Pakistan is rooting for incumbent President Hamid Karzai to win Afghan elections, hoping polls foster stability as a fierce Taliban insurgency spills between both nations, analysts say.
Afghanistan and Pakistan, two countries bound together in the new US foreign policy buzz word Af-Pak, are neighbours with relations scarred by decades of mistrust that ebb and flow with different regimes.
Analysts say Karzai is perceived as more sympathetic to Pakistan then many of his challengers in the August 20 presidential election.
“Karzai is most likely to be re-elected and it is good for Pakistan because the civilian leadership here has developed a good rapport with him,” said Ishtiaq Ahmed, a professor at Quaid-i-Azam University.
“Relationships between Pakistan and Afghanistan have significantly improved and will be further boosted with Karzai's re-election. There is a US-backed process under which the two leaders have been interacting in third countries.”
There is also shared resolve built over time that both countries must work together to try and quell the Taliban insurgency that knows no borders.
“Karzai has understood there is also insurgency in Pakistan and has stopped accusing Pakistan of not doing enough to stem the Taliban,” said Islamabad's former ambassador to Kabul, Rustam Shah Mohmand.
Afghanistan's relationship with India, however, remains a rumbling source of fear for some in Pakistan.
A Western diplomat based in Islamabad said that while the civilian government led by President Asif Ali Zardari has built good relations with Karzai, suspicion lingered in military and intelligence circles.