Afghanistan & Pakistan

Afghanistan and Pakistan have been in conflict since the latter was formed at partition in 1947.  Prior to that date, Afghanistan experienced regular attacks from Moghul and British India, including three Anglo-Afghan wars, subsequent to the formation of the Khotaki and Durrani empires in the 18th century.


In the 1950s and 1960s, the Afghan government sponsored Pashtun nationalists to stir up unrest in Pakistan in the name of an irredentist “Pashtunistan” movement.  Starting in the late 1960s Pakistan’s Army, Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) and other state agencies began to recruit, train, finance, equip and deploy Islamist insurgents to operate in Afghanistan.


From 1979 until 1989 these groups, known as Afghan mujahidin, also received the support of the United States and the United Kingdom.


With the end of western support in 1989, they were transformed into Al Qaida and later the Taliban, both strongly supported by the Pakistani state.


Pakistan’s support for violent Islamist terrorists operating in Afghanistan continues to this day.


In addition, Afghanistan and Pakistan have the longest border in the world that remains undefined and unrecognized by bilateral or international treaty or agreement.


Canada made a major contribution to the security and rebuilding of Afghanistan.  Over twelve years from 2001 until 2014, 159 soldiers, one diplomat and many other Canadians made the ultimate sacrifice.  But the fight against the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Al Qaida and now Daesh – all of whom continue to operate from Pakistan, with support from ISI -- continues in Afghanistan today under NATO command and the leadership of the United States, with 39 countries now contributing military personnel.


Canada is not one of them.


As Conservative Leader and Prime Minister of Canada, I would:


(i)             make a substantial contribution to Operation Resolute Support to advice, train and assist Afghan forces;


(ii)           support international sanctions against all Pakistani state agencies involved in support to the Taliban and other terrorist groups (see separate policy);


(iii)          advocate a UN observer force on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to monitor incursions and movements by armed groups; and


(iv)          support bilateral negotiations to bring about a comprehensive settlement between Afghanistan and Pakistan, contingent on an end to the terrorist threat now sponsored by major Pakistani state agencies.

Alexandra Day