Elections In Pakistan And Implication For Afghanistan – OpEd


Pakistan shares a 2,640 km long border with Afghanistan and is one of a closed neighbor of Afghanistan as they share so many demographic things in common.

Since the political birth of Pakistan 1947 there have been always ups and downs in relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan and Pakistan foreign policy towards Afghanistan has always been a self defending one.

Pakistan main objective is to have a friendly and puppet government in the eastern side of their neighbor because they already have a typical rival and enemy India in the west side of the border.

Pakistan 2013 elections were widely observed by all the circles of Afghanistan. Afghans as usual always expect a friendly and fair government towards Afghanistan in Pakistan as every election take place in Pakistan.

No-doubt, the Afghans have suffered a lot since 36 years of internal and external wars that brought catastrophic destruction to Afghanistan and at the same token these worse conditions implicated Pakistan too much as well. Afghans have suffered loss both in socially, economically in short in all spheres of life. Millions got killed and once pearl of Asia country turned into the most backward and ruined country of Asia.

One can’t deny the fact that Afghans themselves were also much responsible and contributed to this catastrophic destruction of the country. The so-called Mujahideen were played by the hands of neighbors especially of Pakistan and other regional and distant powers agencies and governments.

It will be very much sarcastic if we put all 100% responsibility on others or foreigners. We Afghans remained as a fragile nation in this very needy time of unification. Greed for power, personal hatred, ideological
differences and ethnic differences were exploited by the so-called leaders and fueled these circumstances a lot.

At the same time neighbors especially Pakistan contributed a lot to today’s Afghanistan. Pakistan remained as a major player of all these conditions in Afghanistan. As you read before that Pakistan shares a long border with Pakistan, Pakistan committed so many mistakes while interfering in Afghanistan internal affairs. They tried their best to debilitate stable governments in Afghanistan of each time also used it for its own interest.

Pakistani officials and folks use so many logics in order to justify their policy towards Afghanistan in recent times and few of famous logics are:

  • They (Pakistan) have a typical enemy which is India on the eastern side of the border so they can’t afford to have another enemy in the western side of the border and to be eaten like sandwich.
  • Indian presence in Afghanistan pose threat to Pakistan national’s interest and security. Pakistan fears that the Afghan lands perhaps be used against Pakistan as they already claim that the Baloch rebels are supported by India via Afghanistan.

The above logics are widely used by the Pakistani official in order to justify their dual standard policies towards Afghanistan but when you think you counter so many unanswered questions on Pakistan intentions.

For instance, if India is their all time rival and enemy of Pakistan then why Pakistan previous government granted MFN (Most Favorite Nation) status to India?

Why the Pakistani authorities are doing everything to normalize relation with India in terms of trade, sports, establish people to people contact and ease visas Policies between to two countries?

Pakistan media with the support of government officials started a peace initiative by the name of “Aman ke Asha” with India where expert, retired officials, sportsmen, actors, businessmen from both countries come together trying their best to establish people to people contact and also trying that how these two nations can be brought together into peaceful neighbors. So far this initiative has got immense support from the people of almost all walks of life.

Despite of all these steps still these two countries are living in grim and are ready to pull the triggers of their gun at each other at no time.

So Pakistan contrary to their own country inside behavior with India, in Afghanistan they consider India as a big threat. They never agree to the position of supporting the afghan government peace initiative.

As Allama-Iqbal said that “Afghanistan is the heart of Asia and if the heart of Asia is disturbed whole Asia will be disturbed and if there is peace in the heart of Asia there will be peace in the entire Asia”.

So peace in Afghanistan means Peace in Pakistan. Pakistan and Afghanistan are very much dependent on each others. Before Pakistan joins the US led war on Terror, Pakistan tribal regions, Sindh, KPK, Balochistan and south of Punjab were very much peaceful but now the picture is totally different. Thus the peace initiative of “Aman ki Aasha” which is started between India and Pakistan should be first started from Kabul to Islamabad and then extended towards Delhi.

Afghanistan always supports a true civilian government inside Pakistan but sadly there is a very less influence of a civilian or a democratic government. Truly democratic government in both Afghanistan and Pakistan canplay a major role in bringing these two great nations closer to each others and this will lead to expand peace across the region.

That is why 2013 election in Pakistan can implicate Afghanistan a lot. President Karzai phoned this morning Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif and congratulated him on his party success in the election. Despite the fact that we Afghans do not have good memories from the Pakistani leaders especially from Mian Nawaz Sharif, but this time we expect a lot from him. Mian Nawaz sharif is much respected in India and he will try to ease relations with India thus India will influence Pakistan’s Policy towards Afghanistan. During Nawaz Sharif last tenure India and Pakistan had robust relations.

Mian Nawaz Sharif is also much closed to the GCC countries thus Afghanistan can also make better use of his success by requesting the KSA, UAE to help in amplifying the peace process in Afghanistan.

Chinese and Indian strategic depth in Afghanistan cannot be ignored thus Afghanistan government should force and convince the two major powers to pressurize Pakistan government by helping the peace initiative in Afghanistan-Afghanistan has a triumph card of all regional and distant powers, depends upon the effective policy of the Afghan government how they make use of it.

Aziz Amin Ahmadzai

Aziz Amin is a seasoned professional with a comprehensive and hands-on background in policy analysis, conflict resolution, security and peacebuilding, research and development, strategic policy and planning, media and strategic communication, governance, political affairs, and socio-political engagement within conflict and post-conflict contexts in South Asian and African region. He has written extensively for broader public audiences, with his work published in renowned media outlets including Foreign Policy, The National Interest, Foreign Affairs, First Post, The Diplomat, BBC, TRT World, War on the Rocks, Small Wars Journal, Eurasia Review, and The Week, among others.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *