When Kabul fell to the Taliban, many in Pakistan cheered and saw it as an opportunity to strengthen relations between the two Muslim countries. However, relations took a nasty turn.
The relations between the governments and the people of both South Asian neighbours have soured to an unprecedented level. It can be seen through cricket fans clashing in Sharjah, bloody fights between security forces and leaders taking potshots at each other, reported Afghan Diaspora Network. During the recent cricket match between Pakistan and Afghanistan in the Asia Cup, 2022, cricket fans from both countries clashed and damaged the Sharjah cricket stadium.
According to Pakistani legislator Mohsin Dawar, Afghans got angry after Pakistani cricket fans hurled racist abuses at them. So, when Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka in the finals, Afghanistan saw celebrations on the streets, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.
“Pakistan’s decades-old strategic depth policy and interventionist misadventures in Afghanistan are why Afghans have a problem with Pakistan,” Dawar said. Though Afghanistan has lost their matches with India and Sri Lanka, there were no such clashes, indicating clearly the growing anger amongst the Afghans against Pakistanis.
Despite Pakistan appearing to be playing a crucial role in the return of the Taliban, the new government in Kabul has been blaming Islamabad and its military for creating problems for Afghanistan, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.
When the Taliban forces were capturing Kabul and the US military forces were leaving Afghanistan, former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said Afghans had broken the “shackles of slavery” and Pakistani people even celebrated on the street, seeing it as a victory of Islam brotherhood while a defeat for arch rival India.
However, the Afghan population remained wary of Pakistan, as the general opinion in the country holds Islamabad responsible for its past agonies. Things have continued to deteriorate, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.
The origin of mistrust between two Muslim-dominated countries is found in the conflict over the Durand Line that separates them and atrocities in Pakistan-held Pashtunistan. This has caused both countries to be embroiled in bloody clashes. This has rather escalated since the return of the Taliban.
Afghanistan has raised objections to Pakistan unilaterally fencing the international border when differences related to the Durand line are not sorted out yet. Many have died in firings from both sides, reported Afghan Diaspora Network.
Recently, several from both sides were killed after Pakistan tried to raise military structures on the border. Pakistan military has maintained that the fence on the Durand Line will be completed, saying “the blood of our martyrs was spilled” for erecting it. This means tensions will keep simmering between the two countries.