Pakistan and Afghanistan need to engage on a host of issues, directly. Without such a framework of engagement, bilateral ties between the two countries will continue to remain hostage to the Taliban.
These are some of the findings in an exclusive study on Pakistan’s relations with Afghanistan, launched by Pak Institute for Peace Studies, under its flagship journal “Conflict & Peace Studies.”
Taking part in the launching ceremony of the report, former senator Afrasiab Khattak, who also wrote in the journal, argued how Pashtuns have been at the receiving end of the Pakistan’s Afghanistan relation.
He recalled that when Taliban captured Kabul, one of the first things they banned were Afghan national anthem and Afghan flag, besides demolishing the statue of Buddha.
In the same vein, Taliban in Pakistan tried to erode the symbols of modern state structure.
“The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan was basically about eroding the state,” he said, warning against making difference between the two.
He called for reviewing Afghan policy, which ultimately impacts Pakistan. He warned that instability in Afghanistan will not portend well for Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Raoof Hasan, executive director of Regional Peace Institute, a think-tank which has led track-II initiatives between Afghanistan and Pakistan, wondered if there is any Afghan policy in the country.
Instead, he said, our policy revolves around our India policy. He set aside several assumptions made on Pakistan’s influence over Taliban, saying even when they were ruling, Pakistan couldn’t convince them over issues like Durand Line. -PR