History of Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations:
Geographically, Pakistan has been shared not only a long hospitable and porous border with neighbour Afghanistan towards West but also common history, religion, ethnicity and culture associations. It has been considered that there is physical and economic contact between two countries. Since inception, Pakistan and Afghanistan have been trouble relations. There is trust deficit, hostility and blaming each other for insecurity and cross boarder terrorism which are further deteriorating the relations. Pakistan thoroughly kept friendly and amicable relations with afghan government as a main objective of foreign policy excepting proxy soviet regime.
Currently, the relations reflect the narration of mistrust and very complex; cultural, diplomatic and conducive interaction gap has been broadened; accuse each other for bringing terrorism and violence across borders incursion killing military personnel’s and civilians; absence of bilateral political, economic and security cooperation and coordination; blaming Pakistan for sheltering and launching Taliban in to Afghanistan; Pakistan was charged for firing heavy rockets and mortars on afghan territory. Pakistan is also castigating over Afghanistan’s protecting Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Afghanistan and failure to restrict them against attacking FATA, Baluchistan and other parts of the country, menace of drug trafficking, non-state actor’s interference and contraband. More importantly, Indian spy agency RAW connection in Afghanistan cannot be ruled out which does not sabotage only peace process in Afghanistan but also sponsor terrorism in FATA, Baluchistan, KPK and Karachi with collaboration with NDS. Besides, India create anti-Pakistani segment among Afghani people which is against Pakistan’s national interest.
On Aug 14,1947, Pakistan was succeeding state while got independence from British-India, when admitting to UN, Afghanistan opposed it and gave negative vote in United Nations on Sep30, 1947 due to non-recognition of the Durand Line, which Afghanistan is considered as prejudice treaty forced by British empire. Durand line is the frontier established in the Hindu Kush in 1893 after giving the name sir Mortimer Durand. This issue rose by every government time to time, however, Taliban regime in 1990’s recognized it as Muslim Brotherhood between two countries. Relations have been degraded up to 1970’s, immediate after when afghan government threating territorial Integrity of Pakistan. They built anti-Pakistani discernment and demanded independent Pakhtoonistan. On Dec24, 1979 soviet intervention further worsen the situation in the region. Soviet entered to Afghanistan, crossed the international boarder to save the Saur revolution. Pakistan dragged in US-Russia cold war. In a result, a huge influx of refugees migrated to Iran and Pakistan. Internationally, Pakistan was criticised due to recognition of Taliban regime before 9/11.
Post 9/11 era is period of trust deficit, war on terror, blame each other for cross boarder incursion, increasing Indian influence in Afghanistan going relations from bad to worse, presence of foreign power threat to Pakistan’s national security and importantly, the question of non-traditional security threat to both countries.
The paper examines Pak-Afghanistan relations: afghan government’s Narratives of Pakistan connection in terror activities in Afghanistan, high Afghan’s representative’s perception regarding Pakistan’s involvement in Afghanistan including President, Defence Minister, National Security of directorates (NDS) and Parliamentarians.
Afghan government’s Narrative of Pakistan’s Involvement in Terrorist Activities:
The economic interest of two countries is intertwined. Afghanistan has landlocked country, through Pakistan it accesses to sea and primarily exports dry fruits to rest of the world. On the contrary, through Afghan territory, Pakistan enters to oil rich central Asia. Pakistan has been strategic interest in Afghanistan: problem of Durand line; restraint Indian influence in Afghanistan; economic interest; improving security situation across borders, repatriation of Afghan refugees, Political influence, Pashtoon factor and curbing Baluchistan secessionist movement.
After 9/11, the Afghanistan-Pakistan relations are going from bad to worse. Afghanistan openly accuses Pakistan for exporting terrorism in Afghanistan. All top afghan officials including president, NDS Chief, National Security Adviser, Defence Minister, Afghan Media, Parliamentarians and diplomatic representatives have similar narratives about Pakistan. Post-Taliban era is narration of suspicion.
Afghan government’s narrative about Pakistan connection in terrorist activities are: export terrorism from Pakistan to Afghanistan; giving safe havens to terrorists and economic assistance to them; support afghan Taliban and specially Haqqani network termed as a strategic asset (Proxy) of Pakistan; destabilizing the country through supporting insurgents who killing military soldiers, innocent civilians and devastating country’s Infrastructure; presence of bomber’s training camps and bomb producing factories across Durand line; altering current democratic government structure and desiring Taliban back in power; committing violence and extremism and enhancing interference in the internal matters of Afghanistan.
Former president Hamid Karzai openly charged Pakistan for exporting terrorism, suicide bombers and militancy into Afghanistan. Currently, incumbent president Ashraf Ghani also has identical narrative as predecessor about Pakistan. He labelled Pakistan a “sponsor of terrorist” country in the region. Last Year, “Heart of Asia” conference was held in India. At that occasion, Afghan President amenably rejected financial assistance of Pakistan and stressed that it was better to halt terrorism in Afghanistan from neighbour (Pakistan) country rather than economic aid. It was not first time to accuse Pakistan. On many occasion, through national and international media, summits and press release he indicted Pakistan for responsible of terrorism in Afghanistan, involvement of Pakistan’s central intelligence agency ISI’s which is sponsoring insurgency, training terrorist groups and provide safe havens in adjacent areas with Afghanistan.
Defence minister of Afghanistan gave enumerate of different factions involved in terrorist activities in the country which are pro Pakistani. He mentioned Al-Qaida and ISIS, East Turkman Islamic movement (ETIM), Haqqani Network, Afghan Taliban, Jandullah, Jiash-e-Muhammad and Lashkar-e-tayyiba. He said that they were destabilizing law and order and peace of Afghanistan.
Afghan’s Centre Intelligence Agency National Directorate of Security (NDS) former chief briefed media about Pakistan main intelligence agency Inter-services Intelligence (ISI) relations with Taliban and financial aid to them. He alleged that Pakistan spy agency hostage the whole country, was involved in series of kidnapping, high profile suicide bombing and targeting government institutions and afghan national army.
Parliamentarians and other stake holders have similar perception about deteriorating security situation in the country. They blame Pakistan for heinous crimes against humanity in Afghanistan which is giving economic support to Taliban. They expressed these views immediate after when some years ago, afghan parliament was stormed by militants in Kabul.