Pakistan and Afghanistan are neighbors with interlinked destiny that not only share geographic contiguity, but also have lot of other commonalities like; faith, history & heritage, ethnic groupings, socio-cultural values, mutual economic interests and geo-strategic dependence etc. Pakistan’s seaports for land locked Afghanistan and Afghanistan’s location at the crossroads of South and Central Asia further adds to their importance for each other. It was due to these reasons that Pakistan supported Afghans and hosted more than 3.5 millions refugees in their war of independence against Soviet occupation. That refugee influx affected Pakistan’s internal, social and economic development, creating a drug menace, smuggling, social violence and a Kalashnikov culture. Since, Pakistan’s fundamental aim has been to stabilize its western borders, it became acute because of India’s hostile posture, compelling Pakistan to seek defensive measures. Owing to this reason, Pakistan, since its independence, has been aspiring for friendly, cordial and mutually beneficial relations with Afghanistan. Despite Pakistan’s desire of friendly relations, and commonalities of interests and other drivers based on socio-economic interdependence, the bilateral relations have remained mostly strained. From the beginning, Afghanistan has followed a policy of hostility towards Pakistan, and has been patronizing a separatist Pakhtoonistan Movement. Afghanistan was the only country to oppose Pakistan’s admission to the United Nations, conditioning its recognition upon the provision that the right of self-determination be given to the people of Pakistan’s NWFP. Actually, the demand for Pakhtoonistan was made in December 1947, when the Indian Army was moving towards Pakistan’s border and was poised for a quick advance into Kashmir. Since then, raids from Afghanistan into Pakistani territories have taken place from time to time. India’s threat remains central and primary to Pakistani security calculation with Afghanistan, as well. Kabul began hosting separatist Pakistani Pakhtuns and Baloch and in retaliation Islamabad did the same to dissident Afghans.
A cursory glance over the history of their relations present a dismal picture of Afghanistan’s non-co-operative attitude and irredentist claims – prompted by internal and external vested interests particularly in the wake of the Cold War and post 9/11 bursts of blame games of interfering in each others internal affairs. Re-emergence, regrouping and regaining strength of Taliban and Al Qaeda once thought defeated in Afghanistan, is threatening both the reconstruction process and the Coalition forces in Afghanistan. The renewal of the Taliban insurgency in the provinces bordering the Pak-Afghan border has once again generated tensions between Kabul and Islamabad. The two countries are accusing each other of interfering in their respective domestic affairs. Afghanistan blames Pakistan for fueling the insurgency in Afghanistan in order to destabilize the government of Hamid Karzai and install a more compliant government in Kabul. President Karzai himself criticized Pakistan on several occasions, claiming Pakistan was training militants and sending them over the border. In turn, Islamabad blames Kabul for its alleged support to the Baloch guerrillas and the situation in Waziristan and Bajore agencies. Such distrust and criticism has often led to angry rebuttals and poisoned relations between the two neighboring countries. Though much headway has been made in terms of enhanced trade ties linking Kabul with Islamabad, the political problems refuse to go away and prevent the two countries from achieving the full potential of their economic cooperation. However, all this becomes irrelevant in forging closer ties between the two countries as soon as authorities in Kabul start blaming Islamabad for the violence in parts of Afghanistan and the Pakistanis react by pointing out how ungrateful the Afghans were after having enjoyed Pakistani hospitality for years.
Kabul did send signals to Islamabad that it too had nuisance capabilities in Pakistani territory and could use the Pashtun question for its own benefit. On February 17, 2006, President Karzai himself led a forty-member delegation to the funeral of the Pashtun nationalist leader Abdul Wali Khan. During a press conference on the same day, Karzai warned that Iran and Pakistan and others are not fooling anyone. He further declared:
If they don’t stop, the consequences will be … that the region will suffer with us equally. In the past we have suffered alone; this time everybody will suffer with us…. Any effort to divide Afghanistan ethnically or weaken it will create the same thing in the neighboring countries. All the countries in the neighborhood have the same ethnic groups that we have, so they should know that it is a different ball game this time.
