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Afghan War News > Countries > Pakistan

Map of Pakistan Pakistan has a strategic interest in Afghanistan. It seeks an unstable and insecure Afghanistan as a counter to the perceived designs of India. Pakistan, with its support of the Taliban, seeks 'strategic depth' in Afghanistan. India seeks to counter this by fostering a strong Afghanistan that is not in Pakistan's 'orbit'. To that end Pakistan provides the Taliban with a cross-border sanctuary and other means of support.

Diplomatic Relations. India has maintained strained diplomatic relationships with Afghanistan over the years. Pakistan is wary of Afghan claims of territory and the border areas defined by the Durand Line is under contention. In addition, Pakistan views Afghanistan as a threat from where India can exert its influence.

No Military Involvement. Pakistan has not provided troops to the ISAF coalition; however, at the same time that it supports the Afghan Taliban (or the "Good Taliban) it also permits some drone flights, overhead aircraft transit, and use of its LOCs for the transport of equipment, material and goods.

Non-Military Assistance. Pakistan has provided very limited assistance to Afghanistan in the form of diplomatic support, humanitarian aid, and financial assistance. This aid, however, is not considered a lot of aid when compared to other donor nations such as Japan, Canada, Australia, United States, and European countries. The aid is offered more in an attempt to influence world opinion; diverting attention from its support of the Afghan Taliban.

Energy. Afghanistan is the gateway to the energy-rich Central Asian States; and Pakistan could benefit from a secure and stable Afghanistan which would increase the possibilities of more energy arriving in Pakistan cities.

Pakistan Accusations Against India. Pakistan has accused India of causing trouble on its western border (Afghan-Pakistan border) utilizing India's consulates in Jalalabad (recently attacked by Pakistan ISI agents) and Kandahar. 1. The U.S. has dismissed the Pakistan charges as exaggerated. A more likely accusation might be the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) recruiting, training, funding, and equipping its agents to attack Indian interests in Afghanistan.

Papers and Publications On Pakistan and Afghanistan


Hashmi, Waleed. "Fierce and Warlike: Could the Baloch Separatist Movement Remain Pakistan's Longest Insurgency?", Small Wars Journal, August 21, 2018.


Ryan, Dan. "Pakistan Catch-22: The Trouble With Wars in Landlocked Countries", The Bridge, December 2, 2015. An Air Force C-17 aircraft commander discusses why the requirement for overflight permission from Pakistan hindered the ability of the U.S. to apply pressure to Pakistan to stop its support of the Taliban.

Fair, Christine. "The Lashkar's Empire of Jihad", India Today, September 11, 2015. How Pakistan's intelligence agency created a pliant proxy and implacable foe of India.

Afzal, Madiha. Education and Attitudes in Pakistan: Understanding Perceptions of Terrorism, United States Institute of Peace, April 21, 2015.


Nadiri, Kahlid Homayun, "Old Habits, New Consequences: Pakistan's Posture toward Afghanistan since 2001", International Security, Fall 2014, Vol 39, No. 2, Pages 132-168, posted online November 21, 2014, MIT Press Journals.

News and Magazine Articles and Blog Posts on Pakistan and Afghanistan

January 31, 2018. "Pakistan: Graveyard of Strategy", by Robert Cassidy, Modern War Institute at West Point. A retired U.S. Army colonel and author of several publications and articles about Afghanistan, provides his view of the role Pakistan plays in the Afghan conflict.

January 12, 2018. "Getting the Most Out of Pakistan", The Cipher Brief. Daniel Hoffman, a former career CIA official, provides his perspective on the way foward with Pakistan.

July 6, 2017. "To Win Afghanistan, Get Tough on Pakistan", by Husain Haqqani, The New York Times. The Afghan Taliban leadership lives in the Pakistani cities of Quetta and Peshawar. Haqqani is a former Pakistan ambassador to the United States.

April 28, 2016. "Former U.S. Envoy Says Pakistani Taliban Sanctuaries Ruined Afghan 'Golden Hour'", by Abubakar Siddique, Gandhara Blog. Zalmay Khalilzad says the number one problem with Afghanistan is Pakistan.

March 3, 2016. "Diminishing Control Motivates Pakistan to Assert Taliban Influence", Gandhara Blog. With Taliban success on the battlefield and control of large areas of Afghanistan the insurgent group has less need of Pakistan's support - so now Pakistan is trying to stay relevant and ensure it benefits from any peace talks that yield results.

March 2, 2016. "Senior Official Admits Pakistan Housing Afghan Taliban Leaders", Gandhara Blog - Radio Free Europe.

October 17, 2015. "Divide and Rule: Pakistan's New Covert Taliban Approach", by Hekmatullah Azamy, Gandhara Blog.

October 8, 2015. "The key to solving the puzzle of Afghanistan is Pakistan", October 8, 2015. Insurgencies are difficult to defeat if they have a cross-border sanctuary and patron.

September 30, 2015. "Pakistan and the Taliban: Past as Prologue?", by C. Christine Fair in The Diplomat. After riding the Islamist militancy tiger for decades, Pakistan now has a problem.

June 29, 2015. "Ashraf Ghani's Pakistan Outreach: Fighting Against the Odds", By Moeed Yusuf and Scott Smith, United States Institute of Peace. Pakistan has responded tepidly leaving Ghani politically exposed.

June 24, 2015. "How Pakistan Beguiles the Americans: A Guide for Foreign Officials". By C. Christine Fair, War on the Rocks Blog. The author explains how the Pakistani's continue to recieve billions of dollars of aid and military assistance while it continues to support terrorism and the Taliban. The U.S. State Department lacks a cadre of South Asian experts with a language capability.

May 26, 2015. "Honor Our Fallen by Getting Real on Pakistan". By Christine Fair, War on the Rocks. The author points out that Pakistan supports the Taliban in Afghanistan.

May 7, 2015. "Too Late to Tango? Ashraf Ghani's Risky Outreach to Pakistan". By Scott Smith and Moeed Yusuf, Foreign Policy. The resurgence of fighting in Afghanistan might mean that Ghani's strategy of reaching out to Pakistan is too little too late. But Ghani did not seem to have many other options.

March 12, 2015. "President Ghani: Stuck Between India and Pakistan". By Hamid M. Saboory, Foreign Policy. As AfPak relations improve, will Indian support of Afghanistan wane?

February 27, 2015. "Afghanistan: The Ball is in Pakistan's Court", by Aziz Amin Ahmadzai in The Diplomat. Afghanistan has made an unprecedented series of goodwill actions. Pakistan must now respond.

February 13, 2015. "Musharraf: Pakistan and India's backing for 'proxies' in Afghanistan must stop". The Guardian. Former president admits that Pakistan cultivated the Taliban and he voices his support for Ashraf Ghani.

December 19, 2014. "Pakistan's ties to militant groups complicate its terrorism fight", Los Angeles Times.

December 19, 2014. "America's $28-Billion Failure in Pakistan". The Atlantic.

December 18, 2014. "Afghanistan should not make a false choice - analysis", by Shakti Sinha, Eurasia Review. The key to negotiations with the Taliban is with Pakistan; with a little help from China.

December 15, 2014. "Revisit Afghanistan's End Game Plan". Brookings.

April 1, 2014. "Pakistan, Afghanistan, India all want leftover MRAPs". Military Times.

March 6, 2014. "India and Pakistan: Competition or Cooperation in Afghanistan?" The Diplomat. Author discusses the importance of stability in Afghanistan.August 6, 2013. "India's challenges in Afghanistan post-2104". East Asia Forum.


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1. See "Pakistani fears over India Afghan role 'not groundless'", BBC, August 7, 2013.




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