The Pakistan-Afghanistan border has been a hotspot for instability, and with the Taliban returning to power in Afghanistan, Pakistan is facing an increasing threat from the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The TTP has been responsible for numerous acts of terrorism targeting security forces and civilians, causing devastating consequences for the country.
In recent years, TTP infiltration from the Afghan border has escalated, posing a severe threat to Pakistan’s security. The Afghan Taliban has exploited Pakistan’s porous border, causing alarm among authorities and requiring immediate action to secure the region. Pakistan is eagerly awaiting their cooperation for effective border management.
Pakistan has a complex history with the Afghan Taliban, having provided shelter and support during their rule from 1996 to 2001. Pakistan’s involvement in peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban has been criticized and appreciated, with Pakistan playing a pivotal role in facilitating negotiations and signing the U.S.-Taliban peace agreement in 2020. However, with the Taliban’s return to power, Pakistan’s relationship with the Afghan Taliban is under scrutiny. The rugged and porous nature of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, spanning over 2,600 kilometers, has made border management a perennial challenge.
The Afghan side faces challenges in maintaining control, contributing to cross-border militancy due to inadequate infrastructure and surveillance, facilitating the movement of militants like the TTP. Smuggling, illegal trade, and unchecked movement further complicate border management. The ongoing conflict in Afghanistan has created an environment conducive to militancy, with militant groups exploiting the instability.
Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban must collaborate to address the increasing TTP infiltration, given their significant influence along the porous border and complex geopolitical dynamics. Failure to address border management issues could have dire consequences for both countries, as cross-border militancy threatens Pakistan’s security and undermines Afghanistan’s stability. International actors, including the United Nations and other countries, have a stake in ensuring regional stability.
Coordination and cooperation at the international level are essential to address shared concerns. Pakistan envisions a future where the Pakistan-Afghanistan border is secure and stable, and the collaboration between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban can play a pivotal role in achieving this vision. Long-term goals include eliminating cross-border militancy, improving trade and economic relations, and restoring peace in the region.