As fruit exports continue to suffer in the landlocked country of Afghanistan, the Afghan government does what it does best and places the blame on Pakistan.

The exports have in fact suffered largely due to poor air connectivity and also due to the frequent closures of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border due to flaring tensions between the neighbouring states. Hundreds of long-haul trucks stuck along border towns are a common sight, with tonnes of fruits and perishable items going to waste and forcing some farmers to return to the more lucrative cultivation of poppy.

Agriculture Minister Assadullah Zamir accused Pakistan of using border security “as a pretext to sabotage Afghan exports and shield its own farmers from competition”. The minister must be reminded that Islamabad has made every effort to mend diplomatic ties with Kabul, only to have President Ashraf Ghani join Indian Premier Modi to blame Pakistan for all that is wrong in his country. He thwarted the $500 million offered by Islamabad in financial assistance, making a public declaration to use the money to fight the militant groups on Pakistan’s soil instead. Such international slight does not go without consequence, and if Pakistan needs to keep the border closed to protect its national interests, then so be it.

After the display put on by the two premiers at the conference in Amritsar a month ago, it has become abundantly clear that Kabul and New Delhi now see no point in downplaying the merging of their strategic and commercial interests. New Delhi recently announced it would launch an air-cargo link between Afghanistan and India that would help it bypass its border issues and open new markets for traders.

If India is the only ally Afghanistan needs, then Pakistan has no problem in complying however, it does not see this as a long term solution to peace in the region, and hopes that the hostile neighbour will come to see that too.