Pakistan and Afghanistan are at odds for many decades, although these two countries have religious, economic and ethnic ties.
Last week, we students from air university had a face-off with Afghan students from the University of Lahore, in we which we discussed Pak-Afghan current issues and their solutions. In the debate, three were the primary concerns of every student were as follows:
1: Firstly, the Durand line is still not accepted by any Afghan government. Retrospectively, Afghanistan was the first country which voted against Pakistan’s membership in the UN because Afghanistan claimed some territories of Baluchistan, NWFP and seven tribal agencies of the FATA, which were part of Ahmad Shah Abdali’s conquered territories.
2: Secondly, the border crossing is considered an iron curtain between Pakistan and Afghanistan. People across borders are (majority) Pashtuns. Some relatives are living on one side and some on the other side. The border between them makes their crossing difficult. Afghanistan is a landlocked country, which is highly dependent on her neighbors for exports and imports.
3: Afghan refugees have been considered a bone of contention between these two neighbouring states. Almost 4 million refugees are dependent on the crippling economy of Pakistan, food insecurity is surging due to excess population. In the contrary they claimed, Pakistan has totally failed in giving fundamental rights to refugees such as employment, justice, employment, liberty, etc.
The blame game should be discouraged albeit both states should take steps towards peace.
Solutions to the above problems are also discussed in the debate, for the territory’s issue, we all emphasized both states should put aside this issue, and both states should divert their foreign policy from geo-strategic to geo-economics.
For the cross-border incursions, we unanimously stressed both states should focus on a long-term policy. Skirmishes should be avoided from both sides, and both states should share information and work together to curb illegal trafficking.
In the same way, Pakistan should provide easy access to fundamental rights. In return, Afghanistan should ensure its citizens return back to their homeland after accessing educational, health, and other facilities.