Bilateral

Pak-Afghan ties

Sep 18, 2017
In the aftermath of two separate grenade attacks on the Torkham border, Pak-Afghan forces have jointly worked to resume duties as per schedule. The attacks which led to six people being injured was followed by a meeting between the two countries soon after.
 
The meeting was attended by personnel of Pakistan and Afghan militaries who discussed ways to mitigate further attacks in the area. The Pakistan side at the meeting maintained that terrorists were common enemies of both countries and joint action was necessary. The need for installing fences, concrete walls, cameras and barriers for disposing off further threats was discussed. Moreover, a return to order highlighted the strong ties between the two countries as school children from Afghanistan cross Torkham border to attend school and perishable goods are transported through the border daily.
 
The efforts indicate at Pakistan’s pressing need to maintain cordial relations with Afghanistan especially following India’s involvement. Indeed, Pakistan needs to work towards improving relations. Afghanistan regularly blames Pakistan for attacks on its soil. The same rhetoric has lately been adopted by the US as well.
 
Pak-Afghan cross border relations had started deteriorating following an attack on census teams by the Afghan Border Police in May. The repatriation process of thousands of Afghans back to Kabul also remained mired with issues.
 
A close working relationship with all of our neighbours — India, Afghanistan, Iran, besides China — which does not involve suspicion or under hand deals is necessary for the country’s stability. This can ensure that our neighbours can be our strategic partners as well.
 
The latest round of talks represent the on-ground positive efforts between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Despite Trump’s call for India’s involvement in Afghanistan it is important that Pakistan continues maintaining a good relationship with Afghanistan. We hope that the these will translate into better ties between the two countries on a national and international level. 
 
Daily Times, September 18, 2017

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