As the tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan refuse to die down and the border entries remain sealed, in an act of defiance, the Afghan government has announced that it will airlift stranded Afghanis on this side, if Pakistan does not open its borders in the next two days.

The Afghan government should realise that making this empty threat to Pakistan has no bearing on our foreign policy. The Pak-Afghan border is not the Berlin Wall and Afghanistan and India are hardly the Allies. The arrogance must stop if Afghanistan wants terrorism to end.

The neighbouring government cannot use political posturing to get its demands enforced; if it wants the border opened, then continuing dialogue along the lines of joint efforts in counter-terrorism is the way to go. Closing all forums for discussion and mirroring Pakistan’s actions (with the army of both countries summoning the other’s ambassador) is immature for a landlocked country with an inferior army.

As it stands, Afghanistan’s growing closeness to India is making the former pull pages out of India’s foreign policy book – the recent rhetoric coming in from the Afghan government doesn’t sound to different from the Modi government’s with regards to its relationship with Pakistan. The Afghan government seems to have made its decision, and is choosing to take the road of barely concealed hostility against a nation that has in the past been its friend and ally.

Whatever promises India might make, Pakistan’s alliance with Afghanistan has helped save the lives of over 2.5 million Afghanis that came to Pakistan and were allowed to live and work in the country for decades.

It is unfortunate that two countries that were once so close have come to loggerheads. On its part, Pakistan must look to bring the estranged neighbour back to the table and take the mature path without giving in to the new policy of the western neighbour to find any and all reasons for renewed hostility.

It is very doubtful that the Afghan government can even afford to pay the cost of airlifting thousands stranded across the border, but in any case, it will never get to that. The closure of the Afghan-Pakistan border is an altogether avoidable situation that has gotten out of control. Pakistan wants terrorists on the other side handled, but it cannot forget that the Afghan government has been making the same demand for a long time. Communication is the key, and Pakistan must take the first step forward, if need be.