An Ironical Brotherhood
Imagine that you have a brother who has been part of the family since time immemorial. He shares your religion, your cultural values, your geography and lives right next door. You both love growing crops – when he plants wheat, you do the same. You both use natural gas and water to power your homes. You both join the same local trade clubs. You sell most of your surplus produce to your brother, who buys it with open arms. You’re both corrupt in the same ways and face the same daunting neighborhood problems from the same local felons. Oh, so much love and fraternity, eh? Apparently, not so much if the two brothers are Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Back in 1947, when Pakistan broke free from the shambles of British rule, the world saw a natural, inevitably robust alliance between Pakistan and Afghanistan. They were described as inseparable states, with their common heritage and religion closely knitting them together. But what essentially impedes a brotherhood so destined to be successful?
“Trace it back to the
Since its inception, the alliance has been clearly plagued with mistrust, skepticism, verbal sparring and political stand-offs.
On July 9 2012,Pakistan declared itself to be the
“As far as the status quo is concerned, it’ll be highly unlikely that Pakistan could maintain a ‘safe’ presence in Afghanistan following the US withdrawal, considering how Russia, China, and now India are breathing on their necks to establish a stronghold. Afghanistan has been waiting anxiously for some regional help to be extended, in some friendly form or another. India comes like the brother of the boyfriend who used to shoo you away and nails a deal with you, and it is only after this deal that the previous boyfriend realizes your importance”, adds Humza.
India has played a key role in the
India has even drafted a
Keeping the ideas above in mind, the Afghan-India alliance isn’t as ironic as it may seem. International relations are based more on practical economic assistance and political support rather than just cultural heritage and religious roots, a fact that Pakistan has yet to understand! India has done everything that the common man would expect Pakistan to do. In one room, Afghani and Indian diplomats sign trade and commerce deals, while in the other, Pakistani and Afghani diplomats still bicker over petty border issues. It is high time the two nations realize that they are sailing in the same boat.
The way forward is that Pakistan must take an initiative and strengthen ties with Afghanistan instead of constantly complaining about Indian interference. The Indians have established a bond with Afghanistan, which is unlikely to die soon. Pakistan must accept the ground realities and live up to its claims of being a major stakeholder in post-2014 Afghanistan, and potentially revive the brotherhood that once existed.
Last week, we discussed the event of the NATO supply blockade by Pakistan, as a protest against the killing of 24 Pak soldiers, and the reluctant US Apology to Pakistan that followed the particular chain of events. You can read that and more in The Diplomat.
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