Pakistan's Afghanistan policy
Lavoy, Peter R.
Khan, Feroz Hassan
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Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have remained estranged mainly due to Afghanistan's revanchist claim made about Pakistan's western province and its non-recognition of the Durand Line as the international border. With a hostile India to the East, Pakistan can ill-afford another irredentist neighbor. Since 1947 both countries have interfered in each other's domestic affairs. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan forced Pakistan to wage a proxy war in Afghanistan, garnering the support of Western and Arab allies. Since the end of Cold war, Pakistan continued its forward policy in Afghanistan through support of Taliban. Its prime security interest in Afghanistan remains having a friendly government in Kabul. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, Pakistan abandoned support of Taliban and joined the U.S.-led coalition to destroy the Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Once again, Pakistan encountered a deep-seated hostility, this time from the Northern Alliance, which dominates the new power structure in Kabul. Skepticism and fear remain as both countries move cautiously to revitalize bilateral ties. This thesis analyzes Pakistan's Afghanistan policy from 1947 to 2001. It recommends Pakistan's effective engagement with Afghanistan. While Pakistan protects its legitimate security interests, it must refrain from actively interfering in Afghanistan's political future. The thesis will also recommends that the United States should substantively remain engaged in Afghanistan to stabilize the region, assist with the reconstruction of Afghanistan, ensure non interference of regional actors, and finally and most importantly help settle the Durand Line issue once and for all.
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