expected to leave Pakistan and settle in Afghanistan but without these tribes being allowed the right to their own land.

The Durand Line and Pashtunistan issues have been raised by different Afghan regimes in the past. Mone of the Afghan governments including the Taliban government which had briefly rules Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 have ever accepted the Durand Line as a boundary between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

India needs to recognize the aspiration and suffering of the Pashtuns and support their demand.