After six decades of the country's existence, Pakistan's relations with its western neighbour Afghanistan are not so good due to several reasons. The most important of these is Afghanistan's claims over the Pakistani province of NWFP and, lately, the matter of Taliban sanctuaries inside Pakistan. The tension between the two countries has turned the region into a hornet's nest of fundamentalist groups and terrorists that threat the regional security. Towards east, Pakistan has another hostile neighbour in India whose antics make Pakistanis believe that they can ill-afford an unstable or hostile Afghanistan on their western borders. The history of hostilities between Pakistan and India--having fought three wars, the two countries have been stabbing each other underhand even in peace time---necessitates a friendly government in Kabul for Pakistan's national security to be sustainable. Only friends in Kabul can provide us with the strategic depth against a possible threat from India. Afghanistan's geo-economic location is also very important for Pakistan. Afghanistan borders the Soviet beak-away central Asian states which provide us with market access to Russia and beyond. Afghanistan, thus, becomes the most strategically important neighbour for Pakistan. -SIDRA NAQVI, Islamabad, December 4.