The Durand Line refers to the 2,640 kilometres (1,640 mi) long porous International border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It was established after an 1893 agreement between Sir Mortimer Durand of British India and Afghan Amir Abdur Rahman Khan for fixing the limit of their respective spheres of influence as well as improving diplomatic relations and trade. It is named after Sir Mortimer Durand, K.C.I.E., a British diplomat and civil servant of colonial British India. Afghanistan was considered by the British as an independent princely state at the time, although the British controlled its foreign affairs and diplomatic relations.
The single-page agreement which contains seven short articles was signed by Durand and Abdur Rahman Khan, agreeing not to exercise interference beyond the frontier Durand Line. A joint British-Afghan demarcation survey took place starting from 1894, covering some 800 miles of the border. The resulting line later established the "Great Game" buffer zone between British and Russian interests in the region. The line as slightly modified by the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 was inherited by Pakistan following its independence from the British in 1947 becoming its modern border with Afghanistan.
The Durand Line cuts through the Pashtun tribal areas and further south through the Balochistan region, politically dividing ethnic Pashtuns, as well as the Baloch and other ethnic groups, who live on both sides of the border. It demarcates Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, Balochistan and Gilgit–Baltistan of northern and western Pakistan from the north-eastern and southern provinces of Afghanistan. From a geopolitical and geostrategic perspective, it has been described as one of the most dangerous borders in the world. Although recognised internationally as the western border of Pakistan and shown as such on global maps, it remains unrecognized in Afghanistan. According to Aimal Faizi, spokesman for the Afghan President, the Durand Line is "an issue of historical importance for Afghanistan. The Afghan people, not the government, can take a final decision on it."
The area in which the Durand Line runs has been inhabited by the indigenous Pashtuns since ancient times, at least since 500 B.C. The Greek historian Herodotus mentioned a people called Pactyans living in and around Arachosia as early as the 1st millennium BC. The Baloch tribes inhabit the southern end of the line, which runs in the Balochistan region that separates the ethnic Baloch people.
Arab Muslims conquered the area in the 7th century and introduced Islam to the Pashtuns. It is believed that some of the early Arabs also settled among the Pashtuns in the Sulaiman Mountains. It is important to note that these Pashtuns were historically known as "Afghans" and are believed to be mentioned by that name in Arabic chronicles as early as the 10th century. The Pashtun area (known today as the "Pashtunistan" region) fell within the Ghaznavid Empire in the 10th century followed by the Ghurids, Timurids, Mughals, Hotakis, and finally by the Durranis.
Sir Henry Mortimer Durand, British diplomat and civil servant of colonial British. The Durand Line is named in his honour.
In 1839, during the First Anglo-Afghan War, British-led Indian forces invaded Afghanistan and initiated a war with the Afghan rulers. Two years later, in 1842, the British were defeated and the war ended. The British again invaded Afghanistan in 1878, during the Second Anglo-Afghan War, withdrawing a couple of years later after attaining some geopolitical objectives. During this war, the Treaty of Gandamak was signed, ceding control of various frontier areas to the British Empire.
In 1893, Mortimer Durand was dispatched to Kabul by the government of British India to sign an agreement with Amir Abdur Rahman Khanfor fixing the limits of their respective spheres of influence as well as improving diplomatic relations and trade. On November 12, 1893, the Durand Line Agreement was reached. The two parties later camped at Parachinar, a small town near Khost in Afghanistan, which is now part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, to delineate the frontier.
From the British side, the camp was attended by Mortimer Durand and Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum, Political Agent Agency representing the British Viceroy and Governor General. The Afghan side was represented by Sahibzada Abdul Latif and a former governor of Khost province in Afghanistan, Sardar Shireendil Khan, representing Amir Abdur Rahman Khan. The original 1893 Durand Line Agreement was written in English, with translated copies in Dari or Pashto language. It is believed however that only the English version was actually signed by Amir Abdur Rahman Khan, a language he could not read or understand.
The resulting agreement or treaty led to the creation of a new province called at the time North-West Frontier Province now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a province of Pakistan which includes FATA and Frontier Regions.
