Amidst recently emerged hostilities and tensions between Islamabad and Afghanistan, around 10,000, estimated Afghans every day entering Pakistan through traditionally historical crossing points like Torkham in Khyber Agency and Chaman in Baluchistan. Whereas from 250 to 300, annually around 100,000 Afghans are flying from Kabul to New Delhi.
All those entering Pakistan from Afghanistan are having friendships with at least 10 or more than. The in the light of their prolong stay as refugees are well aware about geo-economic conditions of Pakistan. Inside Pakistan, they can easily dispose off their matters without help of any guide or translators. Even without help of commission agents, they can make trade and economic deals in any city or town throughout Pakistan.
Compare to Pakistan, situation is very strange and unfriendly for Afghans not only in New Delhi but even in rest of Indian states and cities. All those visiting India or flying from Kabul to New Delhi even didn’t know one or two persons in that country. They require translators and guides while visiting hospitals for treatment or trade centers for shopping and business deals. Unlike of Pakistan, before shopping or entering into business and trade deals, these Afghans would think about transportation mode and its expenditures which is much more then Pakistan.
Unlike of India, almost people of both the countries are sharing similar history, cultures, traditions, religious faiths and norms and even languages. In last four decades, from 85 to 90 per cent Afghans remain in Pakistan. Almost of the existing generation of Afghanistan born and become adult in Pakistan. Some of them educated not only from UNHCR funded tent schools but even from standard government and private education institutions included Universities and professional colleges like Medical, Engineering, Agriculture, Business Administration and others. Wide majority of these Pakistan born, adulated and educated Afghans still love Pakistan and its people.
But despite these countless similarities and closeness there is a huge gap between Islamabad and Kabul. Due to one or the other ways, differences between the two neighbouring countries are widening day by day. Right from the first day of former President Hamid Karzai in last days of December 2001 till today, almost of Afghan leaders advocating trust worthy relations with Pakistan. Likewise is the response from a number of Pakistani leaders and rulers. In particular, the recent step made by Chief Of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa by visiting Kabul and meeting president Dr. Ashraf Ghani is not only remarkable but even considered a major breakthrough. In past, similar initiative made by former Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani who had accompanied not only his cabinet members responsible for external and internal affairs but also ex-COAS Gen. (retd) Keyani and former ISI chief in his historical trip to Kabul in April 2010 last. But unluckily he couldn’t materialized his dreams of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries without involvement of this party as upon return from Kabul he was kept busy in legal battling for remaining in occupation of his office.
However, compare to 2010, the situation is no different whereas not only former Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed, “US is least concerned with return of peace in Afghanistan or an end to terror in the region,” but even almost of Pakistani leadership realized their mistakes of blindly endorsing US policies and strategies in the region. Since his victory in the presidential elections for second term in 2009 last, Hamid Karzai came to know about the US ambitions in the region. And he was known for his boldness remarks before high ranking American authorities regarding its designs of fuelling tension and uncertainty in the region through one or the other ways.
Pakistan. Personally I believe is most lucky country in the world of getting Khawaja Asif like bold and straight forward minister at the time when US President Mr. Donald Trump has unfolded next phase of his country’s strategies in South Asia after completion of tasks in Middle East through so-called Arab Spring. Soon after Donald Trump’s declaration, Khawaja Asif made shuttle-visits to Tehran, Ankara, Moscow, Beijing, New York and Washington. He timely made attempts of countering the threats erupted with warnings of US President Donald Trump. Though in the beginning some of Afghan officials have jubilated US President’s warning but later they realized that its impacts will not be confined to geographical borders of Pakistan but it will definitely affect other regional countries, Afghanistan and Islamic Republic Iran in particular.
No doubt to mention that Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif facing a huge task amidst serious internal political polarization. But he can make easy the external task with going ahead with the major breakthrough made by COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. Almost Afghans are also well aware of US intensions and they are not ready to tolerate another round of Great Game on their soil. Pakistan could easily materialize its dreams by entering into trust worthy relations with Afghanistan. The two sides without involvement of any third country could easily address each other’s reservations regarding presence and sanctuaries of militants who are serious threats to the very present and future of both the countries.