What Is The Future Of Afghanistan Pakistan Relations?
After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Pakistan opened its borders and at least 5 million Afghans moves to Pakistan. Most of these people still live in Pakistan and social structure of the country has been greatly altered with the arrival of Afghan refugees as Pakistan government decided to practically abolish the border between Pakistan & Afghanistan with free movement of labour, capital & general population. Many Afghans have Pakistani passports and as well as Afghani passports.
Currently there are more Pashtuns living in Pakistan, than Afghanistan as they have spread all over Pakistan. Awami National Party (ANP) is now the third biggest political force in Pakistan’s commercial capital Karachi after Pakistan Peoples Party & MQM. This is due to the fact that Karachi’s politics have turned into an ethnic number game where Pashtuns vote for ANP, Muhajirs vote for MQM & Sindhis vote for PPP.
As the moment of America’s withdrawal comes nearer the property prices in Peshawar have gone through the roof as Afghan officials & middle classes are moving their families to Pakistan. As Afghanistan is land locked, most of its foreign trade takes place thorough Gwadar in Baluchistan& Karachi in Sindh. Southern & Eastern Afghanistan is economically dependent on the trade route with Pakistan which brings the urban centres like Jalalabad & Kandahar in a constant contact with Peshawar & Quetta respectively.
Pakistan has been impacted radically by Afghanistan and for many Pakistanis who want to get back the peace & tolerance of pre 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the reality is becoming abundantly clear.
There is no going back. For better or worse, people of Southern & Eastern Afghanistan have practically merged their social & economic interest with Pakistan. Sooner the people of Pakistan& Afghanistan realize this and act according, sooner they will get back their economic might& social harmony.
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