PAK AFGHAN RELATIONS
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have remained estranged mainly due to Afghanistan’s revanchist claim made about Pakistan’s western province and its non-recognition of the Durand Line as the international border. With a hostile India to the East, Pakistan can ill-afford another irredentist neighbor. Since 1947 both countries have interfered in each other’s domestic affairs. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan forced Pakistan to wage a proxy war in Afghanistan, garnering the support of Western and Arab allies. Since the end of Cold war, Pakistan continued its forward policy in Afghanistan through support of Taliban. Its prime security interest in Afghanistan remains having a friendly government in Kabul. 2.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Pakistan abandoned support of Taliban and joined the U.S.-led coalition to destroy the Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Once again, Pakistan encountered a deep-seated hostility, this time from the Northern Alliance, which dominates the new power structure in Kabul. Skepticism and fear remain as both countries move cautiously to revitalize bilateral ties. Change in Afghanistan has always affected the region in general and Pakistan in particular. Stability across both sides of the borders is mandatory for peace and security in the region. Aim
To analyze the need of having friendly Afghanistan for Pakistan and to discuss options available to Pakistan in this regard. Background of Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations
Pakistan came in to being on Islamic ideology revolving around the concept of Muslim Ummah and destined to be a symbol of universal Islamic solidarity across the globe. According to the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaqat Ali Khan, ‘A cardinal feature of this ideology (of Pakistan) is to make Muslim brotherhood a living reality. It is therefore, part of the mission which Pakistan has set before itself to do every thing in its power to promote closer fellowship and cooperation between Muslim countries’. It was with this background that Pakistan, since its inception, pursued every step that could bring Muslim world closer at one platform. Its one of the fundamental principle has been to establish brotherly relations with the Muslim countries. Pakistan succeeded in cherishing very cordial relations with every Muslim country baring Afghanistan. In case of Afghanistan geographical location has acted more negatively than the binding role the Muslim faith was expected to play. In case of Pak-Afghan relations Lord Curzon’s (former Viceroy of India) saying seems to be worth mentioning here, ‘frontiers are indeed the razor’s edge on which hang suspended the modern issues of war and peace, of life or death to nations’ seems proving to be correct. 5.
It is regrettable fact of the history that from the time of Pakistan’s birth, Afghanistan has maintained an attitude of hostile neighbor and Pakistan has to live with it because neighbors can not be changed. At the heart of Afghanistan’s indifferent attitude towards Pakistan were the issues of Durand Line and Pakhtoonistan. Both of the issues were based on Afghanistan’s ambitions of regaining control of NWFP and other areas which, for a brief period, were part of Ahmad Shah Abdali’s conquered territories. 6.
During 1940s, when it became apparent that Britain is likely to free India, the Government of Afghanistan asked Britain that in the event of the demission of British authority the whole Pathan country as far as the Indus should revert to Afghan sovereignty or the people of NWFP be given choice of independent Pathan state. Since then Afghanistan is playing self-styled champion’s role for the establishment of, ‘Pakhtoonistan’. The rationale sounded of the Pakhtoonistan was that since India was partitioned between Hindus and Muslims therefore, by parity of reasoning; there should be a further partition to provide the Pakhtoons with their own home land also. The proponent of the claim forget...
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