Afghanistan–Pakistan the confluence of great mountains and with a

 

Afghanistan–Pakistan relations refer to
the bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both neighbouring
states are Islamic republics, part of the South Asian Association for Regional
Cooperation (SAARC) and designated by the United States as major non-NATO
allies. Relations between the two countries have been subject to various
complexities over the past few decades, by issues related to the Durand Line,
the 1978–present war (i.e. Mujahidin, Afghan refugees, Taliban insurgency and
border skirmishes), including water and the growing relations of India and
Afghanistan.

In not too distant past, Pakistan had to
bear the negative fallout of Soviet invasion in Afghanistan whereas
correspondingly Afghanistan provided Pakistan with strategic depth and the
shortest entry to the CARs; full of economic prospects. However, the present
political dispensation in Afghanistan has curtailed the previous Pakistani
clout. Moreover, our western borders have become increasingly sensitive
resulting into the present unsatisfactory relations between the two countries.

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Above in view, study the historical
perspective of Pakistan – Afghanistan relations, identifying the existing
inadequacies, future challenges and likely prospects while being cognizant of
the obtaining environments in order to formulate a comprehensive policy
framework for establishment of a long-lasting and friendly relationship.

 

ABSTRACT

            Despite having geographic and
demographic contiguity, bilateral relations

between
Afghanistan and Pakistan ever since their inception have been uneasy at

best.

            Located at
the confluence of great mountains and with a turbulent history, the
Pakistan-Afghanistan region was once referred to as the “cockpit of
Asia” by Lord Curzon. Geography has placed the region at the crossroads of
global and regional politics, strategic and particularly economic interests—as
a potential conduit for energy routes (the oil/gas pipelines of Central Asia).
But the war-torn region faces diverse problems of conflicting group-identities,
narcotics trade, a small arms highway, money laundering, mineral smuggling and
cultural clashes.

Since the events of September 11, 2001 the political landscape of
the region has transformed dramatically. Pakistan made a strategic about-face
over the Taliban, when her decade old “forward policy” in Afghanistan
became counterproductive to her own national security. Both Afghanistan and
Pakistan have since returned to the mainstream of the international system. But
skepticism and fear of renewed tension between them remains and both countries
revitalize bilateral relations with cautious optimism.

For the past years Afghanistan and Pakistan have been enjoying
mixed nature of relations. Will both countries remain on track and for how
long? Will Afghanistan and Pakistan destabilize each other this decade? What
major changes have now taken place and what steps might be taken to sustain
this trend in the future of their relations?

This research work focuses on the existing
inadequacies, future challenges and likely prospects while being cognizant of
the obtaining environments in order to formulate a comprehensive policy
framework for establishment of a long-lasting and friendly relationship.