Relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan

Presently, more than seventy thousand American and NATO troops are in Afghanistan. In addition, Pakistan has deployed more than hundred thousand troops in the tribal areas, adjacent to the Pak-Afghan border, to stop the infiltration of the Taliban and their supporters into Afghanistan. But no significant achievement is in sight. Interestingly, both Pakistan and Afghanistan are blaming each other of not doing sufficient to curb the militancy in the region.

By German Orient Foundation
The first article by Dr. Gunter Mulack provides a basic analysis of the problematic relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan in its historical and cultural dimension. The conflicts stem from the Durand Line, the border between the two countries, which was introduced by the British in the 19th century and divides the Pashtu tribe. Afghanistan does not recognize that border.

The author stresses the international and particularly the German efforts to ease the conflict and concludes that reconciliation between the countries is possible, as shown in European history between former arch-enemies like France and Germany. However, a solution cannot be imposed by foreign outsiders, but has to be developed by both governments and populations.
The study by Prof. Sayed Wiqar Ali Shah evaluates the events following the American invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and the rise and popularity of the Taliban in the Pashtun-dominated areas inside Afghanistan and the tribal region of Pakistan. It primarily deals with Pakistan’s role in the war on terror and the Pakistani-Afghani relations in its context. The author concludes that the neighbouring countries are compelled to share the responsibility to combat the rising tide of militancy in the region, despite strong reservations on both sides.

Download the Complete Paper (PDF, 10 pages, 114 KB)

Download the Complete Paper (PDF, 8 pages, 98 KB)

Both articles have been published first in ORIENT – German Journal for Politics, Economics and Culture of the Middle East 
Orient I/2009: Focus: Pakistan - Afghanistan