Afghanistan and Pakistan are to hold the first ever meeting to talk how to manage the ‘border’. The meeting which is reportedly be held on Tuesday, July 26 in Kabul is going to be led by the foreign ministries of the two countries with the presence of the two security advisers, according to media reports.
The decision of the meeting apparently came on by Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani and adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister, Sartaj Aziz, when they met at the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization late June in Tashkent, aimed at focusing on the consultation and coordination on issues including security movement of people and vehicles between the two countries. It followed the June’s military clashes between the two countries’ troops over the building of a gate by Pakistani forces at the zero point, in which soldiers from both sides were killed and injured, besides keeping the crossing closed for travelers.
The news has a question for the people in Afghanistan: What does the border management mean? The government of Afghanistan does not accept the Durand Line as the official border line with Pakistan. So, which border is discussed? The government is probably unaware of this. It could be a trick of Pakistani politicians and diplomats to indirectly make Afghan side accept the line as border point.
Besides that, what management will be discussed? If terrorist threat is due to be negotiated, terrorism comes from Pakistan to Afghanistan, not vice versa. Islamabad closed the Torkham crossing for Afghan people traveling to Pakistan and no Afghan is allowed to enter Pakistan without visa.
The government and the negotiating team should to be alert of the cunning rival. We have bitter experiences of the past discussions with Pakistani diplomats. Each discussion had begun with unreal hopes and ended with losses for us and victories for Pakistan and its affiliated terrorist groups.
Although the closure of the crossing economically hurt Pakistan as hundreds of Afghans were going only for medical treatment, and thousands of others for different reasons including business, study, visiting families and relatives. But officials in Islamabad remained decisive to keep Afghans without visa of entering to reach greater goals.
Undoubtedly, Pakistani diplomats have some plans who think would be fulfilled through this time’s discussion. The government should ask for more information about the details of the meeting before it is kicked off.