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Title: How far is Afghanistan's policy towards 'the issue of Pashtunistan' lawful and legitimate?
Author: Aziz, Said Khalil
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 9078
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis is an interdisciplinary research project that seeks to critically examine the process of colonisation and decolonisation that resulted in boundary disputes and ongoing claims for self-determination in South Asia. It focuses on the border dispute between Afghanistan and Pakistan over the Durand Line. This line appeared after the conclusion of the Durand Treaty, drawn up and signed by Sir Mortimer Durand and Amir Abdul Rahman Khan in the nineteenth century. It examines the legality of the Durand Treaty according to the norms and practices that prevailed in the colonial and postcolonial eras. It elaborates on the self-determination claim of Baloch and Pashtuns on the British side (now Pakistan) of the Durand Line. The interplay between international law and history turns this thesis into a unique case study. The thesis claims that, in 1947, Pakistan appeared as a result of the partition of India and the division of Afghanistan. The Radcliffe Line divides India and the Durand Line divides Afghanistan, and within these two arbitrary lines Pakistan appeared as a homeland for Muslims. Pashtuns and Baloch, like Bengalis, are Muslims and hence they belong to the majority group. It is very unusual for a majority group to claim self-determination from its own nation. This thesis is an attempt to explain this paradox. It problematises the assertion that the Muslims of the British Raj were a coherent group or a nation. It argues that in the process of decolonisation Pakistan appeared as a 'borderless sovereignty' disconnected from its own imagined people. In these circumstances, boundary disputes with its neighbouring countries (Afghanistan and India) and an ongoing claim to selfdetermination within Pakistan was inevitable. By exploring the history and law, this thesis examines the legality and legitimacy of Afghanistan's policy concerning the 'issue of Pashtunistan'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available