By Ammarah Rabbani Rao
The Conflict Monitoring Center’s data shows an unprecedented level of escalation of hostilities on its western border by Afghan National Army, NATO, and anti-Pakistan militants. During the year 2012, 732 cross border attacks took place from Afghan soil into Pakistani territory including rocket and mortar attacks, airspace violation, boots on grounds by Afghan National Army and NATO troops and persistent physical incursions by anti-Pakistan militant in FATA as well as border districts of Khyber Pakhtunekhwa. The year saw record flow of money, weapons and militants from Afghanistan into Pakistan. Afghan National Army conducted 300 rocket and mortar attacks while 12 times its troops crossed Pakistani border and attacked inside Pakistan. NATO war planes violated Pakistani airspace for 52 times while the Al-Qaeda affiliate TTP militants carried out 368 cross border attacks inside Pakistan from Afghan soil.
Pakistani parliament, media and civil society has not taken up the issue of Afghan hostility seriously while Afghanistan has presented its case at international level and accused Pakistan for cross border attacks. The issue requires immediate attention of Pakistan’s parliament, foreign office, military and intelligence apparatus.
Besides security, measures Pakistan will have to do serious efforts for impression management in Afghanistan’s civil society, media and other walks of life. NATO’s hostilities generally stem from frustration as it has failed in its Afghan campaign, however its dual face policy with Pakistan may backfire and cause hindrance for its exit strategy.