PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN RELATIONS

PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN RELATIONS. LEC-1

Pakistan and Afghanistan relations from day first is not good, due to various reasons. With Independence of Pakistan in 1947, Pakistan was expecting strong relations and friendly support from the neighbouring Muslim state Afghanistan. Unfortunately border dispute right from the start caused great difficulties for Pakistan. When Pakistan was admitted to the United Nations on 30 September 1947, Afghanistan was the only Muslim country who casted vote against Pakistan. Later Soviet Union Invasion to Afghanistan was to have an enormous effect on Pakistan. The fortunes of both countries are closely linked. This was the start of the Pakistan and Afghanistan relations deterioration. (https://eastwestknowledge.com/strategic-vision-america-the-crisis-of-global-power/)

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BORDER DISPUTE b/w PAKISTAN & AFGHANISTAN

  • The establishment of the borders of India and Pakistan in 1947 had led to border dispute between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • The dispute was over part of North West Frontier Province [NWFP].
  • Majority of whose people belong to Pathans tribes.
  • It is world largest tribal society, and a fiercely independent people.
  • This tribal society never remained a slave and they gave tough time many times to British.
  • In the 1947 referendum the people of the NWFP voted to join Pakistan.
  • However, Some wanted to join for a third option which was an independent country to be known as Pakhtunistan.
  • It was pertinent to mention that British did not allow this option to be voted on.
  • Afghanistan was sided with those pathans who wanted either an independent nation or to join with Afghanistan.
  • They claimed NWFP on the basis that part of it had been captured from them 200 years ago.
  • The border known as the the Durand line, that ran through pathan territory had caused frequent demands for independence.
  • The leaders of the separatist movement were, DR Khan Sahib and Abdul Ghaffar Khan.
  • He called for a boycott of the 1947 referendum.
  • Radio Kabul and Afghan government did what could do for this separatist movement.
  • After the creation of Pakistan Ghaffar Khan continued his support to this movement.
  • He supported the idea of Pakhtoonistan, but changed their aim to achieving complete regional autonomy.
  • Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah did not want to give the impression that the NWFP was an occupied territory, loyal to Pakistan only because of military pressure.
  • He ordered that the old British Military posts along the old border with Afghanistan should be taken down.
  • He hoped that this would encourage the people of the area to feel naturally part of Pakistan.
  • He also hoped that Afghanistan would see this move as sign of friendship and trust.

EFFORTS TO IMPROVE RELATIONS B/W AFGHANISTAN & PAKISTAN.

There are following steps to improve Pakistan and Afghanistan relations.

  • Pakistan carried on to try to improve relations between both countries
  • .It called official talks in Karachi in 1947.
  • During these talks Afghanistan stood with their stance of Pakhtoonistan and demanded for a right to access to the sea through Pakistan.
  • It was suggested by Pakistan that if the demand for Pakhtoonistan was dropped ,the access to the sea might be given.
  • Afghanistan turned down this offer and,
  • instead, signed an agreement with the USSR for a transit route through Russia.
  • This was very disappointing for Pakistan that the Afghans had chosen to cooperate with a communist government rather than with their fellow Muslim country.

ATTACKED ON PAKISTANI EMBASSY IN KABUL

Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan hit a low level in March 1955 when a mob of Afghans attacked and ransacked the Pakistan embassy in Kabul. This was encouraged by the Kabul government. Pakistan immediately broke off diplomatic relations and for five months the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan remained closed.

PROBLEMS BETWEEN PAKISTAN & AFGHANISTAN

There are following reasons why Pakistan and Afghanistan relations could not improved.

  • In 1956 Iskandar Mirza visited Afghanistan.
  • Government of Pakistan hoped for an alliance,
  • the government of Afghanistan was not interested in such formal ties.
  • Afghanistan opposed this to Pakistan.
  • His success was limited to a few agreements and relations deteriorated again.
  • Afghanistan persisted in campaigning of Pakthoonistan. USSR and India both were supporting this stunt.
  • Regional Cooperation for Development organization came into being in 1964 under three founding members, Pakistan, Turkey and Iran for regional development.
  • Pakistan offered to Afghanistan to join this organization, Afghanistan refused to joining because Pakistan was member of it.
  • In May 1961 armed Afghans were driven back by Pakistani soldiers after they entered in NWFP.
  • Once again Pakistani’s diplomats in Kabul were harassed and diplomatic ties cut off.
  • The President of the United States of America John F Kennedy in October 1961 failed to restore diplomatic relations.
  • Finally relations in 1963 restored by the efforts of Shah Iran.
  • Pakistan and India fought a war in 1965.Majority of the Afghans supported Pakistan in the war against India.
  • However Afghan government chose to stay neutral.