It also included the areas of Multan, Mainsails, the Bahawalpur, and Dera Ghazi Khan. These areas were part of the Durrani Empire from 1709 until the 1820s when the Sikh Empire followed by British invaded and took possession. They were annexed with the Punjab Province of Pakistan as late as 1970, after the one unit of Pakistan was dissolved by President Yahya Khan, resulting in a shrunken NWFP (now called Khyber Pakhtunkhwa).
The Line of Actual Control (LAC) is a demarcation line that separates Indian-ruled lands from Chinese-controlled territory. It is the effective border between India and the People's Republic of China (PRC). The LAC is 4,056-km long and traverses four Indian states: Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal, and Sikkim. On the Chinese side, the line traverses the Tibet Autonomous Region. The demarcation existed as the informal cease-fire line between India and China after the 1962 conflict until 1993, when its existence was officially accepted as the 'Line of Actual Control' in a bilateral agreement. However, Chinese scholars claim that the Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai first used the phrase in a letter addressed to Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru dated 24 October 1959.
Although no official boundary had ever been negotiated between China and India, Indian government even today claims a boundary similar to the Johnson Line of 1865, whereas the PRC government considers a line similar to the McCartney–MacDonald Line of 1899 as the boundary.
In a letter dated 7 November 1959, Zhou told Nehru that the LAC consisted of "the so-called McMahon Line in the east and the line up to which each side exercises actual control in the west". During the Sino-Indian War (1962), Nehru refused to recognise the line of control: "There is no sense or meaning in the Chinese offer to withdraw twenty kilometers from what they call 'line of actual control'. What is this 'line of control'? Is this the line they have created by aggression since the beginning of September? Advancing forty or sixty kilometres by blatant military aggression and offering to withdraw twenty kilometers provided both sides do this is a deceptive device which can fool nobody."
Zhou responded that the LAC was "basically still the line of actual control as existed between the Chinese and Indian sides on 7 November 1959. To put it concretely, in the eastern sector it coincides in the main with the so-called McMahon Line, and in the western and middle sectors it coincides in the main with the traditional customary line which has consistently been pointed out by China."
The term "LAC" gained legal recognition in Sino-Indian agreements signed in 1993 and 1996. The 1996 agreement states, "No activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control." The Indian government claims that Chinese troops continue to illegally enter the area hundreds of times every year. In 2013, there was a three-week standoff between Indian and Chinese troops 30 km southeast of Daulat Beg Oldi. It was resolved and both Chinese and Indian troops withdrew in exchange for an Indian agreement to destroy some military structures over 250 km to the south near Chumar that the Chinese perceived as threatening. Later the same year, the BBC reported that Indian forces mistook planets for Chinese spy drones for six months. They recorded 155 such intrusions. Later the planets were identified by the Astrophysics as Venus and Jupiter. In October 2013, India and China signed a border defence cooperation agreement to ensure that patrolling along the LAC does not escalate into armed conflict.
On 17th August 1947 the Radcliffe Line was declared as the boundary between India and Pakistan, following the Partition of India. The line is named after Sir Cyril Radcliffe who was commissioned to equitably divide 4,50,000 km sq of territory with 88 million people.
The idea behind the Radcliffe Line was to create a boundary which would divide India along religious demographics, under which Muslim majority provinces would become part of the new nation of Pakistan and Hindu and Sikh majority provinces would remain in India. The Indian Independence Act 1947 of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which came into force on 15th July 1947 stated that India would be free from British rule on 15th August 1947, exactly a month from then. The act also agreed on the Partition of the provinces of British India into the two new nations of the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan (which would further be divided into the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People’s Republic of Bangladesh). Pakistan was intended to be a homeland for Indian Muslims and India with a Hindu majority was to be a secular nation. Before Partition, 40% of India was covered by princely states which were not British possessions and hence were not part of British India. Hence, the British could neither give them independence, nor partition them. The rulers of these states were therefore, fully independent and had to choose which of the two nations they wanted to join (or if they wanted to remain independent). However, all the rulers swiftly decided to join India or Pakistan, though only a small number did not.
