Mortimer Durand

Mortimer Durand

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Sir Henry Mortimer Durand (14 February 1850 – 8 June 1924) was a British diplomat and civil servant of colonial British India.

Background


Born at Sehore
Sehore
Sehore is a city and a municipality in Sehore district in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. It is the district headquarters of Sehore District and is located on the Bhopal-Indore highway, 37 km away from Bhopal.-Sehore's name:...

, Bhopal, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, he was the son of Sir Henry Marion Durand
Henry Marion Durand
Sir Henry Marion Durand was a British soldier and colonial administrator.-Career:After training at the East India Company's Military Seminary at Addiscombe , Durand left Britain for India in 1829, arriving in May 1830. He served initially as Second Lieutenant in the Bengal Engineers...

, the Resident
Resident (title)
A Resident, or in full Resident Minister, is a government official required to take up permanent residence in another country. A representative of his government, he officially has diplomatic functions which are often seen as a form of indirect rule....

 of Baroda and he was educated at Blackheath Proprietary School
Blackheath Proprietary School
The Blackheath Proprietary School was an educational establishment founded in 1830 that was noted in the contemporary press as an extremely successful school in terms of its education but is perhaps most notable for its profound influence on the game of football, in both Association and Rugby codes...

, and Tonbridge School
Tonbridge School
Tonbridge School is a British boys' independent school for both boarding and day pupils in Tonbridge, Kent, founded in 1553 by Sir Andrew Judd . It is a member of the Eton Group, and has close links with the Worshipful Company of Skinners, one of the oldest London livery companies...

.

Career


Durand entered the Indian Civil Service in 1873. During the Second Anglo-Afghan War
Second Anglo-Afghan War
The Second Anglo-Afghan War was fought between the United Kingdom and Afghanistan from 1878 to 1880, when the nation was ruled by Sher Ali Khan of the Barakzai dynasty, the son of former Emir Dost Mohammad Khan. This was the second time British India invaded Afghanistan. The war ended in a manner...

 (1878–1880) he was Political Secretary at Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

. From 1884 to 1894, he was Foreign Secretary of India. Durand was appointed Minister plenipotentiary at Teheran in 1894 although despite being a Persian scholar and speaking the language fluently he made little impression either in Tehran or on his superiors in London. He left in 1900 by which time owing to the illness of his wife Ella he had withdrawn from social life and the legation was in a depressed and disorganised state. From 1900 to 1903 he served as
British Ambassador to Spain
, and from 1903-1906 as Ambassador to the United States of America.

Durand Line


In 1893, Mortimer Durand negotiated with Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan was Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901.The third son of Mohammad Afzal Khan, and grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan, Abdur Rahman Khan was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government in Kabul after the disarray that followed the second...

, the Amir of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, the frontier between modern-day Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 the successor state of British India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 and Afghanistan, the successor state of Khorasan. This line, the Durand Line
Durand Line
The Durand Line refers to the porous international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which has divided the ethnic Pashtuns . This poorly marked line is approximately long...

, is named after him and remains the international boundary between Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and modern-day Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, officially recognized by most nations but an ongoing point of contention between the two countries.

In 1893, Sir Mortimer Durand was deputed to Kabul by the government of British India for the purpose of settling an exchange of territory required by the demarcation of the boundary between northeastern Afghanistan and the Russian possessions, and in order to discuss with the Amir Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan was Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901.The third son of Mohammad Afzal Khan, and grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan, Abdur Rahman Khan was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government in Kabul after the disarray that followed the second...

 other pending questions. The Amir Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan was Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901.The third son of Mohammad Afzal Khan, and grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan, Abdur Rahman Khan was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government in Kabul after the disarray that followed the second...

 showed his usual ability in diplomatic argument, his tenacity where his own views or claims were in debate, with a sure underlying insight into the real situation.

The territorial exchanges were amicably agreed upon; the relations between the British Indian and Afghan governments, as previously arranged, were confirmed; and an understanding was reached upon the important and difficult subject of the borderline of Afghanistan on the east, towards India.

