Afghan-Pakistan Relations: Problems and Challenges in XXI Century

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2024-68-2-73-83
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23 Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation.

Received 28.06.2023. Revised 14.07.2023. Accepted 23.10.2023.

Abstract. Afghan-Pakistan relations in XXI century have been plagued with issues, and the rise of the Taliban has compounded the difficulties. The traditional problems, including the disputed Durand Line between the two nations, persist. The current inflexible policies of the Taliban and the ongoing political crisis in Pakistan have hampered compromise. The article proposes that resolving the border status issue requires involvement from both global and regional powers. It suggests that intensively monitoring efforts, reinforcing interstate dialogue, joint anti-terrorism measures, and mutually beneficial economic projects are possible ways to deescalate tensions along the contentious border. Despite both sides’ attempts to manage the border, it remains a primary area of tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Pakistan has been criticized for not making adequate efforts to eliminate terror groups operating in the border regions. Conversely, extremist groups, including ISIS, have actively targeted Afghanistan, seeking to expand their influence in the region. Coordinated action could eliminate such groups. The lack of political will is the biggest obstacle to progress in solving the mutual problems. As a result, the article suggests the need for international organizations’ involvement, such as China offering financial and technical assistance in resolving border disputes and terrorism. The UN can offer a neutral platform and enhance monitoring efforts concerning threats such as ISIS. In summary, the article underscores that despite the Taliban’s resurgence, the age-old issues between Afghan-Pakistani nations continue to undermine long-standing relations. The disputed Durand Line and inflexible policies hinder cooperation, but it is possible to resolve the territorial border dispute with the involvement of international actors.

Keywords: Afghanistan, Pakistan, relations, security, terrorism, trade, cross-border connections, infrastructure


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For citation:
Guzhev I. Afghan-Pakistan Relations: Problems and Challenges in XXI Century. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2024, vol. 68, no. 2, pp. 73-83. EDN: LBUQUT

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