The US-led international coalition’s war efforts against terrorism have destroyed the military machine of the Taliban forces in , but the ouster of the Taliban from the seat of power has raised several questions about the country’s future.
In this complex war against terrorism, was able to make some gains, economically and diplomatically, but appears to have lost its control over Afghan affairs. , which created, nurtured and sustained the Taliban Government, has no choice but to join the against the Taliban.
By doing that, Musharraf was able to keep outside the potential targets of the coalition war. came close to being declared as a state sponsor of terrorism with intelligence fully aware of ’s role in training terrorists. It was therefore probable that could be targeted by the campaign against terrorism.
Secondly, was averse to any Indo-US joint war efforts against terrorism. Pakistani fears were reflected in its response to the terror attacks in the . When Indian Prime Minister offered ’s unconditional support to the , President Musharraf announced his country’s “unstinted support”. By making this announcement, Musharraf cleared the road for closer US-Pakistan ties to prevent closer Indo-US cooperation from developing.
Thirdly, the events of September 11 brought some economic relief for which was in the throes of a massive economic crisis, having accumulated a massive $40 billion foreign debt. got a new lease of life as prepared for a sustained, prolonged and all-out war against terrorism. lifted its sanctions against and wrote off, along with , $1 billion of in loans. Concerned about the illicit supply of arms and ammunition to the Taliban from , the announced in early November $73 million in emergency aid to to strengthen security on the country’s porous borders with .
was also promised helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft, night vision goggles, and communication equipment. A few days later, on the eve of President Pervez Musharaf’s meeting with the President in pledged $1 billion in aid to —doubling the earlier proposal to give $500 million. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) decided around the same time to increase assistance to the country from the planned $626 million to $950 million. The President of ADB said that the Bank would substantially enhance its assistance to for various projects to cope with the Afghan refugee crisis. And now the UNDP has joined the ADB for enhancing its economic assistance to .
The fourth gain for came in ending the country’s international isolation. The Chagai series of nuclear tests, Kargil misadventure and military coup had led to ’s international isolation. The various Commonwealth Committees had kept out of its meetings. had also lost sympathy in the US Congress, which was to lift some of the sanctions against only before the terrorists struck the World Trade Centre and Pentagon.
When the bombing of began, found itself as a frontline state in the war against terrorism. The isolation of the country ended with visits to by Japanese, British, Australian and American leaders and high officials. During his recent six-nation trip abroad, Musharraf received praise for his role in the war against terrorism at every stop.
While gained these benefits, the fall of the Taliban regime in and the entry of the forces into the Afghan capital came as a shock. This happened hours after President George Bush had assured Musharraf against such a possibility. It is clear that the is no longer taking Pakistani advice on Afghan affairs. Its role in the formation of the next government in will be limited. Islamabad is yet to come to terms with this new development, which is reflected in Foreign Minister Abdus Sattar’s statement that Islamabad has not yet de-recognised the Taliban Government; Pakistan’s recognition or de-recognition hardly matters.
Given the fluidity of the ground situation, it is premature to draw any conclusion on the long-term consequences of the current developments. But the fact remains that while had made some economic and diplomatic gains, it’s political and security interests have been adversely affected.
History of Terrorism in Pakistan
Terrorism is one of the gravest problems in Pakistan. The terrorism act is a chronic nuisance for federation and a horrendous behaviors for the people of Pakistan. Despite having a perceived notion of terrorism as a global menace, Pakistan has to bear the exclusive brunt of the act. The country’s active participation in the War against Terrorism act has extremely worsened the situation. The increased cases of terrorist activities in Pakistan result from social injustice, economic disparity, religious intolerance, political instability and the international conspiracies. Few individuals with vicious and malicious interests to achieve have deliberately painted and indicted the Islamic religion before the world through these heinous acts of terrorism. They have cut short several innocent lives from the society. In Pakistan, terrorist activities like suicide bombing are the norm in the society. The country is extremely suffering from ineffaceable and indelible losses cutting across human life to economic matters. Currently, the terrorists are targeting strategic places like hotels, educational institutes, and even mosques. No place is safe in Pakistan anymore.
Terrorism refers to a calculated deployment of forcefulness and intimidation against innocent souls for the purpose of attaining political, ideological and religious goals. Terrorism is unleashed through incitement to create fear and animosity on people. It involves unlawful use of force against a person in gaining a political objective. Pakistanis are facing immense democratic mayhem. This turmoil is orchestrated by individuals like Ayub Khan, Yahya Khan through their military regime. These series of regimes produced political instability, socio economic downfalls, institutional paralysis as well as incoherent governance. These conditions alongside the declining law and order in Pakistan paved way for a perfect environment ground for terrorism to thrive. Other causes of escalating terrorist activities in Pakistan include inadequate flow of information between various institutions of government. Furthermore, poor government set-up is also other vital factors facilitating terrorist activities in the country.
The rapid spread of militancy and intolerance in Pakistan is attributed to the Soviet Afghanistan war. The Soviet Afghanistan altered the very character of Pakistani society which took place upon the establishment of the Soviet-backed communist regime in Afghanistan. The weaponization into Pakistan gradually developed after the withdrawal of Soviet Community. This action ultimately plagued Pakistan a trend of Talibanisation. The trend resulted in a wave of the vicious cycle of Sectarian and terrorist acts. The new religious extremism which took its in-depths roots in Pakistan after the famous Islamic Revolution proved quite noxious for Pakistan. The danger of Sectarian cultivated various forms of violence.
The American invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, alongside their military operation in Pakistan, are also attributed to the history of terrorism in Pakistan. Moreover, the American drone attacks significantly fueled various religious radicalism leading to violent reactions. The collapse of state organizations in Afghanistan leads to an establishment of a void. This void was quickly filled by personalities who personalize it to propagate the lost battle. Some of these characters invaded into Pakistan territory thus making way for US discontentment. The process of flushing out these intruders fighters by the Pakistan security personnel developed a battlefield in the country. The foreign militants got reinforcement from their local host to pawn on to the other security personnel. Finally, the drone strikes have contributed to increased anti-Americanism in Pakistan society. The terrorists have taken the advantage of the collateral damage to take advantage of the environment the region for their evil gain. In conclusion, as for Pakistan, the consequence of being the epicenter of war on terror has been disastrous both physically, economically and psychologically. In other words, nobody understands the effects of terrorism than Pakistanis. They have been perennial victims of different manifestations of terrorism since the Soviet-Afghan war.