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Afghanistan and Pakistan Border Region Issues: Impact on Pakistan Society Essay

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Updated: Aug 27th, 2019


There are various issues that are associated with geographical regions especially where political aspects are involved. Some of the issues that are experienced in the Afghanistan and Pakistan due to the border region issues are; lack of trust between this two geographical areas and blaming one another which makes the process of solving the issue so difficult, problem in meeting basic social needs due to high poverty levels, high levels of unemployment and social injustice, and internal displacements of persons among others.

There has been lots of violence on both sides of the Afghanistan and Pakistan border especially after the US was involved in leading war in Afghanistan. The two countries have been in conflicts for a long period of time and various terrorist attacks have been executed as a way of revenging each others deeds.

This paper discusses the various aspects related to the Afghanistan and Pakistan border with much emphasis being given to terrorism in both countries as it is the root cause of the violence. It also gives an insight on the effects of intervention by the super powers like the US and the impacts of the border region issues on the Pakistan society.

Terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the Geopolitics Issues

According to the dictionary.com (2011), terrorism is the use of violence and other forms of threats with an aim of intimidating or coercing people especially for political purposes. It can also be understood as the acts of violence that are usually committed by a group of people who usually view themselves as victimized by some particular historical happenings and hence carry out the terrorism actions as a way of fighting back.

They usually gain some backing and support from governments and carry out unexpected attacks which lead to a lot of destruction and deaths as well as instilling fear and confusion among the nations affected.

Terrorists on the other hand are persons usually from a certain group who engage in the planning and execution of violent acts like suicide bombings that are intended to cause deaths of innocent people and scare the rest hence making the chances of perpetrating further terrorist attacks better. Terrorism is spread by the terrorist in a strategic manner as they aim at causing the greatest effect that is achieved by causing as much deaths as possible and also instilling fear and confusion to as many people as possible.

It entails acts like suicide bombing and affects the economies of the affected nations as well as the psychological and social status of the people. Advances in communication has in a way enhanced the perpetration of this evil acts. Other issues that promote the spread of terrorism are conflicts, poverty, social injustice, under-development, inexistence of the rule of law among others. This is because the above mentioned factors lead to lack of unity among the people and hence leads to instability which enhances acts of terrorism.

Although terrorism is perpetrated by people from different religions, Islam religion the Muslims is mostly associated with it as opposed to other religions. This is particularly wrong since Islam is just a religion and some Muslims are against terrorism just a Christians and other religions are although most of them are involved in it and in most cases those who are involved with the terrorism attacks associate it with the religion making the world to view terrorism as an act that is directly associated with the Muslims.

Geopolitics entails a combination of geographic factors and political issues that influence a region or nation. It entails issues like levels of the economic growth and political power in a nation and it is usually unique to a given nation. The Afghanistan for example has a lot of geo-strategic and geopolitical significance as opposed to Pakistan and could attract a lot of interest from the super power and other international relations.

Afghanistan offers better long term strategic prospects as compared to Pakistan in regard to the United States national security interests and regional strategy and hence its greater intervention in the wars. Pakistan on the other hand has some serious security threats due to its geographical location, bordering India, China and Afghanistan with political problems with India and Afghanistan.

Pakistan has less geo-strategic and geopolitical significance for example to the United States as it appeals to the US only on some specific areas like its use a rental estate hence aiding in meeting the US strategic ends. The differences between these two nations lead to their differences in their efforts to fight terrorism (Kapila, 2009).

Terrorism in Pakistan

There is the existence of political crisis in Pakistan as a result of political conflict among the different factions in the nation and security threats from its neighbours especially Afghanistan and India.

Terrorism in Pakistan is a serious issue and cannot be underemphasized as it has been linked with a lot of deaths and destruction and most importantly pulling down the nation in terms of development and prosperity. Terrorism in Pakistan has been executed with varying motives and with the application of advanced weapons hence causing a lot of harm and attracting a lot of local and international attention.

Terrorism in Pakistan can be traced to various causes some of which are; permissive factors such as modernization, urbanization and industrialization which promote the acts of terrorism through the principle of creating vulnerabilities, motivation and opportunities that foster terrorism and also direct situational factors like discrimination, grievances, social injustice or inequality, elite disaffection and lack of chances that allow for political participation for all among others.

