Area and Population.
Afghanistan is a landlocked country of about
250,000 sq. mi. and between 7 and 12 million inhabitants, mostly
The differences between Afghanistan and
Pakistan over their joint border continued and in some ways were
intensified during 1951. In January Pakistan made two protests in
ten days to India, complaining that two India government officials
had addressed or entertained officially delegates to an "All-India
Pushtu Jirga," a tribal meeting held in Delhi to support a scheme to
detach from Pakistan approximately the whole area west of the Indus
River in order to form a Pushtunistan state. In January, also,
Pakistan reported that, at jirgas held at Government House in
Peshawar, three clans in the Mohmand Hills east of the Durand Line
(the Safis, the Kodakhels, and the Khawezais) had pledged loyalty to
Pakistan. Border violations brought two complaints from Pakistan in
the first week of May, and a third protest was lodged on May 8.
Officials in Karachi, Pakistan, said that 300 Afghan soldiers had
raided the village of Killi Walham, 25 mi. southwest of Chaman,
Baluchistan Province, on May 6. On June 3, a dispatch from Karachi
reported that Pakistan had protested to India against the
contravention of "international law and diplomatic etiquette" in
allowing the Afghan ambassador in India to deliver a strongly
anti-Pakistan speech over the All-India radio.
Reports reached Karachi that 30 Afghans and
Pakistani were killed and 10 wounded on July 2 in a skirmish between
their forces, near the Pakistani outpost of Dobandi, 6 mi. east of
Chaman, Baluchistan Province. Late in August, the office of the High
Commissioner for Pakistan issued a strong protest against the action
of the Afghanistan Embassy in London, which had issued invitations
to a reception to celebrate "Pushtunistan Day" on September 2. The
Afghanistan government replied by accusing the Pakistan government
of repeatedly bombing the tribesmen and of occupying military posts
in order to suppress the tribesmen's desire for independence. On
September 1, Afghanistan's Ambassador to Moscow said his country
might carry its dispute with Pakistan to the U.N. General Assembly.
Sultan Ahmed Khan told Soviet and foreign news reporters that
Afghanistan almost certainly would raise the question of
self-determination of Pushtunistan soon, if Pakistan did not change
When Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan of
Pakistan was assassinated in October, the Pakistan government
declared officially that the assassin had been identified as a
national of Afghanistan named Said Akbar from the village of Khost.
However, the Pakistan government avoided mention of any connection
between the Afghanistan government and the assassin.
Afghanistan's relations with the United States
centered on personalities. In February, The New York Times
reported that Seyed Abdul Ahad, Afghanistan Under Secretary of
Mining, was in the United States on a U.N. fellowship to study
American mining methods. Also in February, Afghanistan signed an
agreement for U.S. assistance under the Point Four program. In
March, President Truman appointed George R. Merrell, former
Ambassador to Ethiopia, to succeed Louis G. Dreyfus as U.S.
Ambassador to Afghanistan. During the early spring, the Prime
Minister of Afghanistan, Sardar Shah Khan, visited the United
States, and on April 24 was entertained by President Truman at a
Blair House luncheon.
The United Nations, especially through its
specialized agencies, rendered increasing service to Afghanistan.
Agents of U.N.I.C.E.F. were administering aid to the children of
Afghanistan. Under an expanded program, the U.N. sent six
economic-development experts to Afghanistan; the F.A.O. sent five
experts and provided four fellowships for study; and W.H.O. had one
full-time health-program expert as well as resident
In February, it was announced that Philip G.
Beck had been named U.N. technical-assistance representative to help
Afghanistan in a co-ordinated program of national economic
development with the assistance of five other U.N. specialized
agencies. In May, the United Nations announced that Louis August
Delaive, a Dutch mining engineer, had left for Kabul to assist
Afghanistan in the drilling of exploratory oil wells.
The Near East and
Afghanistan signed a contract for a small
quantity of oil from Iran, though the problem of transport would
seem to prevent its delivery. On August 9, the Kabul radio reported
that Afghanistan had signed treaties of friendship with Jordan,
Lebanon, and Syria and that the treaties had been ratified by the
Afghan National Assembly. On September 5 the Premier of Afghanistan
arrived in Delhi, India, for an official visit. Early in November it
was announced that the Indian government had decided to start a
weekly air service to link New Delhi with Kabul. To avoid flying
over the proscribed northwest territory of Pakistan, the flights
were to go from New Delhi to Karachi, Pakistan, thence to Zahidan,
Iran, and from there to Kabul.