The suspicions and mistrust has reached to its apex when Afghanistan’s President Hamed Karazai openly blamed Pakistan by putting all responsibility of ongoing law and order situation in Afghanistan and resolved to adopt hot pursuit policy of crossing Pakistan’s border to destroy militant’s bases. Americans ‘do more syndrome’ and NATO / ISAF forces’ consistent allegations that Taliban’s insurgency is being fed and controlled from the sanctuaries inside the Pakistan’s tribal areas. Indian factor is also playing its role in aggravating the bitterness of bilateral relations and spoiling the environment of trust with a view to pursue its own nefarious designs. Building up of such an anti-Pakistan scenario in Afghanistan’s soil is alarming. It contains a very loud and clear message for Pakistan’s security and Pak-Afghan relations. Pakistan can’t afford another India on its western border. Nor it can allow a War against Terror (being fought in Afghanistan) to spread and spill over to Pakistan. In such deteriorating environment, therefore, Pakistan had to remain prepared for new situations on the Afghan side and be able to adapt accordingly. And the one long term solution rests on the defusing of ongoing cold war, establishing mutual trust and relations based on mutual interests and brotherly sincerity. There has to be a realization that any adversity faced by one could affect the other. It is thus, in the interest of both countries to have friendly and cordially relations marked with trust, and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of other so as to promote peace, political stability, economic prosperity and socio-ethnic unity and cohesiveness in the region. If Afghanistan is passing through a phase of uncertainty because of decades of violence and civil war, Pakistan is also facing a phase of instability because of extremism, militancy, political wrangling, socio-ethnic polarization, and range of other issues from bad governance, water and electricity crises to sectarian and ethnic discords. Therefore, normalization of Pak- Afghan relations is the only recipe to bring peace and stability in the two countries. Pakistan should be content with having an independent, integrated and friendly western neighbor. It could further be argued that, despite the present cold relationship between the two countries, other compulsions, especially those caused by economic and security issues are likely to draw them into a long-term, friendly relationship.
Background of the Research Study
Afghanistan and Pakistan are neighbours with commonality of faith, socio-cultural values, ethnic affinity, socio-political history, geographical contiguity, and geo-economics dependency. In the context of given security environment, Pakistan looked towards Afghanistan as a potential friend in the region. Realizing that landlocked Afghanistan was economically dependent on Pakistan, and given that both countries are Muslim with common historical legacy, Pakistan assumed that Afghanistan will be a natural friend, give up its unrealistic territorial claims and maintain friendly, cordial and mutually beneficial relations. However, during the last five decades, the relations between both the countries never ran a smooth course.
Ongoing war in Afghanistan and its spill over effects in Pakistan especially in Pakistan’s Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) has strengthened the critics claim that peace in FATA is linked with peace in Afghanistan and vice versa. The loudly talked of economic opportunities of huge oil reserves and bright prospects of trade linkage between Central Asian States with Pakistan and rest of the world are also seems to be hostage to Pakistan-Afghanistan relations for the last so many years. Both the countries are counted amongst the poverty-ridden areas with under developed masses and infrastructure. Socio-economic progress depends on social order and peace, political stability and productive inter state relations. Pakistan-and Afghanistan, despite having a long list of commonality of interests, has failed to pursue, develop and maintain mutually rewarding relations with each other thereby harming each others socio- political fiber and neglecting economic opportunities.
Foregoing in view there was a need to carryout research that help in developing guidelines for the attainment of Pakistan’s Afghanistan policy objectives: peace and a friendly government in Afghanistan, a conducive environment for the repatriation of refugees, getting Afghanistan to accept the legal status of the Durand Line and access to Central Asia. The research finding are also likely to help some extent in formulation of a post operation process toward reforms in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, leading to their integration into Pakistani national politics and administration.
Statement of Research Problem
To carry out an in-depth analysis of the bilateral relations with special emphasis on post-9/11 bilateral environment with a view to identify hurdles/ obstacles that are negatively influencing the bilateral relations. The bilateral irritants once identified would help in making suggestion for the improvement in relations and development of trust based socio- political environment yielding economic benefits and creating socio- political cohesiveness.
Objectives of the Study
The research study was aimed to achieve following objectives:
- To describe history of Pakistan Afghanistan relations from 1947 to 2007
- To carry out an in-depth evaluation of history of Pakistan’s Afghanistan relations with a view to identify main obstacles and hurdles amongst the development of dependable friendly relations.
- To recommend measures that can strengthen commonality of interests help develop trust and improve the worsening state of relations, and to make suggestions for improvement.
