Heal the rift between Pakistan and Afghanistan

There is no denying the impression and a well-documented fact that gives Pakistan paramount importance to its relation with Afghanistan as Pakistan’s serenity and tranquility depends upon harmony in the Afghanistan. It is evident beyond an iota of doubt that both countries are Islamic Republic and shares 2600 km long porous border. If we check the annals of history it can easily be palpable that both states not only shares similar ideological and religious beliefs but also be a part of many regional organizations like SAARC, ECO and OIC. Unfortunately, it is matter of deep sorrow and highly lamentable that Pakistan and Afghanistan do not come closer due to plethora of reasons that have put the rift between the two countries.
It is a pre-requisite to give a brief overview of history to figure out the bone of contentions that have played havoc and paralyzed their progress. When Pakistan was created in the 1947, Afghanistan did not recognize it. In the meantime, Durand Line Agreement the official border which was defined in an agreement signed in Kabul on November 13, 1893 by the than India’s foreign secretary Sir Mortimer Durand and the Afghan King Abdur Rehman was unacceptable to Afghanistan.
Till now Afghanistan is claiming its right on the border. It was a scenario of highly unfortunate, astounding and reprehensible that Afghanistan opposed Pakistan’s admission into the UN. The relations hit the nadir when Afghanistan aligned itself with the Pakistan’s rival India and the USSR. In addition to this, they also chart out maligned maneuvers to destabilize the nascent nation and to put its progress in the pit of obscurity.
Above all, she supported secessionist groups inside KPK and Balochistan to fulfill the desires of India. So, it can easily be noticeable that Afghanistan’s negative role had wreaked havoc. Then Soviets step up with the dream of world domination to invade Afghanistan but all the efforts of USSR ended in smoke. As a result USSR licked the dust; the role of Pakistan holed a vanguard position to disintegrate USSR with the help of USA.
Furthermore, Taliban with the help ISI first captured Kandahar in 1994 then Kabul in 1996 and most of rest of the country by 1998. However, after the incidence of 9/11 Global war on terror started and Pakistan had been forced to rethink its policy toward Afghanistan and joined hands with the USA.
From then Afghanistan had been accusing Pakistan of patronizing Talibans but ground reality is totally opposite. Moreover, in war on terror Pakistan has sacrificed more than 70,000 important lives also put a heavy toll on the Pakistan’ s economy and the figures are alarming near to 120 billion USD. In a report published by SIGAR (The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction), identifies a dangerous trend which could have disastrous consequences for Afghanistan and its neighbor Pakistan a gradual increase in ungoverned areas.
The role of India cannot be ignored for bringing the relation between the two countries in this verge. Since, the inception till now INDIA has been inciting Afghans against Pakistan and using Afghanistan as a launching pad to fulfill its nefarious designs.
In a similar fashion, US invasion of Afghanistan have cast havoc and total fiasco to steer Afghanistan from the quagmire of war to the safe shores. Currently 15000 US troops are present in the Afghanistan but their movement is restricted and limited only to the bases. According to the PEW Research Centre Washington conducted the survey found that US has failed to achieve its goal in Afghanistan.
There is no doubt that plethora of hurdles are impeding both countries to take off economically, socially, politically and above all to bring peace in the war-torn country. If looking through geo-political, geo-economic and geo-strategic lens it is the requirement of the hour that both the states have to bury their past and turn the new leaf for the peace. In this regard, Imran Khan can play a role of torch bearer to dismantle both the countries from the fold of suspicion, lack of trust and most importantly war.
Firstly, both the states must avoid the blame game and let go off the past by removing the ambience of mistrust. Secondly, Afghanistan must end it’s with India to isolate Afghanistan. Thirdly, Pakistan must improve its soft power. Like, recently Imran Khan has announced to give nationality to Afghan refugees and opening of Muhammad Ali Jinnah Ali Hospital are the practical steps in the right direction to remove the clouds of mistrust. In the Feb 2017 Government of Pakistan has announced 3000 scholarships for Afghan students. Fourthly, role of China and Russia can be taken into account. Lastly, there is only one silver bullet through which Afghanistan can easily be stabilize that is political settlement.
If these steps are implemented that time is not faraway to see a prophecy of harmonious Afghanistan.

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