Post 9/11: The American Terror & Pakistan

Agha Sarwar

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US military personnel searching a truck on the Pak-Afghan border
US military personnel searching a truck on the Pak-Afghan border credits: Flickr,  Program Executive Office Soldier

It all started when four aircraft, hijacked by Al-Qaida terrorists (according to the USA) crashed into four various places within 2 hours on 11 September 2001. The attacks killed 3000 people, injured more than 6000 and caused the loss of $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage.
After the attacks, the doubt fell on Usama bin laden also known as UBL, and Al-Qaida. President Bush announced the war on terrorism and created homeland security department to deal with the global war on terrorism. President Bush was the first person to use the term ‘war on terrorism.’ The aim of the war was to take out Usama bin Laden, neutralise the terrorists, and to end the state sponsorship of terrorism.

Bush administration asked Taliban’s, their former ‘allies’ in Soviet war, to handover UBL or to suffer infinite wrath. Taliban asked for the evidence against Bin Laden, but the USA refused to provide any evidence. On 7th October 2001, the USA with its allies invaded Afghanistan in a quest for finding Bin Laden. By mid-November 2001, the capital city Kabul fell into the hands of the USA and its allies. Even after heavy airstrikes and putting boots on the ground, USA was unsuccessful in finding UBL and it was to believe that UBL has escaped into Pakistan during the war.

At the start of the war, Pakistani government under General Pervaiz Musharraf agreed to support America in the war, on American terms. It was a huge mistake by siding with the USA which eventually led to the terrorist attacks carried out in Pakistan by the so-called militants with American and Israeli ammunition. The period between 2001 to 2015 was the worst in Pakistan’s history in term of terrorism. Pakistan lost more than 70,000 military and civil personnel, thousands of suicide bombings and $120 billion lost to the economy because of someone else so-called war on terrorism.

Pakistan had nothing to do with the war, but USA made sure that the war should be fought in Pakistan as well because the only Muslim country to have nuclear weapons was not in the interest of the USA, its allies, and India. It did so by starting drone attacks in Pakistan controlled tribal areas, killing thousands of innocent man and woman including children. These attacks ignited the tribal people and they vowed to take revenge from USA and Pakistan government. The weak Pakistani government could not do anything about it and terrorism started in Pakistan in retaliation for these attacks and policies of both US and the Pakistani government.

UBL, killed in Pakistan by US forces. After that USA blamed Pakistan for giving protection to UBL which was entirely wrong. It was a serious intelligence failure by Pakistani intelligence agencies if UBL was killed in Pakistan! But then why was UBL’s body not shown to the world. There is not even a single strand of evidence that shows, Bin Laden got killed in Pakistan. Saddam Hussein capture footage was telecast on the tv when American forces dragged him out from the hole in the ground, he was shown to the entire world when he was hanged till death, even the footage of Libya’s Gadhafi getting killed by the hands of rebels in the street was all over the place. Then why not UBL, keeping in mind, he was the most wanted person in the world.

The USA has always blamed Pakistan for sponsoring terrorism. Pakistan on the other hand, a non-NATO ally, who fought more than anyone, suffered more than any other country in the war against terrorism, did not get any credit for its services. Even after 17 years in Afghanistan, USA is unable to achieve its goals. By 2017, the Taliban has 70% control of Afghanistan. The puppet government of Afghanistan have no idea about dealing with the current situation, their leadership does not come out of their heavily secured palaces, so it is easy for them to blame Pakistan for their failures.

The USA, as usual looking for an escape goat (Pakistan), for putting their failures. The current US policy endorses that. After killing thousands of people in Afghanistan and failure to achieve its objectives, USA now looking for negotiations with Taliban, but this story is not working anymore in favour of them. So they want face-saving and a safe exit from Afghanistan, so it was better for them to shift the blame to Pakistan. Afghanistan adventure has ended as a humiliation for the USA just like the Iraq war which they invaded in the quest for finding so-called weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and ended up throwing the country into the most brutalize civil war and giving rise to the ruthless ISIS.

pakistan army soldiers at afghan border
Pakistan army soldiers at the Afghan border credits: Agha Sarwar

Pakistan suffered huge losses because of American misadventure but still receives allegations of harbouring and aiding terrorists. Since 2001, Pakistan has also hosted millions of Afghan refugees who fled the war in Afghanistan. There was a time between 2004 to 2009 when Pakistan’s internal situation was not so different than Iraq and Afghanistan. But Pakistan military has overcome the worst situation, under the wings of former Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and now current Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa. America with all its might, the strongest and most advanced military in the world with its allies did not defeat Taliban. The battled hardened army of Pakistan, the only army to have successfully fought an on-ground battle for more than a decade against militants, still gets no credit!
President Donald trump writes his first tweet on 1st January 2018, which was about Pakistan in which he said, “The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, they give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!” Pakistan should ask President Trump about 70,000 lost lives and more than $120 billion vanished from the economy as a result of the war on terrorism.
Pakistan should not take any more blames for American failures and this is what world needs to understand. Pakistan has lost more than any other country in the world while fighting the war on terrorism. It is time that world should step up and say no more to American misadventure in the name of ‘right to protect the USA,’ and it is time for Pakistan to say no more in reply of American do more doctrine.

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Agha Sarwar