Pakistan as a frontline state against terrorism

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Terrorism has been termed as the greatest evil in the world today. It is perpetrated by extremists/fanatics who are utterly indifferent to the sanctity of human life. There is no specific definition of the term terrorism and the international community is as yet divided on a universal definition of what is meant by terrorism. However, the world is unwittingly committed to confront it by various tactics and all means, fair or foul. The incident of 9/11 became a benchmark, which made terrorism an international issue and the global politics turned into a paradigm to combat terrorism in every corner of the world. The UN passed a resolution 1373, which entailed sanctions on the country linked to terrorism with the result that the anti-terror moves threatened those countries that were suspected of harboring terrorism or linked in one way or the other with terrorist organizations.

So first of all the government of Taliban in Afghanistan was declared an extremist regime assisting the terrorist organizations on its soil. After the international coalition was established to counter terrorism, Pakistan was pressurized by U.S. to assist the coalition against the menace. Pakistan was forced to play a vital role as a frontline state against terrorism also due to its geo-strategic location. Pakistan shared borders with Afghanistan, which was dominated at that time by the Taliban declared terrorist and assisting the Al-Qaeda considered as the most organized terrorist organization in the world. The statistics show that 400 groups found to be engaged in insurgency and terrorism, 175 belonged to Afghanistan, Myanmar and South Asia.

To numerous critics, however, the whole war on terrorism is bogus. The 9/11 attacks on WTC, which gave the US an ideal pretext to use force in order to secure global domination, are not based on facts. But on the contrary are replete with pretensions, fake situations and all the missing answers to the numerous questions posed by the analysts, technical & scientific experts, and civil engineers (searching on the net just write << ‘9-11’ + ‘BIG LIE’ >> and you will find details in hundreds of sites). According to an article in the Guardian Unlimited on September 6, 2003

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/comment/0,12956,1036687,00.html#article_continue

Michael Meacher observes that little attention has been focused on why the US went to war against Iraq. The conventional explanation is that after the Twin Towers were hit, retaliation against al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan was a natural first step in launching a global war against terrorism. Then, because Saddam Hussein was alleged by the US and UK governments to retain WMDs, the war had to be extended to Iraq as well. Rumsfeld was so determined to obtain a rationale for an attack on Iraq that ten times he urged the CIA to find evidence linking Iraq to 9/11 whereas the CIA repeatedly came back empty-handed according to the Time Magazine, May 13, 2002. The truth may be sought in a blueprint for the creation of a global Pax Americana was drawn up in September 2000 by the neo-conservative think tank, PNAC (Project for the New American Century). It was planned to take military control of the Gulf region and presence of a substantial American force in the Gulf transcending the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein. An earlier document attributed to Wolfowitz and Libby says the US must ‘discourage advanced industrial nations from challenging our leadership or even aspiring to a larger regional or global role’. It refers to key allies such as the UK as “the most effective and efficient means of exercising American global leadership” and describes peacekeeping missions as “demanding American political leadership rather than that of the UN”. It spotlights China for “regime change”, saying “it is time to increase the presence of American forces in SE Asia”.

The document also calls for the creation of “US space forces” to dominate space, and the total control of cyberspace to prevent “enemies” using the internet against the US. It also hints that the US may consider developing biological weapons “that can target specific genotypes [and]may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool”. Similarly the PNAC blueprint of September 2000 states that the process of transforming the US into “tomorrow’s dominant force” is likely to be a long one in the absence of “some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”. The 9/11 attacks allowed the US to press the “go” button for a strategy in accordance with the PNAC agenda, which it would otherwise have been politically impossible to implement.

Finally, the blueprint for US world domination, written a year before 9/11, pinpoints North Korea, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes, and says their existence justifies the creation of a “worldwide command and control system”. In fact, 9/11 offered an extremely convenient pretext to put the PNAC plan into action. Similar evidence exists in regard to Afghanistan. The BBC reported (September 18, 2001) that Niaz Niak, a former Pakistan foreign secretary, was told by senior American officials at a meeting in Berlin in mid-July 2001 that “military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October”. Until July 2001 the US government saw the Taliban regime as a source of stability in Central Asia that would enable the construction of hydrocarbon pipelines from the oil and gas fields in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, through Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the Indian Ocean. But, confronted with the Taliban’s refusal to accept US conditions, the US representatives told them “either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs” (Inter Press Service, November 15 2001).

