The US Senate has authorised $800 million for Pakistan as it passed its draft of the National Defence Authorisation Bill, which includes a provision to set up a new fund to compensate Pakistan for its role in the war on terror. Traditionally, the funds were provided under the Coalition Support Fund (CSF), which paid both Afghanistan and Pakistan together, under the same decree, for their efforts to combat terrorism.

Pakistan has received a staggering $3.1 billion since 2013 under the CSF, an amount that goes solely into defence. But this fund expires in October, as it was associated with a specific US mission in Afghanistan, which has formally ended, though the lack of support for withdrawal of US forces might hint otherwise.

It is about time that Pakistan received the recognition that it has its own strategic value for US interests and not those in the shadow of the US war in Afghanistan. The manner in which tensions have escalated between the two countries, it is clearer than ever that the US must deal with both governments singularly as the deep-seated mistrust seems to be going nowhere for now. The cross-border skirmishes over the past three days that left nearly half a dozen troops dead on both sides and left many wounded, could have been readily avoided. The construction at the Torkham border was a completely legitimate course of action for Pakistan to take considering it is doing so on its land, 37 metres inside of the border. Aggression at the Torkham border and its subsequent closing, which is the most frequented crossing point on the 2,600km-long porous border between the two countries, will affect the Afghan people heavily as at least 25,000 travellers use it every day for various purposes.

The Afghan government should consider the financial as well as personal loss of its people if it chooses to continue the hostilities. As the NATO alliance has decided to hold onto its numerous bases across Afghanistan, and the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan not going as quickly as planned, there is no denying that a resurgent Taliban threat is ominous for not just Kabul, but the entire region. The Afghan government cannot afford to lose the support that Pakistan extends it time and time again to deal with militancy in the region. Instead of breeding resentment and mistrust within the country against Pakistan, they should encourage a more peaceful approach to resolve unsavoury disagreements.