Issue Brief on “Pakistan-Afghan Border”

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have been in a perpetual state of escalating tensions, which have been primarily due to mistrust; unfulfilled expectations; counterterrorism differences; failure of the peace process with the Afghan Taliban; reignited border disputes and issues regarding Afghan refugees. More recently, a spike in cross-border attacks and clashes along their joint border have led to fatalities on both sides and have further deteriorated ties into, what may be the worst of Pak-Afghan crisis witnessed in the past few decades.

The Pak-Afghan border was one that used to witness an unprecedented and unmonitored movement of around 50,000 to 60,000 people daily,[1] with more than 90 per cent of the flow originating from Afghanistan into Pakistan.[2] Since 2001, Pakistan and Afghanistan have been facing immense domestic security threats largely emanating from the unrestricted movement of militants across the Pak-Afghan border. However, every time Pakistan has raised the issue of border recognition, management or regulation, there has been stern opposition from Afghanistan. Although initially the border issue was downplayed by both states, the Afghan State’s non-acceptance of the border and increase in militancy in Pakistan, cross-border attacks and movement of militants led to a resolve within Pakistan to advocate for effective management and regulation of its border.

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