Afghan-Pak ties: A new Phase of Blame-Game?

Since the establishment of Pakistan in 1947, Afghan-Pak relations were not good in most of the times. In spite of having common religion, language and culture, the two countries had not have closed ties with each other.

In 2001, when a new chapter in the history of Afghanistan was made, the then President Hamid Karzai endeavored in order to have good relations with Pakistan. Though, Karzai visited Pakistan 21 times when he was president, but the relations between two countries did not improve. In the last days in his office, Karzai explicitly said that Pakistan did not help his government. He repeatedly said that America and Pakistan hold the key to peace in Afghanistan. Even after his term was ended, Karzai remained an anti-Pakistani politician.

When in 2014, a new government was established in Afghanistan; also some efforts were made, to reconstruct the relations of the two countries. Ashraf Ghani stated that his foreign policy has five circles, in which Pakistan enjoyed a vital place. Ashraf Ghani, unlike his predecessor, made efforts to have a better understanding with Pakistan. In his foreign policy, Ashraf Ghani declared that he would have good relations with Pakistan in terms of security and economics. He tried through economic integration to have historical relations with Pakistan.

The Needs of Pakistani help

President Ashraf Ghani is a professional economist. When his government was formed, he stressed more on economic relations of Afghanistan and Pakistan, but in Pakistan there was no tangible change in policy. In APTTA agreement, Afghanistan accepted Tajikistan as a party to it; but Pakistan didn’t accepts India upon Afghan request. Pakistan said, in order to be part of this agreement, India should normalize its ties with Pakistan. This condition seems impossible.

Ashraf Ghani wants from Pakistan to help in bringing peace and security in Afghanistan. Like Karzai, Ghani expected Pakistan to have key of peace in Afghanistan and can oblige Taliban to commence peace talks with NUG. That is why he delayed weapons agreement with India, dispatch afghan soldiers to Pakistan for training, granted a free economic zone to Pakistan, in Afghanistan, also signed a controversial intelligence MoU with Pakistani ISI and did many other things for Pakistan. But still, there is no Positive reaction from Pakistan.

According to Ghani’s government, they should have strategic vision regarding Pakistan, instead of tactical one. Therefore, they omit most of the dishonesties of Pakistan and follow the strategic vision. Regarding Pakistan’s not fulfillment of its promises, Ashraf Ghani called his silence as strategic. NUG’s new friendship with Pakistan, not only isolated Ashraf Ghani inside government, but also this is used by anti-Pakistan factions as a tool of pressure on Ghani.

On the contrary, Pakistan gained more. In the last decade, Pakistan only this time can receive more privileges and could prevent Indian infiltration in Afghanistan.  

From Intelligence Sharing to Blame-Game

As aforementioned, after all the concessions that were mad by president Ghani and privileges granted by him to Pakistan, still they did not present any tangible outcome, yet Ghani expect from them and that’s why continues his “strategic silence”.

Recently, afghan government has criticized Pakistan. In June 21th Taliban targeted Afghan parliament; but Afghan secret services blamed Pakistani intelligence and said that a man of Pakistani intelligence, named Bilal has logistically helped in this attack.

Pakistan’s foreign ministry denied this blame. Keeping in mind the fact that this blame come in time, when Afghan government has signed MoU of intelligence sharing with Pakistani secret services. Last week, daily Weesa, disclosed the content of MOU. In a part of that MOU, it was agreed upon, that both countries would share intelligence. This discovery of daily Weesa was also a political pressure on Ghani.

Both countries enjoyed better relation for a very short period of time. While MOU of intelligence sharing between two countries is already signed, yet blaming one party on such a harsh incident discloses that MOU has failed. It is also understood that Urumqi dialogues was a trick to receive more privileges for Pakistan.

Lobbying or Mistrust?

In Afghanistan, people still do not have confidence on Pakistan. This mistrust could not be uprooted through talks only; neither anti-Pakistan lobby is always behind this. Again both parties should be blamed for the emerging mistrust between them. Pakistan shouldn’t have mad the promises that was not possible for them to fulfill it. On the other hand, NUG also did not understand the Taliban correctly, that’s why they followed the way which was established by Hamid Karzai. Ashraf Ghani still believes that the key to peace is in Pakistan, that’s why he rehabilitated its relations with Pakistan and granted them privileges.

Recently, insecurity in Afghanistan and fictitious Urumqi meeting showed that Pakistan has an important role in Afghanistan’s peace process as neighboring country, but they will never play the role of Taliban.


The Afghan government urgently gave some privileges to Pakistan. Before testing Pakistan whether it can help to the peace process in Afghanistan or not. President Ghani, before everything tried to form good relations with Pakistan through one sided trust building measures. 

Frist: Pakistan cannot have the influence over Taliban to the extent Ghani expected. The Urumqi meeting of China proves that Pakistan cannot force those Taliban to set in peace talks who really lead the war in Afghanistan.

Second: If Pakistan can play a role, it is not sincere, then. For instance, India wants to be part of APTTA. Afghanistan can get benefit from India’s coming. But Pakistan opposes this move. Pakistan did not performed its homework in response to the one sided measures of Afghan government. It looks like it is the end of honeymoon.

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