Afghanistan and the Taliban should be the primary focus of our foreign policy, but the Yemen crisis has driven us to distraction. A meeting of officials of Pakistani and Afghan health departments in Kabul, which was also to be attended by representatives of UN agencies, was cancelled due to security concerns. Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries transferring the poliovirus to each other across their porous border. Refugees enter Afghanistan before the start of an anti-polio campaign in Pakistan and come back before the start of a campaign in Afghanistan. Simultaneous anti-polio campaigns on both sides of the border can help ensure that not a single child is missed. But the terrorist threat wreaks havoc with any plans that can be made for economic and social development on both sides.

Afghan Army Chief, General Karami was chief guest at the Kakul military academy passing out parade on Saturday and the first foreign dignitary to be the chief guest at the ceremony. His presence is due to a transformation in bilateral relations over the past few months, particularly defence cooperation which once suffered from mutual mistrust. This mistrust has to become a thing of the past. The Islamic State (IS) has carried out a deadly suicide attack in eastern Afghanistan, leaving 33 dead and more than 100 injured. This is the first major attack claimed by the militant group in the country. The Taliban have seen defections to IS in recent months, with some insurgents voicing their disaffection with their supreme leader Mullah Omar, who has not been seen since the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan. How soon before the TTP morphs into an IS unit? The turning tide must be stopped and the blow must be heavy. A Pak-Afghan team-up has been too late in the making and can only serve to help both countries. While militant groups join together to become one monster, so must our armies.