The research is descriptive, and analytical in nature. The research was conducted between March 2009 and January 2010. The methodological focus of the research was on wide ranging review of the related literature. The review of the related literature was based on historic record as well as on the content analysis of the current events in Pakistan Afghanistan relations. The data is mainly derived / extracted from secondary sources following qualitative approach. The research data has been derived from various books, research journals, periodicals, news papers and state papers/ agreements of different time span. The references/ points have also been obtained tthat would mainly based on the secondary data available in the form of books, research studies, official / Think tanks reports, state papers, newspapers summaries/ editorials and research articles published with in Pakistan and abroad. Content Analysis method would be used to synthesize the data for analysis, drawing findings and making recommendations.
The result of this research finds that the on going crisis-laden relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have historical currents and currents of British legacy that stretches back to the British India. Historical antipathy and mistrust runs deep. Road to peace and stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan has to be built upon deeper understanding of their relations. Building on the results, it is vital to engage Afghanistan fully to understand the dilemmas of its security and insecurity. One must also remain cognizant of and closely analyze the regional dimension Afghanistan- Pakistan relations. The border skirmishes, the Communist invasion, the civil war in post cold war Afghanistan, the rise of Taliban, the on going War on Terror have all been conflicts between actors with transnational links.
Outline Organization of the Research Thesis
This M.Phil Dissertation contains five chapters as follow:
- Chapter- 1 introduces the research study, giving out background of the research question and the research methodology that was followed during the conduct of this study.
- Chapter-2 presents a review of the related literature that was reviewed during the process of research.
- Chapter-3 presents a detailed overview of the state of Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations from 1947 till today. The chapter has been developed in historic setting in chronological order, giving out important events/ mile stones that tuned the course of their bilateral relations. For the ease of understanding and clarity of presentation the chapter has been further divided in two sections as per following scheme:
Section-1: From 1947 to the Taliban Era till 9/11, 2001. The section covers five distinct phases of the bilateral relations as follow:
- Ø Phase-I describes the ill fated start of Bilateral relations commencing from 1947 with the establishment of Pakistan and terminating with the resignation of Mr. Daud, Prime Minister of Afghanistan in1963).
- Phase-II denotes the period from 1963 to 1973. It covers the events that helped in bringing detent amongst the deteriorating relations and establishing climate of mutual trust and confidence building on both sides.
- Phase III marks the period from the time of Sardar Doud’s resumption of power through a coup against King Zahir Shah in 1973 till he was assassinated by the communists in Saur Revolution of 1978.
- Phase-IV presents the bilateral account of relations during the Soviet’s Occupation from 1979-1992.
- Phase-V is reserved for narration of the emergence of Taliban & Pakistan’s Support for Revitalizing Peace & Stability in Kabul till September 2001.
Section-2 focuses to discuss the breaking and making of bilateral relations since 9/11. The section also attempts to identify factors leading to the worsening state of relations, unfolds the overt / covert role of other states/ non-state actors in influencing the Pakistan- Afghanistan relations.
- Chapter-4 analyzes the data gathered in chapter three and draw findings and conclusions of the research in scientific/ rational way. These findings relate identify major challenges that hampered Pakistan Afghanistan relation for the last sixty two years or so.
- Chapter-5 offers suggestions and makes recommendations for the improvement of Pak Afghan relation to their best.
HISTORY OF PAKISTAN-AFGHAN RELATIONS
Pakistan and Afghanistan are immediate neighbors having 2240 km common border formally known as Durand Line. Despite shared geography, ethnicity and faith, relations with Afghanistan have never been smooth rather they have been a painful experience especially for Pakistan. With the Indian threat looming from the East, Afghanistan’s hostile attitude has added further in the fragile security environment challenging the very existence of Pakistan. Ian Stephon termed such a security scenario enveloping simultaneously from the East and the West as a ‘pincer movement’ aiming to crush still- born Pakistan.[i] A secure and friendly North-Western border has always been Pakistan’s desire and security requirement vis-à-vis India which, could never get materialized because of India’s inspired Afghanistan’s hostile attitude. With the sole exception of the four years of Taliban rule (1997-2001) over Afghanistan, successive governments in Kabul have displayed varying degrees of disaffection towards Islamabad.[ii] Issues of Pakhtoonistan and Durand line, at the Herat of such hostile/ unfriendly attitude and antagonistic relations, resulted from Afghanistan’s ambitions over certain areas in the North West of Pakistan that, for a brief period, remained part of territories conquered by Ahmad Shah Abdali from1747 to 1773.[iii]
Change in Afghanistan has always affected the region in general and Pakistan in particular. Stability across both sides of the borders is mandatory for peace and security in the region. The research study is focused to evaluate the conduct of Pakistan’s Afghanistan policy with a view to identifying its strengths and weaknesses, irritants and force multipliers so as to make suggestions for its improvement. The underlying aim of this research study is to revisit these relations and give them a new direction for peace and prosperity in the region. This chapter tries to analyze different phases of Pak-Afghan relations in chronological order with a view to identifying challenges hindering rapprochement process and continue to enflame the geo-strategic and geo-political environment amongst the two neighbours. After the irritants causing worsening of relations are identified then the research offers certain measures to address these irritants and suggest a strategy to bring both of the neighbors at friendly terms. The chapter is divided in to two parts and each section is denoted as section. Section one explores the period from 1947 till American occupation of Afghanistan; and section two discusses the inter-state relations in post 9/11 era as follow:
Section -1: Historic Perspective: Pakistan Afghanistan Relations (1947- 2001)
Section-II: Pakistan-Afghanistan Relations since 9/11
The sequential Analysis of this chapter is arranged in chapter four followed by the recommendations in chapter-5. For the purpose f better understanding and ease of references some of the historically significant documents (treaties, speeches and agreement etc) are attached as appendices and annexure at the end of this thesis.
