The Afghan intelligence agency, NDS, has pinned the blame of the recent assassination attempt on Afghan Presidential Candidate Abdullah Abdullah on Pakistan, saying that it was planned in Peshawar. Pakistan’s foreign ministry has denied the allegations. There is growing anti-Pakistan sentiment in Afghanistan and we are often blamed for all their troubles (like we blame the US for all ours). Apart from Pakistan, Afghanistan rarely demonizes other neighbours even when there’s evidence to the contrary. In 2010 Gen. Stanley McChrystal, then NATO commander in Afghanistan, told reporters that Iran had been providing weapons and training to the Taliban. A year later the British Foreign Secretary said the same. This involvement is common knowledge, but goes undiscussed in the Afghan media. This is hardly surprising since Iran funds at least eight newspapers in Kabul and controls a third of the media according to reports by Reuters.

Having said this, Pakistan can never be clear of all charges. In 2011 Admiral Mike Mullen at the time of his retirement told the US Senate Armed Services Committee that: ‘The Quetta Shura and the Haqqani Network operate from Pakistan with impunity. Extremist organizations serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan troops and civilians as well as US soldiers.’ We can argue that every such allegation is a giant conspiracy against Pakistan and the ISI but have things really changed? How vested is the ISI currently in Afghanistan? And while the finger is often pointed at India for causing destabilization in Afghanistan, there are fewer than 3,600 Indians in Afghanistan, most of them businessmen. A stable Afghanistan seems to be in India’s economic interest. There is more evidence of Indian mischief in Balochistan than in Afghanistan.

While Afghanistan can hurl accusations at Pakistan, Pakistan can do the same. The refugee migrations, the porous border, Afghanistan’s poppy fields, its Taliban, its infighting… how long can a country blame another for its problems? On the run-up to the Afghan elections, nobody here seems to care. We have a long list of problems and we’d rather not see Abdullah Abdullah become part of the list.