Although there has been a large number of terrorist attacks world wide, Pakistan attacks amount to 2.9 percent of the world’s terrorist attacks. This shows that although terrorism is a major issue in Pakistan, it does not contribute much to the general world’s terrorism. It is however portrayed negatively by the media where it is shows it as a failed nation which is marginalized, under-developed, and poor and where terrorism is the main center of concern.

This is however not true as Pakistan has been able to achieve some economic and even military levels that could otherwise not be achievable in a state that experience all the mentioned problematic issues or where systems do not work. Some other evidence against the media claims on the Pakistan’s state exist for instance it is ranked the 7th atomic power in the world, and its military is also the seventh in the world in regard to the number of personnel who are active in their duties among other achievements.

Some of the factors that have lead to the current state of Pakistan include; lack of democracy which has led to political alienation and deprivation and a sense of hopelessness and lack of power among the people making the nation susceptible to more terrorist attacks. Corruption is also a major issue of concern which has resulted in unequal distribution of resources and wealth among the regions and perpetration of other immoral practices like drug trafficking.

The imbalance is also enhanced by the social injustice and discrimination. Poor education system is also a contributing factor as it does not effectively meet the needs of the country as it was initially set up to suit the needs of the colonizers. Those who benefit from the education system therefore become of no notable importance to the nation as they ought to be if the system was compatible with the nation’s needs.

The prevalence of a weak judicial system also makes it possible for the criminal activities to be executed easily as appropriate measures to the offenders are not taken. The Taliban are also a great threat to Pakistan as it has affected its security through the various attacks it has been involved with and the power it has in the execution of the destructive acts (Bajoria, 2009).

Impact on Pakistan Society

The impact of terrorism and other issues as a result of the Afghanistan and Pakistan border conflicts .is experienced differently by the two nations and also the others that were affected.

Although the United States promised to make the world a better and safer place, it did not work towards achieving the expected results and the situations even became worse in some states or nations. Here are some of the resultant situations on the Pakistan society. The Taliban is increasing in number and their energy in executing their activities hence increased threat to Pakistan.

The society also faces some adverse effects for instance increase in the number of displaced persons, increase in spending on health matters as most people become injured and the poverty levels also lead to poor nutrition hence poor health, and increase in the cost of education as a result of high levels of insecurity and existence of less education institution.

The border conflicts and terrorism has also brought some problems in maintaining the Pakistan’s economic growth as a result of instability and hence the country’s growth domestic product (GDP) is low and the debts are high.

The tourism sector is also negatively affected as tourists do not feel secure to visit the country. The production sector is also affected as the cost of production goes up and the business confidence falls making the business rivals for instance India to take advantage of the situation and exploit it. The foreign investments and stock exchange also decline. Unemployment and smuggling levels is also on the rise.

Some of the recommendations that Pakistan should adopt to improve the situation include; increasing employment opportunities to its people so that they are able to meet their basic necessities and fulfilling its promise of providing basic needs like shelter, food and clothing to the citizens.

This will enhance loyalty and patriotism and everybody will be ready to work towards improving the nation’s condition. There should also be steps towards reducing corruption where the government should enhance accountability in all its activities to gain its citizens’ trust. Justice through the judiciary should also be allowed to every citizen without any form of discrimination so that everyone can feel well represented.

There should also be close relations between the citizens and the government for example through creation of negotiation forums. The government should also invest in the establishment of institutions and departments that are aimed towards improving the living standards of the citizens by providing services like job opportunities, means of airing their views and grievances and enhancing the process of service delivery.

Facilities like hospitals, education institutions and social clubs should also be established as a way of building trust and goodwill between the government and the citizens. All these steps by the government will create a good relationship where everyone will have the urge to work towards making the country a better place (Bajoria, 2009).

Terrorism in Afghanistan

Terrorism in Afghanistan can be traced back in 2001 when the then United States president, Bush, had an attempt to bring down the Taliban government which its people valued so much as it had been a safe haven to the leader of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and all its members.

The US powers towards doing this was not successful as there were conflicts among the various leaders and also the remaining Taliban forces. The situation was worse in the year 2008 as the violence heightened and hence worsening the condition for the Afghanistan’s civilians. The conflict between the United States and Taliban continued as the latter could not bear the pain of losing its powers and hence looked for means of fighting back.