Pakistan Afghanistan Relations:
An Historic Perspective -1947- 2001
Pakistan came into being on the basis of Islamic ideology which, in turn, was revolving around the concept of Muslim Ummah and was destined to be the symbol of universal Islamic solidarity across the globe. According to the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaqat Ali Khan, ‘A cardinal feature of this ideology (of Pakistan) is to make Muslim brotherhood a living reality. It is, therefore, part of mission which Pakistan has set before itself to do every thing in its power to promote closer fellowship and cooperation between Muslim countries’.[iv] It was with this background that Pakistan, since its inception, pursued every step that could bring Muslim world closer at one platform. Its one of the fundamental principle has been to establish brotherly relations with the Muslim countries. Pakistan succeeded in cherishing very cordial relations with every Muslim country baring Afghanistan. In case of Afghanistan geographical location has acted more negatively than the expected binding role of its Muslim faith. In case of Pakistan-Afghan relations Lord Curzon’s (former Viceroy of India) saying seems to be worth mentioning here, ‘frontiers are indeed the razor’s edge on which hang suspended the modern issues of war and peace, of life or death to nations’ seems proving to be correct.[v]
It is regrettable fact of the history that from the time of Pakistan’s birth, Afghanistan has maintained an attitude of hostile neighbor and Pakistan has to live upon with because neighbour can not be changed. At the Heart of Afghanistan’s indifferent attitude towards Pakistan were the issues of Durand Line and Pakhtoonistan. Both of the issues were based on Afghanistan’s ambitions of regaining control of NWFP and other areas which, for a brief period, were part of Ahmad Shah Abdali’s conquered territories. During 1940s, when it became apparent that Britain is likely to free India, the Government of Afghanistan asked Britain that in the event of the diminish of British authority the whole Pathan region as far as the Indus should revert to Afghan sovereignty or the people of NWFP be given choice of independent Pathan state.[vi] Since then Afghanistan is playing a self- styled champion’s role for the Pakhtoons state called, ‘Pakhtoonistan’.
The rationale sounded of the Pakhtoonistan was that since India was partitioned between Hindus and Muslims therefore, by parity of reasoning; there should be a further partition to provide the Pakhtoons with their own home land also. The proponent of the claim forget that Pakistan’s inception was not based on the ethnic reason but, rests on religious, cultural, historic and economic considerations. Referendum results held for the future of NWFP, 289244 votes in favour and 2874 against[vii], clearly demonstrated the desire of the inhabitants of the area in absolute term. People of the Tribal Agencies, without exception, stated that they were part of Pakistan and wished to preserve same relations with Pakistan as they had with the British. Afghanistan was the only country around the world that opposed Pakistan’s entry in United Nation in September 1947.[viii]
For the purpose of better understanding of the issue and coherency of the events Pak- Afghan relations are described into five phases. The below mentioned phase wise distribution of the events would help in acquiring in-depth sight of the happenings that shaped the bilateral relation to its present course.
