Pakistan has always considered Afghanistan as its brother. The people of
the two countries are bound by this great bond of brotherhood, which our
beloved Prophet Muhammad declared in his last sermon that “one Muslim is
the brother of another Muslim”. History has shown that whenever a
difficult time came to Afghanistan, Pakistan was the first to help. 

Afghanistan must also bear in mind the fact that it was Pakistan that gave
its people full support to restore Afghanistan’s sovereignty and independence
in the days of Soviet aggression. It also opened its soil to more than 3
million Afghan refugees and helped them in every way possible. 


The nature of the improvement in
Pakistan-Afghanistan relations is not limited to these two countries, but the
regional security and political stability of the entire region are essentially
linked to peace in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s own peace cannot be seen in
political isolation. Pakistan is facing several challenges in its internal
stability due to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. One of the most
serious issues is mistrust. Because when the climate of distrust prevails in
countries to move forward and correct the situation, the possibilities for
improvement are also limited. 

The problem of Pakistan is that
there is more peace in Afghanistan than how much peace Afghanistan can create
for itself. Those who think that Pakistan does not want internal peace in
Afghanistan are not correct. Pakistan has repeatedly tried to find a way
between the Afghan government and the Afghan Taliban that would guarantee their
internal peace. But Afghanistan’s internal crisis is complex, and its
seriousness is not limited to its internal crisis, its external crisis also
causes problems for them. 

The problem with Pakistan and Afghanistan is that
those who think that we can make a difference by simply pursuing a policy of
anarchy, including blame, anger, and hatred, are also mistaken. Because in the
past, the problems of Afghanistan could not be solved by force. The Afghan
government, with the help of coalition forces, including the United States, has
not been able to eliminate the Taliban, nor has the Taliban been able to occupy
Afghanistan based on war. 

Pakistan has been convincing the international
community, including the Afghan government, that the solution to the Afghan
problem is political and that an acceptable solution can only be found based on
dialogue between the parties. In the current situation, the Afghan government,
including the United States, has concluded that a way should be found for
dialogue. The negotiating table that Pakistan had set up between the US, the
Afghan government, and the Taliban in Qatar and Islamabad could not prove
fruitful due to India’s negative policy. In the past, any political or
administrative efforts made by the United States, the Afghan government, and
other parties to find a solution to the Afghan problem by expelling Pakistan
have not been fruitful. 

Pak-Afghan relations with love and

Ever since Pakistan came into being,
its relations with its neighbor Afghanistan have been going through strange ups
and downs. 
Afghanistan and Pakistan, despite
being geographically, religiously, socially, generally, and commercially
connected, still suffer from a seemingly never-ending political animosity and
are unable to take full advantage of their historical ties. 

If these relations had been
established, the standard of living of millions of people living in the area,
especially the Pashtun people, would have been much better. The wars fought
against foreign aggression in Afghanistan have had a profound effect on
Pakistan, as a result of which millions of Afghan refugees are still in
Pakistan, with no hope of repatriation. 

Pak-Afghan Durand Line Dispute 

The Durand Line was drawn in 1893 because
of an agreement between the then British Empire and the Afghan ruler Abdul
Rahman Khan. It was created because British authorities feared the Russian
Empire’s ambitions in the region. The British Empire wanted to keep Afghanistan
an independent country that could keep other armies away from British-held
territory in the region. 

The issue of the Durand Line has
complicated the unpredictable nature of Pak-Afghan relations since the
formation of Pakistan. All Afghan rulers accepted the Durand Line as an internationally
recognized border, but that changed after Pakistan came into being in 1947.
Pakistan has erected 90% fences on the 2,640 km long border. 

The government of Pakistan believes
in resolving issues through ‘understanding and dialogue’ like ‘good neighbors’
and this issue needs to be resolved through diplomatic channels. 
The Pak-Afghan border fence dispute
should be resolved through “diplomatic means”. 

In addition, in the wake of these
wars being fought in Afghanistan, covert wars were also fought against Pakistan,
which led to widespread destruction and devastation. Terrorism has further
increased Pak-Afghan distances over the past decade. This has led to a backlash
against the Afghan refugees living in Pakistan as well as the Pakistani people,
especially those living in the former tribal areas, who have faced many
difficulties during counter-terrorism operations. 

Now the United States and the Afghan
government are well aware that without the help of Pakistan, neither the Afghan
peace nor the Afghan Taliban can be brought to the negotiating table. One
problem was that the United States and the Afghan government believed that the
Afghan Taliban was in Pakistan’s hands and that Pakistan was directly
responsible for their decisions. 

On the contrary, it has been convincing
Pakistan, the United States, and the Afghan government that we no longer influence
the Afghan Taliban to be bound by our every decision. They are independent and
are not subject to our decisions. Similarly, Pakistan has believed that
terrorism and the support of terrorists from Afghan soil in Pakistan are
destabilizing our internal stability. India and Afghanistan have been promoting
the notion in the world that Pakistan as a state is sponsoring terrorism in the
region, which has been a source of strain in relations. 

Pakistan has also been emphasizing
that on the one hand, the Afghan government wants peace with our help and on
the other hand its alliance with India is hostile in the context of Pakistan.
Pakistan has been adamant that the Afghan-Indian nexus in the face of terrorism
in Pakistan is also a challenge to our internal security. The growing Indian
pressure on the Afghan government and the inclination of many in the Afghan
government towards India has become a major problem for us. 

After the Taliban took over
Afghanistan, it is not yet clear what the situation will be there and what will
be the nature of Pakistan-Afghanistan relations. 

Pak-Afghan Future relations

The gulf between Pakistan and
Afghanistan in the past has widened over time. Decades have passed in this
bitterness, but these two countries are still standing in the past. 
New generations are now preparing to
withstand the worst of these ‘suspicions’. For Pakistan, the issue of
“support for Greater Pakhtunistan and the Baloch separatists” stands
there, but it is time to forget the bitterness of the past and lay the
foundation for a brighter future. 

Pakistan’s policies towards
Afghanistan will not change unless it is guaranteed that Afghan territory will
not be used against it and no attempt will be made to divide Pakistan

On the other hand, the Islamabad
government must be assured that it will support the Kabul government in the
future, not those who are against the central government. Decades later, the
two countries once again have an excellent opportunity to forget the bitterness
of the past and think about the future of future generations. Other countries
will look after their interests, but the real decision is to be made by the
‘influential figures and groups’ of these two countries, whether they want to
see guns or pens in the hands of future generations in a few decades. 


There is a need for the government
of Afghanistan to consider border management on the part of Pakistan. Instead
of formulating its policies at the behest of others, the Afghan government
itself should assess whether the steps taken by Pakistan are beneficial or
detrimental to Afghanistan. It will know the truth for itself. However, if it
continues to follow the dictates of others, it will be a loss-making deal
because no other country can play the role that Pakistan can play for
Afghanistan more than Pakistan. 

However, both countries should move away from the past
and take advantage of the new scenario and possibilities. Because these
practices, and policies are in the interest of both the countries and peace,
security, cooperation, and better relations between the two countries. I wish
we could make progress and the Afghan people, in particular, could find a way
to peace. Pakistan’s cooperation is certain but this war is the Afghans’ own
and they have to find a solution. Pakistan should help the Afghan brothers in
this matter.