Why Pakistan wants a peaceful Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been in news since the war on terror started in 2001. It’s been more than 2 decades when we heard about the bomb blasts, drone attacks, collapsed infrastructure, and devastated health conditions of the local people of Afghanistan. They are suffering from the aftermath of the war on terror.

Political instability in Afghanistan is the main reason behind all this mess. Incompetency at the government level leads the people of Afghanistan to nowhere but deterioration amid the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, after a peace deal between the U.S. and the Taliban. Now more than 80 percent of the area is under the control of the Taliban and they have a stronghold over the Ashraf Ghani-led government itself.

On the other hand, Pakistan suffers a lot from being neighbors with a war-torn country. As per the latest, Pakistan hosts more than 3 million Afghan refugees and bears their expenses on its own. Pakistan always plays a pivotal role in the Afghan-led peace process and never supports a military solution rather, always emphasizes a political solution. In a recent interview, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan clearly said that Pakistan will not allow the United States of America to use any bases against Afghanistan. Pakistan will not be part of any war. PM Imran Khan emphasized the peace process and stability of this region.

Moreover, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa reiterated the stance of PM Imran Khan in Kabul in the joint meeting of US officials and the Afghan government. In addition to this, the foreign minister of Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi has played an important role in the Afghan peace process, his serious efforts made Doha Agreement possible in which Taliban and US officials signed an agreement that brought peace to Afghanistan in February 2020. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that when there is peace in Afghanistan there is peace in Pakistan, which clearly shows how interlinked the two neighboring countries are, and now it is the utmost duty of the U.S. and the Taliban to stick towards the agreement and proceed accordingly.

Meanwhile, after the latest developments in Afghanistan, the security advisor to PM Imran Khan Moeed Yusuf stated that “Pakistan remains committed to facilitating an inclusive political settlement in Afghanistan. In this spirit, PM Imran Khan agreed to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani recently to continue our engagement.” Moeed Yusuf added that “Vitriolic and delusional statements from some spoilers in Kabul who, unfortunately for our Afghan brothers and sisters, are imposed on them as their senior officials are constantly attempting to vitiate bilateral relations on purpose to deflect attention from their own failures.”

Pakistan also initiated fencing work at the Pak-Afghan border to counter cross-border terrorism, smuggling, and other evils. Where approximately, 80 percent of the work has been done on the border site. More so, border markets have been set up for encouraging trade between the two countries.

Additionally, the Pak-Afghan trade transit agreement has played an important role in trade activities between the two states. It helps both countries to eradicate poverty and gives them economic stability. So far, Pakistan has lost more than 80 thousand people in the war on terror, and the monetary loss that has been faced is estimated to be more than 150 billion dollars.

Although, the departure of US forces from Afghanistan has been started in 2020 and it will end in August 2021. Pakistan will always be in a favor of peaceful solutions rather than a military solution. We pray and hope that the situation will improve once the US withdrawal is complete.

Nonetheless, Pakistan must be prepared for any kind of situation. As the saying goes: Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Self-reliance is the key to any stable state. We hope that things will work in favor of Afghanistan.

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