Pakistan has resumed efforts to mend fences with Afghanistan. At first, Pakistani National Security Adviser Nasir Khan Janjua paid a visit to Kabul, during which President Ghani, in turn, invited Pakistani prime minister to visit Kabul. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has reportedly accepted the invitation, and is due to arrive in Kabul this week.
Afghan-Pak relations have gone through many ups and downs over the last couple of years, but for the most part, they have remained rocky primarily owing to Pakistan’s duplicity. Although Islamabad portrayed itself committed to state-to-state relationship with Afghan government following the ouster of the Taliban, indeed it played a key role in regrouping the Taliban to weaken Afghan government. Right now, the majority members of the Taliban leadership freely live and operate training camps under the watchful eyes and guardianship of Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies across the Durand Line. The Taliban, according to Afghan government and international troops, cannot sustain longer without Pakistan’s support and assistance. Despite international criticism of Islamabad for harboring and backing various terrorist outfits, as well as repeated calls to halt it, Pakistan not only has not honestly fought against terrorists, but also continued to use them as a foreign policy tool, thereby making it impossible to win a victory against terrorism in the region.
In some instances where it feels the heat, Pakistan begins to play the victim card, part of which is initiation of efforts to improve ties with Afghan government, and convince Kabul that Islamabad is rather a victim than a supporter and promoter of terrorism. After a relatively long tumult in ties with Kabul, Islamabad is again out to reboot the game. Having witnessed Pakistan’s maneuvering and deceitful attitude since the very first days of taking over power, Afghan government should be ultra-cautious in dealing with Pakistan. Pakistan has always talked the talk, but never really walked the walk. Thus, while dialogue is a necessity to alleviate tension, it is a waste of time when not backed up by concrete actions, as Afghanistan has already squandered years to achieve peace and stability. After this, Kabul should only count on Islamabad’s actions not words.