Afghanistan’s opposition to border fencing by Pakistan along the Durand Line defies all standards of sense and reflects a dangerous attitude towards security and terrorism. The country is fully within its right to protest against the closure of border crossings between the two countries, but that has nothing to do with fencing the border. If Pakistan is expected to eliminate terrorism, it has no choice but to protect its borders with neighbouring countries, especially if the neighbour in question is wracked by terrorism and is on the verge of complete instability. This does not mean that border crossings will be closed – far from it, because once the border is fenced and protected, security forces can expend the rest of their energy on insuring that those using the crossings are screened properly.

Under normal circumstances, both countries would look to protect their border. Afghanistan has often accused Pakistan of encouraging cross-border terrorism, which means that the country might get its own problems solved for no cost to the state. If the problem of cross-border terrorism from Pakistan to Afghanistan is really as serious as the latter makes it out to be, the opposition to border fencing is only signalling that it is actually Afghanistan that is using the porous border for strategic gain. Their parasitic relationship with India only lends credence to this. Believing that the Afghan state might be employing the age-old tactic of strategic depth might not be too far off the mark. The recent drone attacks by the US on Pakistani Taliban leaders on Afghan soil tells us that Pakistan has some merit to its arguments. Is the Afghan government even interested in regional security?

At this point, the neighbouring country must take stock of reality, and realise that the relationship between both countries could also drastically improve if no accusations come flying from either side about cross-border terrorism. Instead of unsubstantiated claims about a neighbour looking to destabilise Pakistan by using terrorism as a weapon, our government is actually doing something about the problem, where the Afghan government can do little more than keep the rhetoric against Pakistan in its discourse, to deflect from its own problems. Some maturity is needed in the Afghan government, as is some common sense.