Since the Partition of India was done on the basis of religious demographics, Muslim majority regions in the north of India were to become part of Pakistan. Baluchistan and Sindh (which had a clear Muslim majority) automatically became part of Pakistan. The challenge however, lay in the two provinces of Punjab (55.7% Muslims) and Bengal (54.4% Muslims) which did not have an overpowering majority. Eventually, the Western part of Punjab became part of West Pakistan and the Eastern part became part of India (Eastern Punjab was later divided into three other Indian states). The state of Bengal was also partitioned into East Bengal (which became part of Pakistan) and West Bengal, which remained in India. After Independence, the North West Frontier Province (located near Afghanistan) voted with a decision to join Pakistan.
Since the population of Punjab was scattered, it was difficult to draw a line which would clearly divide Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. Similarly, no line drawn was favoured by the Muslim League headed by Jinnah, nor the Congress headed by Nehru and Sardar Patel. Hence, it was decided that what was required was a well drawn line which would reduce the separation of farmers from their fields, while also minimizing the number of people who would have to relocate, hence reducing the feeling of alienation, which a new place brings to people. A rough border of sorts had already been drawn by Lord Wavell, the Viceroy of India, before he was replaced by Lord Mountbatten in February 1947.
In June 1947, Britain commissioned Sir Cyril Radcliffe to head the two Boundary Commissions (one for Punjab and the other for Bengal), to determine which territories will be assigned to which nation. The Boundary Commission was asked to demarcate areas in Punjab based on religious majority. While defining the boundary, Radcliffe also took into consideration "natural boundaries, communications, watercourses and irrigation systems", while paying heed to socio-political affairs. Each Boundary Commission had four representatives, two from the Congress and two from the Muslim League and given the tension between the both, the decision regarding the boundary ultimately lay with Radcliffe.
Radcliffe arrived in India on 8th July 1947 and was given five weeks to work on the border. Upon meeting with Mountbatten, Radcliffe travelled to Lahore and Kolkata to meet his Boundary Commission members, who were primarily Jawaharlal Nehru representing the Congress and Muhammad Ali Jinnah representing the Muslim League. Both parties were keen that the boundary be finalised by 15th August 1947, in time for the British to leave India. As requested by both Nehru and Jinnah, Radcliffe completed the boundary line a few days before Independence, but due to some political reasons the Radcilffe Line was only formally revealed on 17th August 1947, two days after Independence.
The original Siegfried Line was a line of defensive forts and tank defences built by Germany as a section of the Hindenburg Line 1916–1917 in northern France during World War I. In English, "Siegfried line" more commonly refers to the similar World War II defensive line, built during the 1930s, opposite the French Maginot Line, which served a corresponding purpose. The Germans themselves called this the "West wall", but the Allies renamed it after the World War I line. This article deals with this second Siegfried line.
The Siegfried Line was a defence system stretching more than 630 km (390 mi) with more than 18,000 bunkers, tunnels and tank. It went from Kleve on the border with the Netherlands, along the western border of the old German Empire as far as the town of Weil am Rhein on the border to Switzerland. More with Nazi propaganda in mind than for any strategic reason, Adolf Hitler planned the line from 1936 and had it built between 1938 and 1940.
Polish–German border devised by the Allied powers at the end of World War II; it transferred a large section of German territory to Poland and was a matter of contention between the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and the Soviet bloc for 15 years.
At the Yalta Conference (February 1945) the three major Allied powers—Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States—moved back Poland’s eastern boundary with the Soviet Union to the west, placing it approximately along the Curzon Line. Because this settlement involved a substantial loss of territory for Poland, the Allies also agreed to compensate the re-established Polish state by moving its western frontier farther west at the expense of Germany.
But the western Allies and the Soviet Union sharply disagreed over the exact location of the new border. The Soviets pressed for the adoption of the Oder-Neisse Line—i.e., a line extending southward Baltic Sea, passing west of Szczecin, then following the Oder River to the point south of Frankfurt where it is joined by the Lusatian Neisse River, and proceeding along the Neisse to the Czechoslovakian border, near Zittau.