ZULFIKAR ALI BHUTTO & SARDAR DAUD.

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, President and Prime Minster 1971-77, was keen to promote good relations with fellow Islamic states. He emphasised an “Islamic” foreign Policy. Only three weeks after taking office Bhutto visited Kabul to restore ties between both countries. In 1973 the Afghan monarchy was overthrown and replaced by a republic. In 1973 Sardar Daud Khan, who had been Prime Minister of Afghanistan was very hostile to Pakistan.

Bhutto continued to work to improve relations. Pakistan granted access to Afghan air craft to fly over Pakistan and Afghan truck to pass through the country on their way to India. Pakistan made generous contributions to a fund to deal with the consequences of an earthquake in Afghanistan in 1976. In 1976 Daud and Bhutto visited each other countries several times, on the encouragement of Shah Iran who wanted good ties between two countries from border point of view.

GEN ZIA EFFORTS TO IMPROVE RELATIONS.

Gen zia tried to improve Pakistan and Afghanistan relations.

  • Zulfikar Ali Bhutto government was seized and martial law imposed in the Pakistan on July 5 July 1977.
  • Gen Zia imposed martial law and assumed the office.
  • He also continued to pursue friendly relations.
  • In October he visited Kabul and Daud visited in March 1978.He made speeches calling for improved relations.
  • Daud together with thirty members of his family was killed in a violent coup, and his government was overthrown and replaced by a communist administration.
  • This so called April revolution in 1978,headed by a Nur Muhammad Tarakai was supported by USSR.
  • This new government introduced a sweeping programme of reform.
  • There was a clash of ideas: Muslims rebelled against the introduction of communist policies. Nur Muhammad Taraki was also killed by rebels in December 1979.

SOVIET UNION INVASION IN AFGHANISTAN 1979.

Soviet Union sent an army of 80,000 to remove the communist leader and replace him in December 1979. Barbrak Karmal was appointed the head of the government. Afghan people put up a resistance to this blatant aggression. After putting him in power, Soviet Union troops stayed on “to ensure peace”. This led to war between the Soviet Union and resistance groups of Afghan mujahidin fighters.

Muslims soon organized armed resistance, known as mujahidin, using Pakistan as their main base. Gen Zia was ready to assist USA in channeling assistance to the mujahidin. Pakistan military organized the supply of weapons amongst the various groups. Pakistan Inter Service Intelligence [ISI] provided information and practical advice. Soviet did many attacks on Pakistan bases. Border villages were bombed and a number of explosions carried out by USSR-backed afghans took place across Pakistan. The Pakistan military received hefty aid from Western Countries and funneling to the Afghans mujahidin.

Pakistan military intelligence also worked with the Afghans in planning operation against soviet forces. Soviet Union soon hit back to try to prevent Pakistan in the shape of bombed attacks. Despite these attacks, President Zia-Ul-Haq remained determined to its goal and carried on support to the mujahidin. Soviet Union started to realise that it was fighting a war it could not win. On 14 April 1988 pressure from both Pakistan and Afghanistan, led to the soviets withdrawing their army.

Zia was hero for the Muslims and the West. He played a major role in defeat of the one of the world’s superpowers to accept defeat. After the defeat of Soviet Union, Afghanistan still had a Soviet imposed leader ruling in Kabul. Civil war erupted in Afghanistan as the mujhaideen tried to remove him from power. Pakistan also played well role for new and peaceful government. But now soviet Union was no longer involved. American aid was cut dramatically.

AFGHAN REFUGEES

Pakistan showed big heart for the Muslim country Afghanistan after the defeat of Soviet Union. Over 3 million Afghan refugees fled from the war to Pakistan over the next year. Pakistan was applauded for its humane treatment of these refugees. After the end of the war USA and Western countries aid to help them was not so forthcoming.

