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Political Stability of Afghanistan: A Prerequisite for Stability of Pakistan and South Asia

Manzoor Ahmed Abbasi & Muqeem ul Islam

Abstract
Political stability of Afghanistan is a prerequisite for peace in South Asia in general and
Pakistan in particular. Afghanistan’s political situation directly impinges on the security of
Pakistan. The continued wars and civil wars in Afghanistan for last three and half decades
have badly damaged the political institutions of Afghanistan and caused unimaginable
losses, both in men and material, not only to the people of Afghanistan but also to the people
of Pakistan, particularly in the areas located in the proximity of Afghanistan. In the wake of
planned drawdown of NATO in 2014, an atmosphere of uncertainty looms large on the
political horizon of Afghanistan, with the apprehensions expressed that this country may
plunge once again into the abyss of lawlessness and civil war. The study in hand aims at
distillation of Afghanistan’s existing political and security systems and chances of their
survivability after NATO’s drawdown, besides analyzing the current frictions between
Pakistan and Afghanistan on various issues. The underlying assumption of this study is that
the political and security situation of Afghanistan has a direct linkage with security and
political stability of Pakistan. The key findings of this study are that political and security
systems of Afghanistan have too fragile structures and institutions, which are heavily
dependent on foreign assistance. Afghanistan could not develop trustworthy relations with
neighboring states, particularly Pakistan, by removing various irritants. The Government of
Afghanistan needs to recognize Durand Line and work out, in collaboration, with Pakistan,
an effective border management and surveillance mechanism, to wipe out the infrastructure
of drug- traffickers, saboteurs and terrorists from both sides of Durand Line. The
international community needs to work towards peace and prosperity of South Asia, as the
people of this region deserve much needed respite and let-up from violence and bloodshed.

Key words: Afghanistan, Politics, Pakistan, NATO, South Asia, Peace