Pakistan has been involved in the global war on terrorism since its very beginning. Pakistan has continiously been acknowledged as a integral part of the Afghanistan puzzle and at the same time often been blamed for tolerating Afghan Taliban. This duplicity makes for the alleged double game the U.S blames Pakistan for playing. This thesis equips a Pakistan-centric view on what is knows as Pakistan’s alleged double game and through various findings argues that what may seem a seemingly irrational double game, is only so on the surface. On a domestic level Pakistan is involved in a game with Afghanistan where Afghanistan uses ethnic ties with Pashtuns to cause instability inside Pakistan. As a counter strategy Pakistan uses Afghan Taliban as a tool to exert influence in Afghanistan so that Pakistan’s own sovereignty would not be challenged. On a regional level Pakistan is involved in a game with India which Pakistan percieves as their biggest threat. Both states are in a contest with the other over influence in Afghanistan. India uses Northern Alliance as their proxy against Pakistan in Afghanistan, and Pakistan answers by using Afghan Taliban. The fact that Afghanistan and India are becoming closer allies and India is being promoted by the U.S, makes Pakistan fearfull over being trapped between hostile fronts. In order to break this development Afghan Taliban becomes Pakistan’s safest bet to purify Afghanistan from any outside influence. On the international level Pakistan’s friendship with China is providing them with an strategic edge over India, something they did not recieve from the U.S. As the U.S is getting more involved with India, Pakistan and China are forming their own strategic alliance for mutual gains.
After filtering Pakistan’s strategic behaviour through three different arenas of analysis, the findings suggest that Pakistan’s seemingly irrational double game seems like a rational balancing act between what they percieve to be their national interests. Perception seems to be reality therefore to deem Pakistan as a irrational actor is to simplistic. By using the Nested Games theory the rationality behind Pakistan’s seemingly irrational double game becomes clearer than what it is usually portrayed to be.