Pakistan in quest to highlight the Kashmir issue around the world has resorted to unwarranted means. These actions are having a blowback on Afghanistan’s ties with the country – with the state-to-state relationships being further strained. The first among many dangerous options Pakistan has resorted to is shelling on the east of Afghanistan under the delusion that Afghanistan is acting as an Indian surrogate – which can never be true. The latest instance of such violation of Afghanistan territorial integrity came on Wednesday when three children were killed. The country should know it is actually hurting itself and moving towards isolation by such actions and misapprehensions.
Surprisingly, the country’s justification for such Durand Line incursions was that Pakistani troops were acting only to defend themselves, asking that Afghanistan must withdraw its ‘terrorist hideouts’ from along the line. This rationale is absolute lame and has no truth to it. The whole world knows where the terrorists pour into Afghanistan from?
The other bad choice Pakistan is mulling over to make is the possible airspace closure for India yet again, as well as the country’s land trade route to Afghanistan. Pakistan should drop even considering this idea because it wouldn’t lead to its desired results rather than plunging the country into further isolation. Banning airspace or severing trade won’t just affect India and Afghanistan but Pakistan itself gravely – which is already afflicted by economic depression with millions of dollars’ external debt. The country would play into the hands of India by making such reckless moves.
As the US has sought the good offices of Pakistan in regards to the ongoing US-Taliban negotiations, it is crystal clear that our neighboring country wouldn’t do anything without expecting a return on investment. Pakistan’s supposed help in reaching a peace deal with the Taliban comes in exchange for obviously seeking US help over Kashmir. As much as selfish it is, this is a course of action – that is allowing mediation by third-parties along with pursuing other diplomatic means and channels – which is less problematic to resolve the Kashmir issue. The aftermath of the Pulwama attack earlier this year should be a listen for the country when both India and Pakistan closed their airspace, which disrupted the schedules of global airlines, inflicting losses on the trio of countries – including Afghanistan. A fresh airspace closure will further irk international airlines using routes that cross over both India and Pakistan and the closure of land routes would affect Afghanistan.
Furthermore, the country must consciously ensure that frictions with Afghanistan should also be kept to the minimum. Pakistan is advised not to overreact over the Kashmir issue and then fire rockets into Afghanistan but instead handle the situation maturely, and take calculated steps. As India has always been an archrival to its east, at least there is no need to make another permanent enemy on the west, especially against the backdrop of a probable peace in Afghanistan which could also benefit the country.