Commonalities and Challenges in Pak-Afghan Relations

Despite facing challenges, the two countries have commonalities and incentives to build a friendly environment and strong diplomatic ties for the benefit of both nations.

Muhammad Masoom
By Muhammad Masoom 3 Min Read
Pakistan Afghan Relations, Durand Line, Pak Afghan Border

Since the independence of Pakistan, the relationship with the neighboring state of Afghanistan has remained in a tricky situation. Although Pakistan shares a territorial border of around 2400km (about 1491.29 mi) with Afghanistan in the northwest region of Pakistan, the relationship phases of both states have gone through a struggling environment. Pakistan gained independence in 1947, but Afghanistan did not recognize it as an independent state despite being a neighboring Islamic state. There are some factors that show the aggression of Afghanistan towards Pakistan.

The very first and historic reason behind the Pak-Afghan relationships is the “Durand Line.” At the time of Partition, the British Government drew a line between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which is considered the international border between these two regions and is called the “Durand Line.” However, since the establishment of the Durand Line, Afghanistan does not consider it an official border because they believe that some of their territorial claims were given to Pakistan. The Durand Line is a very historic fact that lies between the relationships of Pak-Afghan.

Secondly, Pakistan acted as the envoy of the United States in the War on Terror in Afghanistan. Just after 9/11, the US initiated the War on Terror in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s policy suggested being on the US side during the war, which created hurdles for Pak-Afghan ties. There are some primary reasons also that added intentions in the Pak-Afghan bond.

Despite all these factors, Pakistan and Afghanistan always try to build a friendly environment and better diplomatic ties. There are some commonalities between these two regions that lead to being friendly with each other and making good relationships. Religion is the most common factor between both the states. Most of the population of Pakistan and Afghanistan are Muslims, which is a commonality between them. Secondly, Pakistan and Afghanistan share a wide range of territory around 2600km (about 1615.57 mi). Other than that, people of both regions share almost the same tradition, culture, norms, and values. Most of the people of the North region of Pakistan are Pashtuns, where Afghani peoples are also Pashtun, having a common language Pashto, the same tribal and cultural values.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are always engaged in building a stable environment because Afghanistan is a landlocked country having no coastal line or seaport for sea trade. That’s why the best way for them to do trade and import and export is to use Pakistan’s sea ports, which keeps their economic activities. Since the United States force withdrawal from Afghanistan, Afghan Taliban took charge of government and administration. Now it’s time to build a future of diplomatic ties with Pakistan because of many factors like a stable environment in Afghanistan, recognition of Taliban as in government, trade and economic activities with regional and global powers, and showing a positive image of Afghan Taliban.

Keeping in mind all the above factors, both Afghanistan and Pakistan’s foreign offices and officials take different kinds of initiatives to build a friendly environment. It includes friendship bus services between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Pakistan development assistance to Afghanistan of one billion US dollars for development in Afghanistan, building bilateral trade and economic cooperation to promote trade activities, Pakistan aid in the field of education by supplying scholarships to Afghan students, scholarships for Pakistani students in different institutes of Afghanistan, and Pakistan supplying healthcare and refuge shelter to Afghani peoples. These all initiatives are taken to build a bright future for the Pak-Afghan relationship.

In the future, both states should take victorious initiatives to strengthen the relationship because it is necessary to stabilize the environment of the region, promote peace, and counter the activities of out-groups in the region. Such a step can build a bright future for both states. Good diplomatic ties between Pakistan and Afghanistan will be beneficial for both to counter the hurdles in the future and rise as major powers in the global environment. It will also promote trade, the economy, and stability in both regions. So, both the states should set up good diplomatic ties and work towards mutual cooperation and understanding.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in articles and blogs on Aware Pakistan are solely those of the authors and do not represent the official stance of the website. We are not liable for the accuracy of information provided by authors.

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