Tensions have been increasing between Pakistan and Afghanistan as the borders between the two countries stayed closed for weeks. After a brief closure, the borders are open for trade and light pedestrian traffic. Pakistan has been afraid of the fighting to spill over into its side of the border. The process of vetting and looking through the paperwork for the Afghanis coming into Pakistan has gotten much stricter than ever before. Where there used to be hundreds and thousands crossing the border, now there are less than a hundred allowed to pass through in a day. Pakistani security officials say they don’t want any militants to enter disguised as civilians, so they are extra vigilant.
Pakistan has tried to take itself out of the blame zone by putting the responsibility on other parties. On Wednesday, Pakistan’s information minister said that the fault lay with the Afghan military, who could not hold their ground. “With the 8th Province falling to Taliban, people of Afghanistan and people of USA must question so-called leadership of Afghanistan-where $2 trillion vanished that they received to build Afghan National Army?” He continued.In the Afghan government, “how come all ministers and generals became billionaires but people of Afghanistan are suffering due to poverty? Who is responsible for these sufferings? Corruption of Leadership drowns the nations, and Afghanistan is an example of that.”
Within Afghanistan, however, there has been an anti-Pakistan trending hashtag #SanctionPakistan. The Afghans blame Pakistan for strengthening the Taliban over the people of Afghanistan. Afghanis are also bitter about the strict rules at the borders in the current months. Many Journalists, media personalities, and right-wing activists are leading the charge on this campaign against Pakistan.This hashtag has been used more than 730, 000 times, according to Aljazeera. It’s being claimed that if you are a true Afghani, a friend of the Afghan people, you will spread the word on social media about this hashtag.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, however, has denied the reports that Pakistan had anything to do with aiding the Taliban in taking over Afghanistan. “This is absolute nonsense,” he said of the claims that Pakistani fighters had crossed the border to help the Taliban.Energy Minister Azhar termed these allegations baseless and wrote in a tweet that “Afghan government should own its failures; Pakistan strongly desires for peace and stability in Afghanistan.”
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said on Saturday that Pakistan is playing an essential role in peace and stability in Afghanistan. On Friday, in a weekly media briefing, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said, “urged to the importance of the early and smooth transition of power in Afghanistan and to the need for all Afghan sides to engage and work out an inclusive political settlement. “We are closely following the developments taking place in Afghanistan and are in contact with the international community on this issue.”
He also said that the continued engagement by the international community was also critical for achieving durable peace, security, and development in Afghanistan. “As for Pakistan, we are committed to working together with the international community to advance our shared objectives in Afghanistan. We have consistently highlighted the need for a political solution and have supported every effort for peace in Afghanistan. We have remained part of all mechanisms, regional and international, aimed at bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan,” he added.
Tensions are high between the two countries, and the governments are not seeing eye to eye on many issues right now. Recently ousted President Ashraf Ghani also blames Pakistan for not protecting him and his forces from a homegrown invasion which he feels were supported by the closest bordered allies. Nevertheless, there is enormous public support for the Afghan crisis among the People of Pakistan. Humanitarian and aid work from NGOs from across Pakistan has sped up since before the civil war. As the country finds itself more and more devastated by war, the new rule, and uncertainty, the Pakistanis, like many other countries, are coming to help regardless of the politics, the consensus, or lack thereof from their governments.