THE recent statement by the Foreign Office and your editorial are clear about the position of the Durand Line. The matter was dealt with by the Supreme Court in the case of Zewar Khan (PLD 1969, SC 485). Sharifuddin Pirzada, Attorney General, appeared for the federation of Pakistan, and A.K. Brohi appeared for the respondent.
In an elaborate judgment, the court observed, inter alia, that in the international law Pakistan was accepted and recognised as successor government and the inheritor of His Majesty’s government in the United Kingdom. The speeches of the Quaid i Azam delivered on July 31, 1947 and April 17, 1948, contained abundant indication of the fact that the accession of the tribal areas to the territories of Pakistan had taken place by the agreement of tribal jirgas.
This was made abundantly clear by the statement of the then Secretary of State for Commonwealth Relations made in the British House of Commons on June 30, 1950: “It is his Majesty’s government’s view that Pakistan is in the International Law the inheritor of the rights and duties of the old Government of India and His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom in these territories and that the Durand Line is the International Frontier.”
This was followed in 1956 by a statement of Sir Anthony Eden, the then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, reaffirming the same.
The Council of Foreign Ministers of the South-East Asia Treaty Organisation on March 8, 1956, declared in their communique: “The members of the Council severally declared that their governments recognise the sovereignty of Pakistan extends up to Durand Line, the international boundary between Afghanistan and Pakistan.”
Both under the international law and the municipal law, therefore, the tribal territories became part of Pakistan.