Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, August 19th, 2019

Af-Pak Tension Rises Further

The tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan is intensifying. Afghanistan has been claiming for the last one month or so that Pakistan security forces have been firing rockets in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan. These two provinces are located along the Af-Pak border and hundred of rockets are claimed to have targeted innocent people. There have been protests both from the common people and the politicians regarding the incident, and they have even urged President Karzai to go for retaliation. While on the other part of the border the Pakistani authorities have vehemently neglected the claims. They have only accepted that some accidental fires might have taken place in pursuit of the terrorists who cross the border.

To add fuel to the fire, there are claims now from other side of the border that mortars have been shot from Afghanistan side. On Tuesday, July 18, 2011, Pakistani officials have claimed that more than 20 mortar shells were fired from across the border that have resulted into the death of four Pakistani soldiers. There are claims that the same fires resulted in wounding two other soldiers as well in South Waziristan. This incident is reported on the same day when Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari was in Kabul, condoling for the President Karzai's brother's death. Both the presidents said that they would have co-operation between each other in the war against terrorism.

Afghan officials in this regard showed oblivion. The defense ministry in Kabul told that it could neither confirm nor deny the reports. Whatever, the reality may be, it is sure that the tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan is rising because of the rocket firing issue. Both the countries in this regard should have proper investigation into the issue. Pakistan, in particular, must have, by now, provided satisfactory replies to the allegations claimed against them.

Both the countries must keep in consideration that their mutual co-operation is required badly at this crucial phase of history. Both need to sit together and solve the major issues that confront both of them. The peace process in the region can never have any value unless both the countries put their honest contributions. Though, President Karzai's last visit to Pakistan had raised hopes for better relations between the two countries, wherein Pakistan promised complete co-operation for the reconciliation process and political solution of the matters in Afghanistan. The visit seemed very much promising and it was hoped that there would be development in this regard, but unfortunately the love story could not last long.

Certain current incidents in Afghanistan, like the assassination of President Karzai's brother and his advisor are also being linked to Pakistan. There are claims from the politicians in Afghanistan that Pakistan's spy agency has been behind these incidents. These claims, though can not yet be regarded as right or wrong, have been very hasty and show the deteriorating relations between the two countries. It seems once again the blame game has started, with both the countries blaming each other for different incidents.

It is really important at this crucial juncture when the socio-political scenario in the region is going through a transition that both the countries ignore their differences and accept their mistakes and must strive for better relations because they both can not afford to have terrorism being strengthened in the region. Both the countries have been through so many bitter experiences in the war against terrorism and again both stand notorious. The sacrifices that have been given by the common people in this regard must not be wasted, because throughout this war it is the common people who have suffered the ugly manifestation of terror and its aftermath.