One of the world’s longest border line that stretches from the Chinese border in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south is about 2400 KM long. Near the Wakhan built, a thin tail like territory in the Afghan map, Pakistani border joins China and Afghanistan from where Tajikistan is just a few kilometers away separated by the same Wakhan belt. Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1997, this border is home to guerilla fighters from all over the world.
These fighters were recruited, trained and armed by US-Saudi-Pakistan alliance and sent into the war against the Soviet Union. Fighters were highly motivated in the name of Jihad for the liberation of a Muslim land from the hands of infidels. After the break-up of the Soviet Union and liberation of Afghanistan, these fighters continued fighting for their affiliated groups and warlords. These warlords had enough power, weapons, and men to capture areas of their influence and declare a self-rule. In the absence of centralized federal Government, Kabul was the main battle ground between these major powers.
During this period, Pak-Afghan border remained silent but Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan kept moving through this border frequently. Pak-Afghan border commonly known as the Durand Line is the main economic and trade source for the Afghan economy. Under the Pak-Afghan transit trade agreement, Afghan traders are allowed to transport goods from the Seaports in Pakistan. This agreement also allows Afghan traders to transport goods to and from India via Wahga border in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
In 1996, Afghan Taliban captured Kabul and declared the Islamic Emirates inside Afghanistan. During this era, Taliban were blamed as Pakistani mercenaries but they still refused to withdraw from the Afghan claim of Durand line. Afghanistan officially does not recognize Durand line as regular border and has deep reservations.
Historically, Durand line was decided by a commission constituted by the British government under Sir Durand to draw a compromised border between the Afghanistan and British India. This border was sketched for a century and the time period has already expired. Pakistani Government negates the Afghan claim with the argument that Durand line became a regular border right after the independence of Pakistan and India.
This border was in the spotlight after the 9/11 attacks when Talib Government was toppled after a 48 Nation invasion under the leadership of US. These border areas were home a complex system of tunnels. These tunnels were constructed during the resistance war of Afghanistan and now used by Al-Qaida forces under Usama Bin Laden. US forces bombed these tunnels with Dazy cutter bombs and carpet bombing from B-52 bombers.
Afghan border with Pakistan is mostly hilly and densely forested. These border areas offer ideal conditions and terrain for guerrilla warfare. Kunar, Nangarhar, Khost, Paktia, Paktika and Nuristan provinces of Afghanistan share common borders with the Tribal areas of Pakistan. These border areas have rich resources and forests with deep long valleys, high mountains and ravines. Pakistani Army has fought one of the bloodiest battles against the Pakistani Taliban in these jungles. Pakistan has started fencing this 2400 KM long border with barbed wire, mines and watch towers to prevent attack by insurgents from Afghanistan. Visa-free entry to and from Afghanistan has also been canceled and Afghan refugees are ordered to leave Pakistan or obtain due to residential documents.