Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan are once again dwindling due to the disconnect between the Afghan government and its institutions. Only a few days ago, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was invited to Kabul by President Ashraf Ghani to mark the beginning of a new tenure which will witness improvement in bilateral relations and cooperation to end the war in Afghanistan. The first step towards cooperation however lies in getting your own house in order and not at the expense of the other party involved. The disconnect in the institutions has resulted in border skirmishes between the two countries and has once again resulted in tensions on both sides.

Pakistan, time and again, has been reinforcing the need for the Afghan state to work out a policy which will be followed by the state. The difference affects the negotiation process and creates a trust deficit between both nations, again strengthening the Taliban force on ground. Negotiations with the Taliban are an important part of the peace process and this particular step cannot be pursued unless all institutions involved are on board. During the last couple of years, the Afghans have been facilitated a number of times despite this cross border tension. However the loss of Pakistani lives is a matter of grave concern and one that needs to be addressed right away before any other step is taken.

If the basic framework of the strategy is not worked upon, the future will only witness Pakistan and Afghanistan going back to the first step of the peace process again and again. Time is of the essence here and Afghanistan needs to decide whether or not it wants to put an end to the war and maintain cordial ties with its neighbours.