The conclusion of all this analysis is that the “global war on terrorism” has the hallmarks of a political myth propagated to pave the way for a wholly different agenda. This agenda is surely and obviously the US goal of world hegemony, built around securing by force command over the oil supplies required to drive the whole project.

In this background we can easily see that Pakistan’s fate would have been no different from the countries, weakened by sanctions and isolated in the world. Policies on Afghanistan, Kashmir and freedom struggle have been drastically changed after 9/11. Pakistan government quite against the public opinion provided a logistic support to the US led coalition, which invaded Afghanistan in 2002. Pakistan is the single country, which captured hundreds of foreigners branded as terrorists and handed them over to the US.

In the war against terrorism, Pakistan has deployed more than 80 thousand troops on Pak-Afghan border to stop the infiltration across the border and this brought Pakistani government into a severe criticism from within the country as people look at to this act as a proxy war. But it doesn’t matter for Pakistan is obliged to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. The President of Pakistan has been duly appreciated by Bush administration for playing an imminent role as a frontline state in the international coalition against terrorism to make the world safe and prosperous for the whole human being. But at the same time to an inquisitive mind so many questions arise about terrorists and terrorism. Is not the invasion and occupation of sovereign nations a huge menace to the world peace and order? Should the powerful governments be encouraged to cripple and assassinate democratic governments all over the world and call it democracy? Should our government represent the interest of a superpower by neglecting the ambitions of its own people? Why do we allow those in power to stealthily pilfer our civil and human rights, our hard won liberties with hardly a whimper of indignation or protest? How do we tolerate the intolerable with a smile on our pallid faces? What does it take to make an individual or a group angry and indignant to the point of rebellion? To this question in his article Whatever Happened to Courage? Charles Sullivan, a free lance writer from West Virginia, aptly answers in the following words:

“Traditionally, as we know, the police and the militia have been called forth to defend the oppressors—the wealthy and the powerful—from the poor and the oppressed who demand social justice. ….The most striking trait exhibited by those who risked their lives for just causes was their unflinching courage in the face of horrible oppression and colossal odds—something that is strikingly absent from the comparatively safe times of the present. What is it about the women and men who fought the Felts Detective Agency, the local police (owned by the company bosses) and the militia that is absent from the comparatively feeble protests of today? Have we as a people become too soft and comfortable? Or is it that the injustice has not yet reached our limits of tolerance? Is it that we believe the propaganda that is fomented in the print media, and over the electromagnetic airwaves that saturate our slumbering minds? Is it that we are willing to look the other way while our government perpetrates crimes against nature and humanity, so long as our material comforts are not threatened? Have we become so narrow and self-serving that we no longer care about the welfare of others? Or does America no longer produce people of mettle?” He further elaborates: “Our predecessors in the labor and civil rights movements chose to die on their feet rather than live on their knees by bowing down to unjust authority. They would not allow themselves to be intimidated into submission even by armed goon squads under the employ of the company bosses. Not only did they stand on their own two feet, erect like real citizens—they stood for the principles that this country was supposedly founded upon. They fought and died for them. If there are no longer causes worth fighting and dying for, surely life is not worth living. As Dr. King pointed out, this is spiritual death. Are we a nation that is experiencing spiritual death? — Are we creating the kind of history that will make our great grandchildren proud? Is it the kind of history that will inspire them to be free; or is the kind of history that will assure their servitude to the masters of war?”

And last but not the least we derive another fact from the long history of terrorists and terrorism that different labels have been given to the same individual for the same action. As a great Islamic scholar, Dr. Zakir Naik points out: ‘Before India achieved independence from British rule, some freedom fighters of India who did not subscribe to non-violence were labeled as terrorists by the British government. The same individuals have been lauded by Indians for the same activities and hailed as ‘patriots’.

Thus two different labels have been given to the same people for the same set of actions. One is calling him a terrorist while the other is calling him a patriot. Those who believed that Britain had a right to rule over India called these people terrorists, while those who were of the view that Britain had no right to rule India called them patriots and freedom fighters.’

This article was last updated on Monday, Jan 02, 2012