In 1893, during rule of Amir Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan was Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901.The third son of Mohammad Afzal Khan, and grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan, Abdur Rahman Khan was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government in Kabul after the disarray that followed the second...

 of Afghanistan, a Royal Commission for setting up of Boundary the Durand line
Durand Line
The Durand Line refers to the porous international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which has divided the ethnic Pashtuns . This poorly marked line is approximately long...

 between Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 and the British-governed India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 was set up, to negotiate terms with the British for the Agreeing to the Durand line
Durand Line
The Durand Line refers to the porous international border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which has divided the ethnic Pashtuns . This poorly marked line is approximately long...

. The two parties camped at Parachinar
Parachinar
Parachinar is the capital of Kurram Agency, FATA of Pakistan. It is about 290 km west of the capital, Islamabad...

, now part of FATA
Fata
The FATA or FC-ATA is a type of computer hard disk drive. FATA is simply the low cost ATA or SATA disk drive equipped with a small external converter, that changes the interface to Fibre Channel...

 Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, which is near Khost
Khost
Khost or Khowst is a city in eastern Afghanistan. It is the capital of Khost province, which is a mountainous region near Afghanistan's border with Pakistan...

 Afghanistan.

From The British side the camp was Attended by Mortimer Durand and Sahibzada Abdul Qayyum, Political Agent Khyber
Khyber
The term Khyber may refer to:*The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a province of Pakistan*The Khyber Pass, a mountain pass that links Pakistan and Afghanistan.*The Khyber Agency, part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

.

The Afghanistan was represented by Sahibzada Abdul Latif
Sahibzada Abdul Latif
Sahibzada Abdul Latif was an Afghan of Khost. He was born in Sayed Ga of Tani District in Khost Province, Afghanistan in 1853, to Sahibzada Mohmmad Shareef. He had two brothers, Sahibzada Abdul Aziz and Sahibzada Abdul Haleef...

 and the Governor Sardar Shireendil Khan
Sardar Shireendil Khan
In the year 1893 during rule of Amir Abdur Rahman Khan of Afghanistan a Royal Commission for setting up of Boundary the Durand line between Afghanistan and the British governed India was set up to negotiate terms with the British, for the agreeing to the Durand line, and the two parties camped at...

 representing the King Amir Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan was Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901.The third son of Mohammad Afzal Khan, and grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan, Abdur Rahman Khan was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government in Kabul after the disarray that followed the second...

.

Durand died at Polden
Polden
Polden may refer to:*Chilton Polden, a rural village and civil parish near Edington, north of the Polden Hills in the Sedgemoor district of Somerset, England*East Polden Grasslands, a Site of Special Scientific Interest on the Polden Hills in Somerset...

, Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

, England, in 1924. He is buried in Dera Ismail Khan
Dera Ismail Khan
Dera Ismail Khan is a city in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. It is situated on the west bank of the Indus River, west of Lahore and northwest of Multan. The city is the capital of the district and tehsil of the same name. In Pakistan, its name is often abbreviated to D. I...

, a big city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan.

Literary works


From 1906, after his return to England, he devoted his time in writing.

He also published the biography of his father general Henry Marion Durand
Henry Marion Durand
Sir Henry Marion Durand was a British soldier and colonial administrator.-Career:After training at the East India Company's Military Seminary at Addiscombe , Durand left Britain for India in 1829, arriving in May 1830. He served initially as Second Lieutenant in the Bengal Engineers...

 (1812–1871) and had ambitions as novelist (often with his wife Lady E. R. Durand (1852–1913) as co-author). Some of his publications:
  • An Autumn Tour in Western Persia, (1902)
  • Nadir Shah: An Historical Novel, (1908)
  • The Life of Field-Marshal Sir George White, V.C., (1915)

See also

  • Durand Cup
    Durand Cup
    The Durand Football Tournament was started by then, India's Foreign Secretary, Mortimer Durand at Simla, India, in 1888. The initial matches were played in Dagshai. It was basically initiated, as a recreation for British troops stationed in India. The Durand Cup was twice suspended, during the two...

     - a football tournament started by Mortimer Durand at Simla
    Shimla
    Shimla , formerly known as Simla, is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh. In 1864, Shimla was declared the summer capital of the British Raj in India. A popular tourist destination, Shimla is often referred to as the "Queen of Hills," a term coined by the British...

    in 1888.