Tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been on the rise since the past few months. The Afghan forces have been continuously provoking the Pakistani side, until we finally witnessed action on the Chaman border near Balochistan. The military personnel claimed that 50 Afghan soldiers were killed in the retaliatory firing by the Pakistan army. The Afghan envoy to Pakistan, Dr Omar Zakhilwal, rejected the claim and suggested that only two Afghan soldiers were killed while seven sustained injuries in the clash.

He was of the opinion that if a friendly diplomatic relationship matters to both the countries then the loss of lives should not be celebrated on either side. However, if that was the case; the Afghan guards should not have indulged in firing at innocent citizens in the first place. To suggest that Pakistan celebrated this is itself callous and insulting.

Yet, Pakistan, like always, has decided to manage the situation diplomatically: A move that should be appreciated despite Afghanistan’s continuous push towards an outright war under the influence of India.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, will visit Afghanistan soon to break the ice. The country is already war ravaged. If it indulges in a conflict with Pakistan, the chances of it stabilising itself will be very few. Hence, it is important to engage in dialogue to ease the tensions. National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq also confirmed that the Afghan President will also visit Pakistan after the visit of Nawaz Sharif.

Pakistan realises the need to break the India-Afghanistan nexus in order to stabilise the region and secure its borders, but this is unlikely considering the size of the Afghan Taliban and how insecure the Afghan government’s position is in Afghanistan. The friendship with India will only exacerbate Afghanistan’s terrorist troubles, and state officials will continue to blame Pakistan, rather than look inward at their own politics. Senior officials in Pakistan have urged Washington to help maintain security in the region by breaking the nexus. While the US is wary of Pakistan, it is still essential they be apprised of the situation on ground, and clear evidence is ready about Afghan mistakes and Indian aggression.

It is about time that Afghanistan realises the need to maintain its friendly diplomatic relations with Pakistan. India will never be able to provide a secure future for Afghanistan, when it is Pakistan that shares its longest border with it.