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Geopolitics Pushes Pakistan to Soften Stance On Afghanistan

© AP Photo / Anjum NaveedPakistan Army troops patrol along the fence on the Pakistan Afghanistan border at Big Ben hilltop post in Khyber district, Pakistan, Aug. 3, 2021.
Pakistan Army troops patrol along the fence on the Pakistan Afghanistan border at Big Ben hilltop post in Khyber district, Pakistan, Aug. 3, 2021. - Sputnik India, 1920, 06.02.2024
Pak-Afghan ties have remained tense, with Pakistan having accused Afghanistan of providing "safe havens" to terrorists on its soil. However, Islamabad's posture towards Kabul appears to have softened lately.
Recent geopolitical circumstances in South Asia seem to have led Pakistan to tone down its criticism of the Taliban*, according to an Islamabad-based foreign affairs expert.
Aimen Jamil, a researcher specialising in South Asia and the Middle East, and associated with the military publication Global Defense Insight, made these observations. The expert's comments came in response to remarks made by Pakistan's interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, who stated that "Afghanistan is absolutely not a threat."
The PM's statement thoroughly contradicts his previous accusations against Afghanistan's current rulers. Previously, he asserted that the Taliban* had been operating hand in glove with the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP**), a proscribed terrorist organisation responsible for numerous attacks within the neighbouring sovereign state.
In the past, ex-Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari claimed that the country's security forces were being targeted by militants from across the border.

Islamabad's Calculated Move

In this context, Jamil observed that Pakistan may have deliberately taken this action to put pressure on the Taliban, especially on issues of cross-border terrorism and refugee management, with the aim of putting regional stability first.
While stressing that trust remains fragile, she also pointed out that previous grievances have not been fully addressed.
Jamil noted that India's increasing involvement with the Taliban was a matter of concern for Islamabad, while pointing out that the mounting militant activities of the TTP** are straining Pakistan-Afghanistan relations.
"Pakistan might be attempting to counter India's influence by softening its stance. This could be an effort to prevent Afghanistan from solely relying on India," she told Sputnik India on Tuesday.

How Unrest Affects Pakistan's Switch In Ties With Afghanistan

On the other hand, Dr. VC Shushant Parashar, a Research Fellow at the New Delhi-based Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), said the shift in Pakistan's behaviour towards Afghanistan might have connotations.

"Pakistan does not want to open another front with Afghanistan, given the already deteriorating relations: the current regime in Afghanistan does not believe in the legitimacy of the Durand Line; the Tribal Provinces and the North-West Frontier Provinces are becoming a part of a larger turmoil between the two countries," Parashar said in a conversation with Sputnik India.

Parashar believes that Pakistan is currently facing a crisis in the Balochistan province due to increasing militant activities.
A cyclist pedals past the Afghan Embassy in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023. India's External Affairs Ministry is examining a letter from the Afghan Embassy that says it plans to cease all operations in the Indian capital by Saturday, an official said Friday. India has not recognized the Taliban government which seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021. - Sputnik India, 1920, 27.01.2024
Political Affairs
India Pushes Pragmatic Policy Towards Afghanistan
*under UN sanctions
**banned terrorist group
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