- Phase-I: The Ill Fated Start of the Bilateral Journey (1947-1963)
- Phase-2: Detent in Pak- Afghanistan Relations (1963-73)
- Phase-3: Reversal of Rapprochement (1973-1978)
- Phase-4: War of Independence against Soviet’s Occupation (1979-1992)
- Phase-5: Emergence of Taliban & Pakistan’s Support for Revitalizing Peace & Stability in Kabul:
Phase-I: The Ill Fated Start of the Bilateral Relations (1947-1963)
The phase marks the ill fated beginning of the bilateral relations, commencing from the establishment of Pakistan in 1947 and continues till 1963. The phase describes how the seeds of conflict and discord were sowed and promoted between the two brotherly neighbors by the vested interests. Describing Pak Afghanistan relations President Ayub Khan identified two misconceptions amongst Afghans that influenced future course of inter state relations in negative directions[ix]:
Pakistan, having no reasonable prior infrastructure a state, would find it a difficult to survive as an independent and sovereign state therefore; it would be wise enough on the part of Afghans to public their claims on Pakistan’s territory especially alleged under Durand Line before it was disintegrated.
The second misconception was based on the self assumed fear amongst Afghan rulers that Pakistan’s survival and successful march to democratic system of governance would undermine the position of the rulers in Afghanistan.
Pakistan, since its inception, is struggling for its survival as an independent and sovereign country against heavy odds. It has inherited a hostile neighbor, ten times larger in size and weight, determined to undo the partition of subcontinent and re-emerge as united India from Ammu River to Bay of Bengal. Therefore, Pakistan has no other option but to maintain a foreign policy of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world and especially with its neighbors. Furthermore, Pakistan’s strong attachment to its Islamic ideology has prompted it to espouse very intimate, cordial and brotherly relations as corner stone of its foreign policy. Pakistan, that already had threatening East could not imagine to have another hostile nation on its West. It was only with the friendly relations with Afghanistan that could help Pakistan to escape the nightmare of being sandwiched between two hostile neighbors simultaneously from East and the West. But Kabul’s refusal to recognize the Durand Line as a legitimate international boundary and its demand regarding Pakhtoonistan was extremely irritating beginning. Afghanistan was the only country to oppose Pakistan’s admission into the UN, conditioning its recognition upon the provision that the right of self-determination be given to the people of Pakistan’s NWFP. Actually the demand for Pakhtoonistan was made in December 1947, when Indian army was poised for a quick advance into Kashmir, on Pakistan’s border. Since then raids from Afghanistan into Pakistani territories have taken place from time to time. Reportedly, in November 1947 a special Afghan envoy visited Pakistan with three demands[x]:
- Pakistan tribal areas shall be constituted into a sovereign province
- Pakistan must give Afghanistan access to the sea either by creating a free Afghan zone in Karachi or providing an Afghan corridor in West Balochistan
- Both countries should sign an agreement that should allow one party to remain neutral if the other was attacked”.
Afghanistan was the only country that voted against Pakistan’s admission to the UN on the ill-conceived cry of Pakhtoonistan and ill motivated blame of Pakistan’s mal treatment of Pathans. These complaints were perceived to be motivated in part by the ruling Afghan elite’s desire to deflect criticism from their own country’s economics backwardness, and in part by Indian machinations. Afghanistan’s press and radio unleashed the propaganda war mainly to pressurize Pakistan to accede to their demand of Pakhtoonistan. Pakistan, though disappointed from Afghanistan’s role, demonstrated open Heartedness by expressing its will to cultivate friendly relations with her. Mr. I.I. Chundrigar was dispatched as ambassador to Afghanistan followed by a delegation led by Sardar Abdul Rab Nishter to represent Pakistan in Afghanistan’s Jashin e Azadi celebrations.[xi] However, to create conducive conditions, win allegiance of the tribes and set grounds for mutual trust, Pakistan reversed long-standing British policy of stationing troops in the Pathan tribal areas by withdrawing its troops stationed in tribal areas.[xii] Pakistan’s gesture of trust and respect of the tribal traditions was reciprocated by the Loya Jirgah of Pakistan’s tribal agencies by declaring their allegiance to Pakistan against India.[xiii]
Reconciliatory efforts including Afghanistan’s withdrawal of its negative UN Vote and exchange of ambassadors in 1948 from both sides could not contribute much in bringing both of the countries closer. Rather, Afghanistan’s Loya Jirgah’s proclamation, in June 1949, fueled the flames further when announced that it did not recognize Durand Line and declared all Durand line related agreements void. In 1950, the tension reached to its climax when Afghan king Zahir Shah made an anti Pakistan speech at a celebration in Kabul. The Afghanistan’s flag was hoisted and anti Pakistan leaflets were dropped by the Afghan Air Force.[xiv] The Afghan government did not halt on proclamation rather took a step further by setting up a Pakhtoon parliament inside Pakistan’s tribal areas.[xv] Irregular forces from Afghanistan crossed Pakistan border to fabricate Pakhtoon uprising in Pakistani tribal areas in 1950-51 were even handedly dealt by Pakistan’s security forces. Afghanistan denied its covert involvement in the cross border infiltration. Pakistan rejected Afghanistan’s claim of neutrality in the cross border infiltration and both nations withdrew their ambassadors for few months till those were repositioned.[xvi] The assassination of Pakistani Prime minister Liaqat Ali Khan by an Afghan national in 1951 further deteriorated the already fragile relations.
