Reactivation of Islamabad-Kabul ties

The Afghan president and Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed to bury the hatchet and open a new episode of friendship and cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have remained strained because of a lack of trust between the two neighbours. Kabul for long has kept accusing Islamabad of supporting the Afghan Taliban. On the other hand Pakistan has its own list of mental hesitancy that includes the Afghan governments of action against groups involved in cross-border attacks.
Pakistan and Afghanistan agreed to restart their bilateral relations, which have remained hindered in distrust for long. The Prime Minister Imran Khan’s and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani discussed the state of relations. The visit was aimed at raising bilateral cooperation in political, trade, economic and security fields and developing stronger ties. The visit took place in the midst of desire of progress in US-Taliban talks leading to initiation of intra-Afghan dialogue. Prime Minister Khan, during the meeting, called for “a qualitative transformation” in ties, on the other hand President Ghani, in his speech at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), stressed the need for developing “political alignment” between the two neighbours and taking “bold steps”. Loya Jirga, the traditional Afghan consultative gathering, held last month had authorized him to standardize ties with Pakistan and seek a political settlement with the Afghan insurgents. The current visit to Pakistan, his third while in office, but after a recess of nearly four years. Pakistan feels that it is to remain involved with the government of Afghanistan.
For a strategic region Pakistan wants a peaceful, stable, democratic and prosperous Afghanistan. It desires to have stronger political, trade, economic, and people-to-people relations with Afghanistan. An Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process was the only feasible alternative to restore pace. Afghan president lauded Pakistan’s efforts to strengthen the peace process in the region. Mr Ghani remarks at the ISSI was frank that presidential elections would take place in Afghanistan later this year and there was little room for negotiations on the constitution as it was already Islamic in character. Pakistan is a part of link project such as the Central Asia-South Asia (CASA 1000) electricity transmission line and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. The Afghan president in his meeting with PM Khan suggested regional task force of leaders for advancing the projects of regional connectivity. It was acknowledge that early finishing of major energy connectivity projects such as the CASA 1000 electricity transmission line and the TAPI gas pipeline will provide long-term economic gains to the countries involved. The two sides had discussed on method for escalating trade, infrastructure and energy link. There is no way out Pakistan and Afghanistan need to work collectively for the purpose of peace in the region. Peace is important for the stability and prosperity of both countries.
Reactivation of relationship had been achieved but there are a number of issues such as border management. If there is the problem of fencing the border, then there is also the disturbed question of the closure of the border to Afghan dealers in perishable goods, mostly fruit. Prime Minister Imran Khan convinced the Afghan head of state that Pakistan would try and convince the Taliban to come to the table with Kabul, emphasizing that an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process was the only possible alternative to end the years -long battle in Afghanistan. Terrorists and their accomplices did not belong to a specific country or a nation. These savage elements were against humanity in the region and it was necessary to get rid of networks of these terrorists to safeguard peace and welfare in the entire region. Members of security forces of Pakistan had rendered great sacrifices in their fight against terrorism. A calm and peaceful Afghanistan was in the best interest of Pakistan. It is mandatory upon other regional countries to contribute to the eradication of terrorism effectively to make the region free from, turmoil trouble and terror. Pakistan and Afghanistan are not just neighbours, but are linked by Muslim tie of brotherhood. Though Afghanistan a landlocked country, it could still play a pivotal part for an improved link between countries of Central Asia and South Asia. Afghanistan is developing its infrastructure to come up with a modern direction of attachment through energy transmission and up gradation of transport sector in an effort to satisfy needs of modern day age.

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