The volatile Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship has enjoyed a series of boosts in recent months, including a recent visit to Kabul by Pakistani Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa. However, bilateral ties were suddenly plunged into crisis just a day after Bajwa’s visit.
The German magazine Der Spiegel published an interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in which Ghani accused Pakistan of overseeing “an organized system of support”—including logistics, finances, and recruitment—for the Taliban. Pakistan’s Foreign Office issued an angry rebuttal.
What may have prompted President Ghani’s comments, what may explain their timing, and what does this sudden spat mean for Afghanistan-Pakistan relations—and for the Afghan peace process?
The latest edition of The AfPak File addresses these questions and more. Joining the discussion are Amina Khan, director of the Center for Afghanistan, Middle East, and Africa at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad; Ambassador Omar Samad, a former senior Afghan official and diplomat and now a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council; and Michael Kugelman, senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center.
The discussion is hosted by Muhammad Tahir, Washington DC media manager with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.