Given the strained relations with Pakistan, Kabul overtly joined India to oppose any possibility of U.S. arms aid to Pakistan. Afghanistan’s ambassador Mohammad Kabir Ludin protested to Secretary Dulles on January 4, 1954, that US military assistance to Pakistan might create a “Power vacuum” in Afghanistan that a foreign ideology could exploit.[xvii] Afghanistan’s request for US arms support was rejected by the Washington in December 1954 primarily with the possible Soviet reaction rather than with the Pakistani response.[xviii] The rise to power of Sardar Daud, the cousin of Afghan monarch who was an ardent supporter of Pakhtoonistan movement and Pakistan’s joining of SEATO and CENTO for defense purposes were two other irritants.
In 1955, Pakistan restructured its administrative units on one unit basis by incorporating all the areas in Western part of the country as West Pakistan province and eastern areas as East Pakistan province. Afghanistan government vehemently opposed the decision of integrating the Pathan dominated Northwest Province and instigated mass rallies and protests inside Afghanistan and across. Pakistani embassy in Kabul was sacked, consulates in Kandahar and Jalalabad were attacked and Pakistan flag was molested.[xix] Pakistan’s people retaliated by attacking on the Afghan consulate in Peshawar and Pakistan government embargoed Afghan goods. Fearing Soviet Union may exploit the opportunity by filling vacuum in Afghanistan; Washington’s diplomacy prevailed in subsiding tempers and resumption of normal relation between Kabul and Karachi. In September 1955, Pakistan’s flag was again raised at its embassy and consulates, and the Afghan emblem flew once more over its consulates in Pakistan.[xx] November 1955 added a new external dimension to top the Pak-Afghan relations when Moscow severely reacted against Pakistan’s joining of CEATO and CENTO in South Asia and elsewhere. Communist leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin paid a highly publicized visit to India and Afghanistan. In India Communist leaders endorsed New Delhi’s position on Kashmir and in Afghanistan announced Moscow’s backing for the Afghans on Pakhtoonistan, pledged $100 million in economic aid and offered military assistance.[xxi] The visit marked entry of a new player in Indo-Afghanistan nexus against Pakistan and Afghanistan, for all intents and purposes, became an economic satellite of the USSR.
On seeing possibility of Afghanistan going in to the laps of Soviet Union, America and other world powers including Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia tried to normalize the relations between the two neighbors and urged Pakistan not to severe its diplomatic relations with Afghanistan.[xxii] To reconcile and develop prospects for friendly relations, Pakistan’s president Iskandar Mirza visited Afghanistan in August 1956 and Hussain Shaheed Suharwardy Prime Minister of Pakistan toured Afghanistan in 1957. These visits were reciprocated by Afghan ruler King Zahir Shah in 1958 and Prime Minister Sardar Daud Khan in 1959. These visits helped in cultivating attitude of reconciliation on both sides. Sikandar Mirza and Daud agreed to relegate political issue to the lower priority and conceded to explore U.S suggestions, which envisaged establishing a transit zone in Karachi, providing special rolling stock for the Afghan trade, building short railway spurs into Afghanistan from the existing railheads at the border towns of Chaman and Landi Kotal, and improving roads and warehouse facilities inside Afghanistan. Development of these facilities was to cost about $30 million that was to be borne by the United States.[xxiii]
Seeing the competitive spirit amongst the leaders of the cold war, Prime Minister Daud tried to harvest from both sides of the fence. However, in President Ayub’s view Daud believes the Soviet would win the Cold War and therefore sought Moscow’s friendship. Inflow of Communist aid became so significant that the Russian had virtually taken over Afghanistan.[xxiv] Soviets were developing the road infrastructure in Afghanistan in a way that could be strategic
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