The unpredictable nature of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan is being further complicated by internal political disputes and outside interference. What are the prospects for peace and stability?
Professor Amin Saikal, Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University, says that the relationship between Afghanistan and Pakistan has been marked by mistrust and frequent escalations triggered by the perennial border disputes, accusations of Taliban support and international interference. But he maintains there is reason for optimism and that regional stability can still be realised with a focus on establishing greater dialogue and minimising external intrusion.
Professor Saikal spoke about achieving this focus in an interview with AIIA for WA council member, Flavia Zimmerman, in Perth earlier this month. They also discussed the role of the US in the region, diplomatic pressuring of India to take on greater leadership and the potential for sending more US soldiers to Afghanistan to escalate tensions.
Amin Saikal AM FASSA is University Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Public Policy Fellow, Chair of the Middle East Reference Group and Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University.
Interview by Flavia Bellieni Zimmermann.
Filmed and edited by Nancye Miles-Tweedie.