Pakistan which shares a long border with Afghanistan, is highly concerned regarding the future of Afghanistan, an epicenter for war for the last more than one decade. The opportunity that had been opened up with the toppling of the Taliban had been squandered, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was that the American army was too trigger-happy, too inefficient and too ignorant to succeed in an endeavor that entailed patient cross-cultural nation-building.

Pakistan and India – both nuclear-armed nations – have long been bitter enemies. And any increase in India’s support for Afghanistan is likely to worry Pakistan, fueling fears that Islamabad’s influence on the Afghans’ future could diminish.

Pakistan has been fed up with impossible U.S demands and with drone attacks that kill innocent Pakistani citizens. Pakistan had suspended NATO supply routes amid the airstrike on the Pakistan army camp in Salala that resulted in 24 casualties, and flagging Parliament’s guidelines. It wants drone bombing to cease. It wants an apology on state level for the killing of its 28 soldiers. U.S is not ready to accept it. Pakistan is also genuinely asking US to pay a tax worth $5,000 to it for each supply truck that will cross its border into Afghanistan and to compensate in terms of damages to the roads and highways caused by heavy NATO traffic before the closure of these supplies.

However U.S is reluctant to accept any such demand, deadlock persists and Pak-US ties are continuing to remain unchanged. Without the apology, Pakistan cannot reopen the NATO supply routes into Afghanistan that have been closed since November. The US, in turn, is withholding from Pakistan between $1.18 billion and $3 billion of promised military aid. The reopening of NATO supply lines is important for the United States military to support troops currently in Afghanistan, but also to help withdraw tons of weapons and material out as a major draw down approaches in 2014.

U.S on the one hand needs Pakistan’s help in Afghan issue but on the other hand promoting the role of India in Afghanistan and has forgotten Pakistan had made unprecedented sacrifices in the war on terror. The United States wants to press Pakistan by reinforcing trilateral relations between the US, India and Afghanistan and by encouraging India to have a military role in Afghanistan, wants to mount pressure on Pakistan. India and the United States have agreed to hold a trilateral dialogue with Kabul to support their joint efforts to prepare Afghanistan for the post-2014 scenario when U.S. forces are set to leave. Afghanistan and India though don’t share a direct geographic border, with the assistance of U.S enjoying close ties. India is assisting in Afghanistan’s reconstruction and strengthening economic ties; soon going to provide training to members of the Afghan security forces.

Afghanistan holds strategic importance for India. It is a gateway to access energy-rich Central Asian states such as Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. But the two sides U.S and Pakistan have no choice but to deal with each other. If abandoning Afghanistan is dangerous, abandoning Pakistan would be even more so. Not because of that silly proposition that Pakistani nukes might fall into the wrong hands, but because Pakistan is sinking deeper into militant lawlessness and economic breakdown.Pakistan has rendered huge sacrifices in the war against terror and it must be recognized by all.

The consulates opened by India in Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad, and Kandahar, are providing cover for Indian intelligence agencies to run covert operations against Pakistan, as well as foment separatism in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. It is no surprise then that Pakistan sees India’s growing influence in Afghanistan as a threat. Pakistan and Afghanistan relations are tense, partially because Pakistan believes Afghanistan and India actively work against Islamabad.

Pakistan points to the Afghanistan vote against its accession to the United Nations – the only country not to support its inclusion – as evidence of anti-Pakistan sentiment. The Pakistani leadership also aimed to ensure that Afghanistan would not enter into close geopolitical affiliations with other, more powerful countries, such as the United States or India, in order to increase Kabul’s autonomy from Islamabad.

United States and NATO should remember Pakistan’s role in the post-withdrawal of NATO and U.S forces after 2014 is very important for the security and stability of Afghanistan and indeed of the region. Pakistan has suffered heavy losses both in terms of lives and the economy as a result of war on terror. Any progress in Afghanistan may not be able to produce approaching a stable transition in 2014 and beyond unless Pakistan is involved in transition process.


By admin