NAWAZ SHARIF GOVERNMENT.

Nawaz Sharif tried to bring fighting to an end in Afghanistan by inviting the leaders of the various factions to talk. The Islamabad Accord was signed by Six separate factions, but the lacks of a strong central organisation in the country made it impossible to restore law and order of the country and violence carried on. The lawlessness spread into Pakistan and known as “Kalashnikov Culture”. Some Pakistan towns, Such as Sakhot, became expert at copying the Russian automatic weapons and the guns became easily available to almost anyone who might want one.

BENAZIR BHUTTO GOVERNMENT.

Benazir Bhutto government decided that Pakistan best interest lay in supporting Taliban in Afghanistan. She said this was the only force strong enough to establish stability and allow Pakistan to trade in the Central Asian Republics. Benazir Bhutto government provided military and financial support to Taliban and even sent a small army unit to help them. Taliban came into power in Afghanistan. Bhutto later admitted that her policy had been a mistake and had led to Islamic militancy which threatened stability in Pakistan. This also created tension in the Pakistan and Afghanistan relations.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-tVGdMBoJs&ab_channel=EASTWESTKNOWLEDGE)

WHY AFGHANISTAN IS IMPORTANT FOR USA?

  • Soviet Union waged extraordinary brutal warfare nine years in the Afghanistan and disintegrated .United states ignored the Afghanistan a decade after the withdrawal of Soviet Union.
  • Taliban took control in Afghanistan and seized power with Pakistan assistance.
  • This was exposed by Bush Presidency nearly six to seven years.
  • Afghanistan is poor economically.It has little economic output, outside of its illegal narcotics trade.
  • Unemployment rate is 35 to 45 percent.Global ranking is 113th in GDP per capita. Only 20 to 35 percent have access to electricity in Afghanistan.
  • The America disintegration from war in Afghanistan, the early effects of an American decline would be internal disintegration and an external power play among nearby states for influence in Afghanistan.
  • In the absence of an effective and stable government in Kabul, the country would be dominated by rival warlords.
  • India and Pakistan both will do effort for influence.
  • Iran also would like to influence but less than Pakistan and India.
  • Iran would likely strive to exploit the Pak-India rivalry in seeking benefit for itself.
  • Iran and India fear that any increase influence in Afghanistan by Pakistan, would severely effect the regional balance of Power.
  • Central Asian states and the presence of Tadjik, Uzbek and Turkmen communities in Afghanistan could become involved in regional power play. Regional power conflict could break out.
  • If solid government is in place in Afghanistan, and American disengagement protect the U.S national interest otherwise Taliban can reemerge as the major disruptive force in Afghanistan. This country can become the international drug trade and heaven for international terrorism

SEVEN ENDANGERED STATES

In the contemporary world, the security of a number of weaker states, geographically located next to major regional powers depends on the international status quo reinforced by United States of America. These could be viewed by their strong neighbors. The power competition among regional power forced United States to come and balance the power in the region. Seven geographically endangered states are Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Taiwan and South Korea.[These states force United States to enter and to protect its National interest].

GEOGRAPHICAL IMPORTANCE OF PAKISTAN TO USA

  • Pakistan has not only powerful military but also a capable Nuclear power in the 21st century. This weapon system is held by powerful and professional army.
  • Pakistan is defined by regional and tribal identities. Majority faith is Muslim. This Muslims faith forced the Great Britain to leave sub-continent under founding father of Pakistan.
  • Pakistan political instability is its greatest vulnerability.
  • Decline of American power would limit the Pakistan aid for consolidation and development.
  • Pakistan could be transform into a state run by radical Islamic state or by military or Military-Islamic state.
  • The worst case is, Pakistan transform into militant Islamic state and anti-western government like Iran after Islamic revolution.
  • Pakistan can influence in Central Asian States and concern to both china and Russia.
  • In case U.S.A fall in Afghanistan, it also increase Chinese security concerns about south South Asia.It can cause tension to India.
  • It will definitely surge regional destabilization.
  • India is busy in increasing nationalism to exploit Pakistan in order to achieve upper hand in the region.
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