What Afghanistan wants from Pakistan?
There is no doubt that Afghans love the people of Pakistan, but there exists a deep distrust on the part of the Afghan people towards the government of Pakistan. Regrettably, the latter’s foreign policy created huge gaps between the Pakistani government and India, Iran and Afghanistan, its regional neighbors. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan suffer from common problems, such as the economy, the state of both countries’ education and the threat posed by terrorism. Many Afghans believe the Pakistani government is responsible for facilitating terrorist attacks in their home country. Yet in spite of this there is no doubt that the people of Pakistan and the people of Afghanistan need each other. Peace between both countries is crucial for development in every sense of the word.
The first visit of Afghan president Mohammad Ashraf Ghani brought hope to the people of both countries that there will be peace between these countries, because the officials of Pakistan had given their word that they will fight against the terrorism but that didn’t work and the militants continued fighting in Afghanistan and targeted Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan many times. The people of Afghanistan lost the hope of support of Pakistan in the peace process.
Recently, in September, the Afghan president went to India, where he spoke about the friendship between Afghanistan and India and commented on the Pakistan’s inability to combat terrorism in the region. The comments caused a backlash against Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The needs of Afghans however, are clear: they need Pakistan to put pressure on the Taliban to prevent daily attacks from happening in Afghanistan. Afghans want no interference from Pakistan in its domestic politics.
Afghans will support Pakistan more than India if Pakistan sincerely reciprocates that support. Afghans want Pakistan to partake in the country’s development in the same way as India is doing. They want trade with Pakistan instead of closed borders. The wishes of Afghans are not only beneficial to their own country, but they are very important for Pakistan too. Nowadays nearly ten million Pakistanis are suffering from poverty as public funds are being diverted to the wrong jihad in Afghanistan. The growth of terrorism not only hurt the millions of Afghanistan, but that also affects the population of Pakistan.
Will it be possible to start a new chapter of friendship between India, Pakistan and Afghanistan? We Afghans want our neighbourhood to be peaceful, we are just like the common people from India and Pakistan, who desire a bright future, development and security. All this is within reach once we rethink our current policies of confrontation and embark on a new, more positive way towards a better future