Page:Frontiers.djvu/42

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Frontiers

Kabul in 1893, by which a line was drawn between the tribes under British and those under Afghan influence for the entire distance from Chitral to Seistan, and the Indian Empire acquired what, as long as Afghanistan retains an independent existence, is likely to remain its Frontier of active responsibility. Over many of these tribes we exercise no jurisdiction, and only the minimum of control; into the territories of some we have so far not even penetrated; but they are on the British side of the dividing line, and cannot be tampered with by any external Power. My own policy in India was to respect the internal independence of these tribes, and to find in their self-interest and employment as Frontier Militia a guarantee both for the security of our inner or administrative border, and also for the tranquillity of the border zone itself. Further to the east and north the chain of Protectorates is continued in Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan: on the extreme north-east the annexation of Upper Burma has brought to us the heritage of a fringe of protected States known as the Upper Shan States. At both extremities of the line the Indian Empire, now vaster and more populous than has ever before acknowledged the sway of an Asiatic sovereign, is only separated from the spheres of two other great European Powers, Russia and France—the former by the buffer States of Persia and Afghanistan and the buffer strip of Wakhan; the latter by the buffer State of Siam, and the buffer Protectorates of the Shan States. The anxiety of the three Powers still to keep their Frontiers apart, in spite of national rapprochements or diplomatic ententes, is testified by the scrupulous care with which the integrity of the still intervening States is assured, and, in the case of this country, by the enormous sums