The Pak-Afghan relationship has suffered one too many blows in recent times. The latest comes as four Pakistani soldiers were martyred, and another four severely injured at the 8,000-foot high Akhandwala Pass due to mortar shelling across the Afghan border by militants. The Foreign office has lodged a strong protest against the mortar shelling to the Afghan envoy urging them to launch an inquiry and share the result. But between the souring of relations and a constant blame game being played between the two countries, the common enemy has been seen gaining momentum.

The tensions come at a particularly volatile time, as leaders of the Afghan Taliban struggle with leadership turmoil that has submerged the group since Mullah Omar’s death. In this environment, leaders representing different degrees of Taliban militancy are struggling to emerge supreme and in this struggle for power almost 5,000 civilian deaths have been witnessed so far this year, with a fresh wave of attacks terrorizing Kabul in the past month.

President Ghani has snapped under pressure and is making threatening statements like "Pakistan has three options: freeze, deep freeze or hostility” if it failed to reign in the Taliban, according to three people who were present at a high level meeting, including two ambassadors. Currently the relations seem to be frozen, where neither side seems to be able to acquiesce the other. There is potential for the situation to worsen if common ground is not sought and collective action is not taken to tackle the threat from the Taliban.

Pakistan insists that it is doing everything in its power to push back the militants and destroy networks. This is visibly true, as a fresh offensive has been launched in North Waziristan as part of the Zarb-e-Azb operation, following the death of Punjab home minister Shuja Khanzada. Pakistan has declared war against the militants and is showing no mercy to internal and external threats.

By putting the success of peace process completely on a commitment from Pakistan, the Afghan government is putting all its eggs in one basket. Afghanistan instead should also do its homework and undertake confidence-building measures to gain the trust of its people, address local grievances, and provide better living and governance to ensure an end to the Afghan Taliban. The Afghan Taliban have always originated from Afghanistan and even claim them to having no significant links to Pakistan Taliban. The Afghan government instead of pointing fingers and resting on Pakistan’s shoulders to take action, should first take initiative themselves.