Recent events involving Afghanistan and Pakistan

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Dear readers,

Instead of focusing individually on Afghanistan or Pakistan, today I have decided to combine the two given the fact that the two countries have been interacting politically quite recently.

Pakistani troops clash with militants near Afghan border

In a raid conducted by Pakistan’s military near the tribal region near the Afghan border, with wo soldiers and five “terrorists” killed. Evidence points to the fact that a Pakistani Taliban commander was killed in the raid. The Pakistan’s military has upped their anti-terrorism game in the last month following a “series of attacks that killed at least 125 people. It also closed its border with Afghanistan for more than a month, accusing Kabul of failing to crack down on militants.”

 To read more please visit this link.

Afghan, Pakistani Traders Demand Reopening of Joint Border

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif has ordered that the two main (for trade) border crossings with the Afghanistan to reopen immediately. The concern at the moment is that the closure of the border crossings may result in what could become a large scale huminatorian crisis. For this reason the border crossings at Torkham and Charman were opened for two days amid these worries.

The initial reason for the closure was related to concerns of national security, there was a wave of suicide bombings across the country, that Pakistani intelligence reported, were planned on Afghan soil. There have been about 3000 containers that were to cross the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan and have instead been stranded in Peshawar by the Torkham border, while 2000 containers have been stuck by the Chaman border.

National security is just one concern, but the abrupt border crossing has affected trade and economic well-being as well as basic needs of the Pakistani and Afghani people, respectively. A joint statement released after a meeting beween Pakistani and Afghan officials state that they have “fostered better understanding and cooperation” so the hope is that a solution benefitting both parties will be reached soon. It is important to note that this is the fifth time the borders have been closed since June 2016, this has resulted in millions of dollars of financial loss on both sides of the border, as well as a mutual trust deficit between the two countries.

To read more please visit this link, and this article from Reuters.

Terror-sponsor Pakistan is a destabilising factor in Afghanistan

Although Pakistan has been blaming Kabul of not paying attention to matters of national security, Kabul has been placing the blame on Islamabad in return.

Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani has come outright and said “slamming Islamabad for the destabilising factor in his war-torn country.” Rabbani recently attended a “US-sponsored anti-coalition group meeting, urged the Trump administration to put pressure on Pakistan to stop using terrorism as an instrument of state policy.”

Although the relatively new Ghani administration has tried to forge new connections with Islamabad, the tensions are at a new high combined with the closed border and mutual mistrust and blame for issues in national security.

To read more please visit this link.

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