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Afghanistan peace hinges on Pakistan’s sincere cooperation

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Afghanistan peace hinges on Pakistan’s sincere cooperation
 Pakistan’s prime minister arrived in Kabul on Friday for a day-long visit and many see as an effort to ease strained relations between the two neighbors and revive a push for peace talks with the Taliban.
Abbasi, accompanied by several other top Pakistani officials on the trip, his first to Kabul since becoming prime minister last year, met President Ghani at the presidential palace and the two sides discussed relations between the two countries, fight against terrorism, regional connection, Afghan-led peace talks, violations along the Durand Line, return of Afghan refugees, construction of railroad projects, prisoners exchange and Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS).
During the meeting, president Ghani reiterated that the current situation does not benefit anyone and that any concerns in this respect should be addressed through talks. Pakistani PM Abbasi meanwhile said he welcomes the Afghan government’s peace offer to the Taliban, adding an Afghan-led peace process is the only way to stability in the country.
The two sides discussed Pakistan’s connection to the Central Asia, energy transition, Quetta-Kandahar-Herat and Peshawar-Jalalabad railroad projects and construction of Peshawar-Jalalabad highway.
Abbasi’s trip to Kabul comes after Pakistan has been under pressure from Afghan government and Washington to stop offering safe havens to insurgents blamed for attacks in Afghanistan, a charge Islamabad denies. Meanwhile Abbasi’s visit to Kabul comes after Ghani officially extended an invitation to the Pakistan prime minister to visit Kabul for face-to-face talks in order for the two countries to resolve issues and jointly work towards forging peace in the country.
Kabul and Islamabad regularly make accusations of harboring the other country’s militants and the harsh language has underscored the strains between them.The visit also came at the time that the Afghan government blamed Islamabad of having violated the airspace of Afghanistan with Pakistani Air Force raids inside Afghan territory.
Afghanistan’s peaceful future depends to a great extent on an auspicious regional environment, with Pakistan at its core. Vice versa, an unstable Afghanistan will complicate Pakistan’s ability to refurbish its weak state and economy and suppress dangerous internal militancy. Assassinations and military coups have plagued Pakistan since the early years of independence, leaving behind a weak political system unable to effectively deliver elementary public goods, including safety, and respond to the fundamental needs of the struggling Pakistani people. 
Pakistan has long been a difficult and disruptive neighbor, seeking leverage in Afghanistan, hoping to limit India’s influence there, and cultivating radical groups within Afghanistan as proxies. Afghan government has time and again rejected Pakistani officials’ claim, saying Afghans were only willing friendly ties with the neighboringcountries, including that of India.
Pakistan must review its strategic depth policy, by at least decreasing interference in the Afghan’s affairs. Pakistan must not look at Afghanistan the way they used to during the 1980s’ 1990’s and 2000s’. This includes ending the anachronism game of influencing and dictating from Pakistan to Afghanistan. 
The visit of the two countries’ officials should bear positive results and realize a new era (economic prosperity, security and stability) that is shaping the future of Asia in which neither Afghanistan nor Pakistan should and can pursue its goals through military efforts, but more through economic and diplomatic efforts. 
Meanwhile Pakistan should choose between a policy of interference, or one of engagement, involving new forms of genuine cooperation. If Pakistan is unable to bring its Afghan policy under control, it will face internal instability, isolation and the growing enmity of its partners.