Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his government have accused Pakistan of interference in Afghanistan’s domestic affairs. Over the past few years, a narrative accusing Pakistan of controlling non-state actors in Afghanistan has permeated Afghan society. While speaking to Zalmay Khalilzad – an American peace negotiator – Ghani stated that it is Pakistan which holds the key to peace in Afghanistan. Though this statement may please many Pakistanis, there is a trap in it. Pakistan has helped Afghanistan in many ways, from peace efforts to accepting three million Afghan refugees. However, Kabul has failed to take responsibility of its country and its people. This is why it shifts blame on to its neighbours. Pakistan has no choice but to be a part of peace efforts and Afghanistan but should categorically reject Kabul’s behaviour and blame games. Pakistan has little influence on the Taliban and uses what little influence it has to promote peace. Kabul conveniently ignores that it has failed to establish control over half of its own territory. Since President Ghani has taken office in 2014, over 45,000 members of Afghan law enforcement have been killed. The Afghan government’s use of hyper nationalist rhetoric here only destabilizes the regional environment. Ghani and Indian Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi are on the same path, using jingoism as a tool for domestic unity. Arecent US intelligence worldwide threat assessment report has warned that if the ruling party Bharatiya Janata Party kept using “Hindu Nationalist themes” there are chances of spikes in communal violence in India. So Pakistan’s eastern and western neighbours are using Pakistan as a challenge for grabbing domestic political support. The Afghan leadership should understand that their legitimacy and sovereignty will only be accepted if they have proper intra Afghan dialogue Although Pakistan is helping Afghanistan in achieving peace, our trust level with Afghanistan is the lowest in the entire history of bilateral relations between the two countries. We are fencing the Durand Line on our own at a cost of Rs. 70 billion because terrorist organisations which escaped conflict zones in Pakistan got refuge in Afghanistan. If we request the Afghan government and the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan to eliminate and bring to justice those who are involved in the 2014 Army Public School attack and continue to create instability in Pakistan our requests are ignored. A convergence of strategic interest between Afghanistan and Pakistan is not possible until Kabul and Islamabad are on the same page regarding border security and the Durand Line issue is settled. For now, both countries are ignoring this border dispute. A joint security mechanism and intelligence sharing are needed. The Afghan leadership should understand that their legitimacy and sovereignty will only be accepted if they have proper intra Afghan dialogue. Main stakeholders who are partners in power in Kabul and sharing power now are not happy with peace efforts as they know they will have to sacrifice their share of power. President Ghani does not want a transitional government on whom the Taliban does not trust while forgetting he should be ready for everything for bringing peace to his country. It is the Afghan people themselves who hold the key to peace in Afghanistan. The Taliban desire an inclusive government, therefore all stakeholders need to discuss what they should do for the country’s long term stability. Pakistan should play a positive role in the Afghan reconciliation process and has been playing this role for years. But is the Afghan leadership ready to walk on the path to real democracy? Can peace come to Afghanistan after decades of civil war? Can the competing ideologies of all segments of society reconcile themselves with each other? The leadership in Pakistan must work to make Afghanistan and other international partners realise these truths. For years, Afghans have knocked on doors around the globe for political, financial and diplomatic assistance and everyone has come to their rescue. It is high time they used their abilities for something more constructive by giving space to each other for the sake of peaceful coexistence. The writer is a Strategic and Political analyst. He teaches international politics in NUML Islamabad Published in Daily Times, February 3rd 2019.