Afghan officials on Tuesday said a joint geological team will conduct a survey along the disputed section of the Durand Line in Chaman of Spin Boldak in Kandahar.
This comes after at least one civilian and two Afghan soldiers were killed when clashes broke out between Afghan and Pakistani border guards last week.
Afghan officials claim a Pakistani census team, accompanied by security forces, encroached on Afghan territory in Chaman in Spin Boldak on Friday, which led to a firefight between the two sides.
Following at least three meetings between Afghan and Pakistani officials after Friday’s skirmish, it was eventually agreed that a joint team would conduct a survey to decide exactly where the de-facto border line is, officials told TOLOnews on Tuesday. They also said the survey team would use Google Maps and GPS.
In an interview with the UK’s Guardian, Abdul Raziq, the police chief of Kandahar, said: “After negotiations, both sides have agreed that a geological survey should be conducted. Technical teams of both countries will use GPS and Google Maps as well as other means to get the answer.”
According to Pakistan Today, Kashif Nabi, a local administrator in Balochistan, said survey teams, which include military officers, arrived in the Chaman area on Monday and were working “amicably”. The situation is calm but the border crossing remains closed, he added.
“Officials from both sides launched the survey in the border villages along with experts,” a senior security official told Pakistan Today, adding the job would be completed in three to four days.
“Officials from the geological survey departments of the two countries will conduct a survey, and they will also make use of Google Maps,” said another senior Pakistani security source in Islamabad who requested anonymity.
The Durand Line, which is the porous 2,430 km border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, was established in 1893 after a pact was signed between British diplomat and civil servant, Sir Mortimer Durand, and the then Afghan ruler (Emir) Abdur Rehman Khan. It has remained a bone of contention between Kabul and Islamabad since 1949.
The Afghan government does not recognize the Durand Line as the border and many believe the true border is the Indus River.