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Foreign Policy of Pakistan: Relation with Afghanistan

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Afghanistan is situated in the north of the KPK Province of Pakistan. It has a common border with Pakistan and occupies a territory of 251,773 Sq.m. Most of the population is orthodox Sunni Muslim. Pakistan and Afghanistan are immediate neighbors having 2240 km common border formally known as Durand Line. Despite shared geography, ethnicity and faith, relations with Afghanistan have never been smooth. Rather, they have been a painful. With the Indian threat looming from the East, Afghanistan’s hostile attitude has added further in the fragile security environment challenging the very existence of Pakistan.

Pak-Afghan relations revolve around the central theme of trust and mistrust. In Pak-Afghan relations mistrust rather than trust remained a dominant and mutual phenomenon. The intensity of mistrust towards each other has varied in different regimes. For most part of Pakistan’s independent history, relations with Afghanistan have been problematic, characterized by recurrent mutual suspicions which most of the times are noticeable in the policies of interference and even in attempts at undermining cooperative measures.

Although Afghanistan is a Muslim country, yet it has pursued a hostile policy towards Pakistan since independence. The people of Pakistan were extremely disappointed to see Afghanistan, being a Muslim neighboring country, strongly opposing Pakistan’s entry into the U.N.O. however, Pakistan showing large heartedness ignored this hostile and unfriendly gesture of Afghanistan and expressed its desire to cultivate close relations with Afghanistan.

Historic Background: It is regrettable fact of the history that from the time of Pakistan’s birth, Afghanistan has maintained an attitude of hostile neighbor and Pakistan must live with it because neighbors cannot be changed. At the heart of Afghanistan’s indifferent attitude towards Pakistan were the issues of Durand Line and Pakhtoonistan. Both issues were based on Afghanistan’s ambitions of regaining control of NWFP and other areas which, for a brief period, were part of Ahmad Shah Abdali’s conquered territories. During 1940s, when it became apparent that Britain is likely to free India, the Government of Afghanistan asked Britain that in the event of the demission of British authority the whole Pathan country as far as the Indus should revert to Afghan sovereignty or the people of NWFP be given choice of independent Pathan state.

Since then Afghanistan is playing self-styled champion’s role for the establishment of, “Pakhtoonistan”. For better understanding of the issue and coherency of the events Pak- Afghan relations are described into three phases. This phase wise distribution of the events would help in acquiring in-depth sight of the happenings that shaped the bilateral relation to its present course.

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GradesFixer. (2019, January, 15) Foreign Policy of Pakistan: Relation with Afghanistan. Retrived July 4, 2020, from
"Foreign Policy of Pakistan: Relation with Afghanistan." GradesFixer, 15 Jan. 2019, Accessed 4 July 2020.
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