Afghanistan, Pakistan need a positive reset in ties
Ajmal Shams (Special to Gulf News)
25 September 2013
The recent Afghan-
Unlike in the past, Pakistani institutions now appear to be more embracing of a paradigm
shift. The judiciary is more independent than ever. Media and civil society are increasingly
vibrant. The elected government completed its term, a rare occurrence in Pakistan.
These developments might entail a new chapter opening in Pakistani politics whereby
a civilian government would be able to exercise its powers with minimal intervention
from the military leadership. The implications of the aforementioned for Afghan-
The Pakistani military establishment has continued to pursue its traditional policy of seeking strategic depth in Afghanistan. This policy gained further momentum after the collapse of the Taliban Regime in the aftermath of the tragic events of 9/11. This approach is, however, being increasingly questioned by Pakistani intelligentsia, the mainstream political parties, and its outspoken media and vibrant civil society. Opposition by various circles to a persistent intervention in Afghanistan has been observed from time to time.
The patronage of militant groups outside Afghanistan has put Pakistan’s own security
at risk, causing huge loss of life and shattering of the latter’s economy over the
past decade. An increasing instability, militancy and lack of security across Pakistan
have prompted the political leadership of the country to rethink its policy vis-
On the Afghan side, there is need for more unified and integrated approach with regards
to its relations with Pakistan. Managing Pakistani affairs has always been a challenge
for Kabul partly because of the very complexity of it. A general lack of intellectual
capital and think-
Over the past decade, India has invested tremendously in Afghanistan’s rebuilding
efforts. Besides India’s generous support to Post-
On the economic front, Pakistan has tremendously benefited during President Karzai’s rule. Its annual trade with Afghanistan has exceeded $2 billion and is expected to reach $5 billion by 2015. Afghanistan offers economically feasible, fast and efficient trade route for Pakistan to Central Asian countries. The energy crisis in Pakistan places the need for improving its relation with Afghanistan at the center of its supposedly renewed approach to Afghanistan where the latter can offer energy markets due to its huge hydropower potential as well as transit route for power transmission from central Asian countries.
The people in both countries are eager to see a new chapter opening in relations between the two neighbors to reap the benefits of peace, stability and economic opportunities. It is up to the leadership in both Kabul and Islamabad how rapidly they seize this historical opportunity.
The writer is President of the Afghanistan Social Democratic Party well know as Afghan Millat National Progressive Party and is based in Kabul, Afghanistan. Courtesy: Gulf News
دافغان ملت ملي مترقي ګوند
Afghanistan Social Democratic Party
Copyright © Afghan Millat 2007-