Hamid Karzai is up to his old tricks again and has said in an interview with The Guardian that Afghanistan is in danger of being under Pakistan’s thumb. Statements like these in the media only scratch at old wounds and make diplomatic ties between the two counties worse. But inside Afghanistan, mistrust is building. A senior Afghan lawmaker has warned President Ashraf Ghani about relying on Pakistan to help broker peace talks with the Taliban, citing Pakistan’s history of supporting the insurgents. This is big talk from a country far more internally war torn and internally insecure due to its own Taliban scourge.

Yet, the ISI has made itself into a public relations problem in the last ten years and such views are hardly surprising. Rangin Dadfar Spanta, a former national security adviser in the last government has said: “Pakistan’s military and its intelligence agency are the forces behind the Taliban, and that prevents me from being hopeful.” He has also claimed that Delhi is displeased with Ghani, and work has already stalled on some key Indian-backed development projects. Causing further annoyance to those who were in Karzai’s camp is Ghani’s effort to exclude from power mafia-like business men whom Karzai was always careful to keep close at the cost of government dysfunction and corruption.

President Ghani has made unprecedented moves towards cooperation and reconciliation with Pakistan, while resistance only comes from the leftover old guard. Karzai has rejected any suggestion he is at the centre of what has been called an emerging “pocket of opposition” to Ghani. Yet he has openly and severely criticised Ghani’s moves, such as sending six army cadets to Pakistan for officer training. Karzai instead would send men to India while spurning enraged Pakistan’s generals, sowing the seed for Pakistan resentment. Up until now Pakistan, albeit with secret intrigues, has for the most part, been pretty benevolent towards Afghanistan, from being a safe haven for refugees to always being willing to cooperate diplomatically. Afghanistan, if it is smart, will make sure it does not antagonise Pakistan, as Karzai is doing even after having left public office. To have Afghanistan under Pakistan’s thumb would mean that Pakistan has its own house in order, which it doesn’t. The uselessness of the civilian government and the grip of religious terrorism wont let it. We would just like to live in peace and be secure, and we can only hope that diplomats on both sides have this as the agenda.

Omar Daudzai, a former ambassador to Islamabad, said he thought Ghani’s attempts to woo Pakistan were courageous but would ultimately fail. But if they do fail, it is not a win for Pakistan. Only the Taliban win.