The ongoing border region conflict between Afghanistan and Pakistan is basically as a result of tribal allegiances. This is because some tribes have occupied both parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan for instance the Pashtuns and Balochis .The Durand line is considered a soft border by people from both sides and hence it is the source of the conflicts and terrorism attacks between the two regions as either of the two sides want to have the full share and control of the border.

There has been a lot of mistrust and bitterness between the Afghanistan and Pakistan as a result of the long history where they used to offer refuge each other’s opponents for instance Afghanistan harboured the Balochi people while Pakistan sheltered and trained the mujahadeen and maintained the Afghani Taliban. The porosity has enhanced the perpetration of terrorism as it makes it easy to undertake the criminal activities since the communication and transport or movement is easy (Kapila, 2009).

The US in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan after 9/11

It is the 9/11 attack that led to involvement of the United States of America in Afghanistan’s activities with an aim of solving the situation. It did so by attempting to tumble the Taliban government in Afghanistan which was deemed to be involved in the protection of the Al Qaeda. This was however not an effective action or step as it did not solve the problem of concern.

This is because it shifted the problem to the neighboring Pakistan as the Taliban moved their operations into Pakistan as a way of revenging by continuing the war. It is from this time that violence has existed along the border.

This shows the ineffectiveness of the steps taken by the US as it did not help control the terrorism but rather created a more serious and dangerous situation. The US could have dealt with the root causes of the problem rather than trying to solve the issue without prior considerations of the consequences of their actions (Pelovangu, 2010).

Nature of US and International Responses and the World Perception on War on Terrorism

The United States of America seem to be taking a wrong move towards fighting the terrorism ordeal. This is so because of taking Afghanistan and Pakistan as a single geo-strategic and geopolitical entity in its move towards restoring peace and stability among the nations and more especially along the border region.

This can not take place effectively as Afghanistan and Pakistan are two distinct and separate entities in terms of geo-strategic and geopolitical issues associated with them for instance Afghanistan is a class higher than Pakistan in terms of power and region. It is also more economically stable due to the ample deposits of oil and natural gas and taking them as one will definitely not work out well.

All in all there are mixed perceptions and views on the act of the United States of America towards fighting terrorism as some people take it as a selfish act where the US wanted to benefit from it for instance, it is said that if Afghanistan was not geo-strategically and geo-politically important, the United States of America could not have much interest on it and could not have had much intervention as it is the case on Pakistan which is not that well of.

The further terrorist attacks in places like Pakistan, Madrid, India and London are also a clear indication that the more the war on terror unfolds, the more the world becomes unstable and hence the process of dealing with the war has been unsuccessful.

Others however view it positively and see it as a saviour for example the number of terrorism attacks fell by 18 percent from 2007 to 2008 and it has been associated with the US intervention. The national counterterrorism centre also asserts that the number of world wide attacks by terrorists in the year 2008 was 11,770 and the number of deaths was 15,756 while the attacks in the year 2007 was 14,506 and the deaths were 22,508.

This improvement in the stability among nations has been accredited towards the antagonistic efforts by the United States and other international forces through application of intensified law enforcement, new laws regarding counterterrorism, blocking terrorist financing and intelligence gathering and sharing among other strategies (Kellerhals, 2009).


It is evident that Afghanistan and Pakistan are at war with one another and the situation is exacerbated by the fact that the two nations have different geo-strategic and geopolitics significance with Afghanistan being on the lead especially in regard to the United States and other major regional and international powers.

The differences in the nations’ significance has for instance been linked with the United State’s change of priorities in its efforts towards fighting the war against terrorism or restoration of stability and security giving much emphasis on Afghanistan as opposed to Pakistan which is in a worse state than Afghanistan. Terrorism is a great hindrance to economic prosperity, security, geo-strategic sustainability, political power and stability and the general well being of a nation and should therefore be dealt with appropriately from the root causes.

Reference List

Bajoria, J. (2009). . Web.

Dictionary.com Unabridged (2011). . Web.

Kapila, S. (2009). Afghanistan and Pakistan: Comparative Analysis of Geo-strategic and Geo-political Significance. . Web.

Kellerhals, M. D. (2009). Terrorist Attacks Fell 18 Percent in 2008, Report Says. US Policy. Web.

Pelovangu, R. (2010). The U.S War on Terror: Is the American Invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq Justified? Web.

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