Today in South Asian history: the Durand Line is drawn (1893)

The Durand Line, AKA “the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” is one of those legacies of colonial times that everybody’s still, unfortunately, living with today. Named after the guy who dreamed it up, British Foreign Secretary for India (at the time) Sir Mortimer Durand, it was meant to fix the border between British India and Central Asia. India was, obviously, a British colony, while 19th century Central Asia was a place where Britain liked to toss around its influence, but only insomuch as it made for a nice frontier between India and the constantly expanding Russian Empire. The border was also meant to prevent another Anglo-Afghan war–the first two, in 1839-42 and 1878-80, had been costly affairs that really didn’t accomplish much–which it definitely did, uh, not.

Source: Today in South Asian history: the Durand Line is drawn (1893)

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