The United States and Great Britain warned that such a territorial settlement not only would involve the displacement of too many Germans but also would turn Germany into a dissatisfaction state anxious to recover its losses, thereby endangering the possibilities of a long-lasting peace. Consequently, the western Allies proposed an alternate border, which extended along the Oder River and then followed another Neisse River, which joined the Oder at a point between Wroclaw (Breslau) and Opole. No decision on the German-Polish border was reached at Yalta.
By the time the Allied leaders assembled again at the Potsdam Conference in July–August 1945, the Soviet Red Army had occupied all the lands east of the Soviet-proposed Oder-Neisse Line, and the Soviet authorities had transferred the administration of the lands to a pro-Soviet Polish provisional government. Although the United States and Great Britain strenuously protested the unilateral action, they accepted it and agreed to the placement of all the territory east of the Oder-Neisse Line under Polish administrative control (except the northern part of East Prussia, which was incorporated into the Soviet Union). The Potsdam conferees also allowed the Poles to deport the German inhabitants of the area to Germany. But they left the drawing of the final Polish-German border to be determined by a future peace conference.
The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) signed a treaty with Poland at Zgorzelec on July 6, 1950, that recognized the Oder-Neisse Line as its permanent eastern boundary. West Germany insisted, however, that the line was only a temporary administrative border and was subject to revision by a final peace treaty. West Germany continued to refuse to recognize the line until 1970. At that time, the West German government, which for several years had been striving to improve its relations with the eastern European states, signed treaties with the Soviet Union (Aug. 12, 1970) and Poland (Dec. 7, 1970) acknowledging the Oder-Neisse Line as Poland’s legitimate and inviolable border. This recognition was confirmed in the negotiations leading to German reunification in 1990.
This French line of defence was constructed along the country’s border with Germany during the 1930s and named after Minister of War André Maginot. It primarily extended
from La Ferte to the Rhine River, though sections also stretched along the Rhine and the Italian frontier. The main fortifications on the northeast frontier included 22 large underground fortresses and 36 smaller fortresses, as well as blockhouses, bunkers and rail lines. Despite its strength and elaborate design, the line was unable to prevent an invasion by German troops who entered France via Belgium in May 1940.
The Maginot line was named after Andre Maginot (1877-1932), a politician who served in World War I until wounded in November 1914. He used crutches and walking sticks for the remainder of his life. While serving after World War I as France’s minister of war and then as president of the Chamber of Deputies’ Army Commission, he helped complete plans for the defensive line along the north-eastern frontier and obtain funds to build it.
The main fortifications of the Maginot line extended from La Ferte (thirty kilometres east of Sedan) to the Rhine River, but fortifications also stretched along the Rhine and along the Italian frontier. The fortifications on the northeast frontier included twenty-two huge underground fortresses and thirty-six smaller fortresses, as well as many blockhouses and bunkers. The French placed most of their largest fortresses in the northeast because of their desire to protect the large population, key industries, and abundant natural resources located near the Moselle valley.
The first attack by the Germans against the Maginot line itself occurred on May 16, 1940, and was directed against the isolated fortifications at La Ferte on the extreme western tip of the line. The Germans managed to capture the casemates only after four days of hard fighting, and with the support of large amounts of heavy artillery and high-velocity 88-mm fire. Despite the use of massive force, the Germans failed to capture a single major fortress before the armistice on June 25. Though designed to withstand attacks from Germany, the Maginot line fortresses could be defended against attacks from the rear; consequently, the Americans had no easy task fighting their way through the line in 1944-1945.
Demarcation line between Poland and Soviet Russia that was proposed during the Russo-Polish War of 1919–20 as a possible armistice line and became (with a few alterations) the Soviet-Polish border after World War II.
After World War I the Allied Supreme Council, which was determining the frontiers of the recently re-established Polish state, created a temporary boundary marking the minimum eastern frontier of Poland and authorized a Polish administration to be formed on the lands west of it (Dec. 8, 1919). That line extended southward from Grodno, passed through Brest-Litovsk, and then followed the Bug River to its junction with the former frontier between the Austrian Empire and Russia.
