A major factor that has long had an impact on the country’s stability is neighbouring Pakistan, partly due to its influence on the Taliban.
With an enduring fear of the motivations of arch rival India, Pakistan has always tried to influence what happens in Afghanistan.
The government in Islamabad fears being encircled by India, historically supporting the Taliban as the best chance of countering Indian influence.
In Afghanistan’s third largest city, Jalalabad, the Pakistani rupee is the currency of choice, not the Afghani.
From the Pakistani style tuk-tuks, to the architecture to the restaurants, Islamabad’s influence can be seen everywhere in the border city.
But it is Pakistan’s “invisible hand” that is also felt here.
Al Jazeera’s Bernard Smith reports from Jalalabad, where security service agents from Pakistan are said to be deployed throughout the city.