Afghanistan: Policy options for Pakistan


Naseebullah Khan
Pakistan, the very next neighbor of Afghanistan affects by the situation which takes place in Afghanistan. After the intrusion of the USSR in Afghanistan__ Pakistan was affected tremendously in different fields. Again, the US pullout has occurred which may bring dire consequences for Pakistan if pragmatic, holistic, vibrant, and productive policy measures are ot taken. The foreign office of Pakistan is well-equipped will qualified and competent brains who have deep knowledge of the issue. Any statement regarding Afghanistan should be issued through the foreign office or even by the Foreign minister. Any irresponsible statement might allow our rivals of creating a blame game against Pakistan. The ministers and media should be careful regarding their analysis on state policy matters. Every policy statement should be issued after proper coordination. Pakistan has always been in favor of peace-building in Afghanistan. It was a volunteer facilitator of Doha peace talks too. Now again, our policy should be to enhance our peace efforts and facilitate the Intra Afghan Talks for the creation of a broad-based government of all stakeholders of Afghanistan-as we have been supporting Afghan-led Afghan own negotiation time and again. A plausible step was the invitation of the former leaders of the Northern alliance to Islamabad concerning the peace-building efforts in Afghanistan. Being a member of the international community, Islamabad should be careful in the recognition process and ought to be in coordination with the international community about it. History should not be repeated (As like of the first regime of the Taliban) by accepting the government alone. Diplomatic relations demand that a state cannot live in isolation in the present world order. Once this process is over, then we should urge the world not to leave Afghanistan at the mercy of chaos, violence, and destruction. And the world should assure Afghanistan about its socioeconomic development, reconstruction, and nation-building in true spirit. If the mistakes as like that of the USSR pullout are repeated, the situation of Afghanistan might deteriorate more which will affect the neighboring countries particularly, Pakistan. History ostensibly evidences that after the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union from Afghanistan in the 1990s, the internal situation of Afghanistan had huge implications on Pakistan. As war-torn Afghanistan was left alone without any future strategies by the USA and its allies, Afghanistan was plunged into civil war, insecurity, migration of the Afghans, displacement of the people, opium cultivation, terrorism, and Arms trade. Resultantly, the most sufferer was Pakistan, the shocks of which are still observed. What is needed for Pakistan is to have proper strategies to the above implications-for which robust border surveillance is a must. Islamabad is still fearful regarding the use of Afghan soil against it. The release of many TTP leaders should be a sign of concern for the authority. It must be in consideration for the policymakers of Pakistan to talk to the government in the making in Afghanistan about its reservations and terrorist hideouts on Afghan soil. The four decades of wars in Afghanistan have brought significant consequences for Pakistan. The deteriorated situation in Afghanistan has direct implications on Pakistan due to its long porous border. The impacts of the Soviet-Afghan war are still part of Pakistan’s society and economy. The recent withdrawal of the US forces from Afghanistan has again left Afghanistan in a quagmire without nation-building of the war-torn country. Pakistan must have a holistic approach towards the matter and adopt vibrant policy aiming at the peace-building process in Afghanistan so that to save the country (Pakistan) plunging into socioeconomic, political, and religious strikes