17th Parallel the provisional military demarcation line established in Vietnam by the Geneva Accords (1954). The line did not actually coincide with the 17th parallel but ran south of it, approximately along the Ben Hai River to the village of Bo Ho Su and from there due west to the Laos-Vietnam border. Extending for 3 miles (5 km) on either side of the demarcation line was a demilitarized zone (DMZ), also called for by the Geneva agreement.
Although the accords stipulated that the line "should not in any way be interpreted as constituting a political or territorial boundary," the rest of the agreement was not carried out, and the 17th parallel became the practical political boundary between North and South Vietnam.
It is the line which Pakistan claims for demarcation between India and Pakistan. This, however, is not recognized by India.
26th Parallel south:
It is a circle of latitude which crosses through Africa, Australia and South America.
30th Parallel North:
It is a line of latitude that stands one-third of the way between the equator and the North Pole.
33rd Parallel North:
It is a circle of latitude which cuts through the southern United States, parts of North Africa, parts of the Middle East, and China.
35th Parallel North
It forms the boundary between the State of North Carolina and the State of Georgia and the boundary between the State of Tennessee arid the State of Georgia the State of Alabama, and the State of Mississippi.
36∘30' Parallel North
It forms the boundary between the Tennessee and Commonwealth of Kentucky between the Tennessee River and the Mississippi River, the boundary between Missouri and Arkansas west of the White River, and the northernmost boundary between the Texas and the Oklahoma.
37th Parallel North
It formed the southern boundary of the historic and extralegal Territory of Jefferson.
40th Parallel North
It formed the original northern boundary of the British Colony of Maryland.
41st Parallel North
It forms the northern boundary of the State of Colorado with Nebraska and Wyoming and the southern boundary of the State of Wyoming with Colorado and Utah.
42nd Parallel North
It forms most of the New York - Pennsylvania Border.
43rd Parallel North
It forms most of the boundary between the State of Nebraska and the State of South Dakota and also formed the northern border of the historic and extralegal Territory of Jefferson.
The Parallel 44∘ North
It is an imaginary circle of latitude that is 44 degrees north of the Earth’s equatorial plane.
45th parallel south
It is a circle of latitude that is 45 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. Highway sign marking the 45th parallel in New Zealand.
It is the line that marks the theoretical halfway point between the equator and the South Pole. (The true halfway point is 16.2 kilometres (10.1 mi) south of this parallel because the Earth is not a perfect sphere but bulges at the equator and is flattened at the poles.)
Unlike its northern counterpart it passes mostly over open ocean. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America.
At this latitude the sun is visible for 15 hours, 37 minutes during the December solstice and 8 hours, 46 minutes during the June solstice.
45th parallel north
It is a circle of latitude that is 45 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean. The 45th parallel north is often called the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole, but the true halfway point is actually 16.2 kilometres (10.1 mi) north of the 45th parallel because the Earth is oblate, that is, it bulges at the equator and is flattened at the poles.
At this latitude the sun is visible for 15 hours, 37 minutes during the summer solstice and 8 hours, 46 minutes during the winter solstice. The midday sun stands 21.6 degrees above the southern horizon at the December solstice, 68.4 degrees at the June solstice, and exactly 45.0 degrees at the two equinoxes.
North is a circle of latitude that is 49 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean.
The city of Paris is about 15 km (9 mi) south of the 49th parallel and is the largest city between the 48th and 49th parallels. Its main airport, Charles de Gaulle Airport, lies on the parallel.
Roughly 3,500 kilometres (2,175 mi) of the Canada–United States border was intended to follow the 49th parallel from British Columbia to Manitoba on the Canadian side and from Washington to Minnesota on the U.S. side, or from the Strait of Georgia to the Lake of the Woods. Its use as the international border is a result of the Anglo-American Convention of 1818 and the Oregon Treaty of 1846. (As usual the definition of "latitude" was ambiguous, and the actual marked border wanders north and south over a band perhaps 100 meters wide.)
From a point on the ground at this latitude, the sun is above the horizon for 16 hours, 12 minutes during the summer solstice and 8 hours, 14 minutes during the winter solstice. Slightly less than 1/8 of the Earth's surface is north of the 49th parallel.