The Kabul Times.
National Politics

New Pak PM to deal cautiously with Afghanistan

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After too much controversy in Pakistan, Imran Khan eventually resigned without completing his term as prime minister, and the Sharif family, who have a long history in Pakistan politics, once again seized power in Pakistan.
The Pakistani parliament polled 174 votes to replace Imran Khan with former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Brother Shahbaz Sharif who is now in the power and politics of a country facing economic crisis and has undergone regional and global politics.
The first question raised with all Afghans is whether Pakistan will pursue the same policies as before. How much would the change of politicians, especially the Prime Minister, change Pakistan’s policy towards Afghans, the region and the world?
Pakistan has a different and complex foreign policy.
The foreign policy of the two countries is determined by Pakistani Army. Foreign policy towards India and Afghanistan, commonly known as security-oriented foreign policy, the civilian government has little influence in this area, but if we assume that the departure of Imran Khan and the arrival of Shahbaz Sharif will change Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan is a plain expectation.
Previously, Qureshi and Mr. Imran Khan had a tendency towards Afghanistan and worked hard, and wherever they went in their speeches in international forums and academic institutions, one of their agendas was discussions about Afghanistan.
It may not be difficult for anybody in Army of Pakistan to determine the strategic policies of the country onward. There are four stakeholders involved in Pakistan’s foreign policy and decisions. The first institution to make decisions in Afghanistan-Pakistan relations is the Pakistan Army. All countries have Army, but Pakistan Army is exceptional in this regard.
The second institution that is very powerful is the Supreme Court of Pakistan, which we Afghans pay less attention to or do not believe in. The third is the political parties, the two most famous and traditional parties, the Pakistan People Party, the Muslim League Nawaz Party, and others as Pakistan Tehreek Insaf, Awami National Party, the Islamic parties of Mawlana Fazlurrehman and Mawlana Samiulhaq and some others. But still it is Army that led their plans in their relations with Afghanistan.
Analysts believe that the visit of Pakistan’s prime ministers to Afghanistan, with Imran Khan as Pakistan’s 22nd prime minister and dozens of other prime ministers, has no effect on Afghanistan-Pakistan relations. It may have a short-term and temporary effect. But if we think of change in fundamental policies, it is just an assumption.
Unlike Khan, Mr. Shahbaz Sharif has a popular background, knows governance and politics well and it is expected that he will take a very cautious step in the relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Shahbaz Sharif would not be able to decide about relations with Afghanistan until have consultations with all the other political parties.
In conclusion, Pakistan’s main policy maker towards Afghanistan is the Pakistani Army because it plays a key role in policy-making. Pakistan’s deep strategic policy towards Afghanistan will continue. Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have always had ups and downs in the last two decades.
However, politicians in both countries emphasize the need to improve relations in various fields and reduce tensions and build trust, which can be seen as important, and the improvement of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan should include agreements on geopolitical issues between the two countries.
Zarabi

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