On accords the everlasting relation between Pakistan & Afghanistan started in August 1947 however the bondage of pak-afghan between its people goes beyond Indo-Pak partition due to common religious, cultural, traditional, linguistic and ethnic ties shared on both sides.
The common border is 2240 km long and formally known as Durand Line. The fact is that Pakistan’s western border (Afghanistan’s eastern border) which encompasses Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (previous NWFP), Federally Administrated Tribal Areas (FATA) and some Northern Balauchistan is inhibited by people, clans and tribes of the same origin, race, religion, norms, culture & language as those who are residing on the other side of the border e.g. Afghanistan. Majority of individuals from these Pashtun tribes have marital relationships with families across Pak-Afghan Border on both sides.
The existence predominant Pashtun tribes living in this strip (Pak-Afghan Border) can be dated back to thousands of years. It is the same ethnic clan through which many rulers and dynasties ruled in sub-continent. Ahmad Shah Abdali who ruled & liberated people of Punjab from Marhattas in the famous battle of Panipat (1761) is a well known historic figure in this regard. Many prominent individuals from Pashtun Tribes (usually referred as Pathans in Pakistan) served in important military and political posts of both countries e.g. Ayub Khan, Ghulam Ishaaq Khan, Asfanyaar Wali Khan etc from Pakistan and renowned Zahir Shah family and Karzais from Afghanistan. Infact present Karzai Government has majority of Pashtuns serving as minister e.g. Abdul Rahim Wardak, Umer Zakhilwal, Anwar ul Haq Ahady etc. So the people of this clan (which form the majority in Afghanistan and Tribal Belts of Pakistan) are playing significant role for the development of respective nations. Nothing seems unusual for them while residing in any place of these countries. Majority of them consider other country as their second home apart from the one in which they are living and serving nation. The terrain and life style of people living along the remote areas of Pak-Afghan border are same.
During soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1980’s many leaders from Afghanistan ran their campaigns to liberate Afghanistan from foreign occupation inside Pashtun tribal belts of Pakistan. President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan was the one amongst them. Pakistanis raised funds and militarily trained Afghans in these areas to fight against oppression which they were facing at that time. That era marked the best of relations between Afghanistan & Pakistan as Afghan Muhaajirs (Refugees of Soviet-Afghan War) were not only embraced but also accommodated by their Pakistani brothers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and adjacent areas. Analysts from the west still account it as the best example of “Muslim Brotherhood” the world had ever witnessed. The fruit ripped and Afghans with the support of their Pakistani Muslim brothers liberated their homeland when the aggressors withdrew in 1989.
As Afghanistan is a landlocked so most of its trade is carried through Pakistan. Pakistani Governments always supported this phenomenon but gave it more shape after the end of Soviet occupation to leverage Afghanistan’s economy which was shattered due to war. Still Pakistani Government has not given up. The most recent and noteworthy occasion in this spectrum is the Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement held in October 2010. It was signed by Commerce Ministers of both sides. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also established to give access to afghan containers to Wahgah (Indo-Pak Border), and renowned port cities of Karachi and Gawadar through Pakistani Transport Infrastructure. Infact both countries also agreed on the construction of railway tracks in Afghanistan and link them to the Pakistani ones. This will help Afghanistan to accelerate its trade activities and raise its economy. A joint chamber of commercebetween two countries is also established in November 2010 to add more to the noble cause.
Apparently the relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan is of neighborhood and ethnicity for others. However for the people of both these countries it is not limited to blood but also of spirit. This is none other than the spirit of Humanity and Muslim Brotherhood. As long as the world will exist so does this spirit.