Pakistan should do more to restore trust with Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s relationship with Pakistan has been marred by border disputes, proxy wars, and political disagreements ever since the country’s creation in 1947. But especially in recent years, the relationship has been on a downward spiral. Pakistan is accused of providing cover for the Taliban, which are relentlessly attacking Afghan and international targets. Meanwhile, Afghans continue to call for international sanctions against Pakistan to give up support of the terrorists.
As violence grows, diplomatic efforts are underway to reconcile the two neighbors. There is a great willingness from the Afghan government to engage with Pakistan and to persevere against the ground realities which are bound to occur in a conflict situation.
A day after President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani was invited by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan to visit Pakistan, presidential spokesman told media that diplomats from Afghanistan and Pakistan are working to finalize a date for the visit.
The trip will mark President Ghani’s third official visit to Pakistan after he assumed office in 2014. In their telephonic conversation on Sunday, Pakistani PM said his country is ready for any cooperation which will lead to peace and stability in Afghanistan.
PM Khan said that he is agreed with President Ghani’s economy-centric idea and regional connectivity and that it requires further talks between delegations from the two countries about technical issues of these topics.
The US Special Envoy for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad said in a tweet on Monday that he is pleased about the vision created between the leaders of the two countries. “Pleased to see Prime Minister Imran Khan and President Ashraf Ghani spoke today (Sunday). Both leaders say they prize the economic dividend peace can bring, especially the potential gains from regional connectivity and integration. That’s a common vision that can truly propel the region forward,” Khalilzad tweeted.
The political experts believe since Pakistan has a great influence on Taliban, can play a critical role in peace negotiations between Afghan government and Taliban. Pakistan has been hosted insurgent groups’ leaders and played and still playing a great role in training, funding and equipping of the group members. Therefore, Pakistan has the competency and authority to have Taliban adopt a proper way and not be a factor of killing and destruction in Afghanistan.
The most important factor at this juncture of time is that Pakistan must pursue its commitments with true intentions. Without Pakistan’s sincere support, no peace would be achieved in the country and it has to understand that without combating the terrorism jointly it is impossible to defeat it in both countries as they share a lengthy and porous border.
As president Ghani’s words, Afghans are seeking a long-seated peace; peace between Afghanistan and Pakistan and peace among the government and armed opponents. There is an unexpected hostility between the two countries, an issue which our friends in Pakistan have also accepted, but in reaching to a prosperous future, it is needed to renew efforts and joint cooperation, because militancy threats Afghanistan, Pakistan and the whole region.
As President preparing to visit Pakistan in the near future, the neighboring country is required to do more to restore the trust between the two countries and pave the ground for enhancing mutual economic and friendly ties.

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