War on terror and efforts of Pakistan
Bilal Abdul Ghani
Acknowledgement, recognition, acceptance and appreciation is a patent formula of success and to achieve goals and targets anywhere in the world. If you are fighting a war and you have most advanced technological ammunition, weapons and strong team allies but you are not giving recognition and acceptance to your team then it is impossible to win the game no matter how much you are advance and how much you are strong than your enemies and opponents.
The same argument can be applied to elaborate Pak-US relations which are passing through precarious situation and now a days Pakistan is facing nose dive relationship with United States. The start of Pakistani relationship with trump administration was not good and it was full of dust, trust deficit, bitterness and blame games. Trump accused Pakistan of deceiving and wasting her 33 billion dollars and providing safe heavens to agents of chaos.
In order to exemplify the situation let me take some exemplary figures from history of war on terror. Pakistan is a country which is most affected from impacts of war on terror. According to official resources It lies at number 2 among countries worst hit by onslaught of terrorism with score of 9.05. According to official figures of govt. of Pakistan, Pakistan has suffered a loss of 123 billion dollars and rendered 64,421 sacrifices from 2001 to 2017. Pakistan is striving hard to end this menace from country and origin. Pakistan was dragged into this war by a military dictator when he showed a little resistance to United States pressure. War on terror started, when United States invaded Afghanistan after twin tower attacks on September 11, 2001 and Bush administration started “Operation during Freedom”.
Along with human and economic sacrifices, Pakistan has taken many other concrete steps to curb this menace. Pakistan is standing shoulder to shoulder with afghan counter parts and take many practical steps to bring about a lasting peace and stability in the region. In this regard Pakistan is still a part of two major ventures. One, Pakistan is part of Quadrilateral coordination Group making negotiations with afghan Taliban which includes china, Pakistan, USA, and Afghanistan, and second Pakistan has started initiative of Afghanistan Pakistan action plan for peace and solidarity (APAPPS). From this platform Pakistan is involved in secretary level talks with Afghanistan and striving for peace, progress, stability and prosperity in Afghanistan especially in all over the region.
Similarly, Pakistan has launched wide range of military offensive campaigns against non-state actors. It includes operation Rah-e-Haq (2007), operation Sher Dil (2008), operation Rah-e-Rast (2009), operation Rah-e-Nijat (2009), operation Koh-e-Sufaid (2011), Operation Zarb-e-Azab (2014), and operation Rad-ul-Fasad. In operation Zarb-e-Azab, army made land and air strikes over the hideouts and sanctuaries of terrorists in North Waziristan. This operation was made without differentiating of good and bad Taliban to end this calamity from country. As a result of this operation, Pakistan wiped out all organized groupes of terrorists and more than one million people became internally displaced people (IDPs). Furthermore, to sustain the successful results of operation Zarb-e-Azab, army started operation Radd ul Fasad which is still continued in the country with full spirit. It is targeted based operation spreading all over the country. Pakistani people and army has given many sacrifices in these aforementioned operations. These operations has jolted down our economy but Pakistan did it to fulfill her responsibilities in war against terrorism.
Additionally, Pakistan has started a strong border management and coordination with neighboring countries especially on Pak-Afghan border and started fixing of fence alongside the Durand Line at her own cost. This border management will stop unlawful movement of terrorists between two countries. This thing shows the seriousness of Pakistan because terrorism has become region specific challenge rather country specific. Pakistan is doing its utmost effort to overcome this nefarious challenge of terrorism from the region. Adding more to it, Pakistan has streamed line the tribal agencies and tribal areas of FATA and PATA with KPK and Baluchistan to end possible sanctuaries and hideouts of terrorists from the country.
At policy level, Pakistan has taken many blatant steps to end this evil from country. Pakistan has issued a “Pegham Pakistan” which is decree and state narrative about terrorism given by more than 180 religious scholars from all sects and declared it against the spirit of Islam and humanity. Similarly Pakistan has devised a national action plan, agreed by all parties, to eliminate the terrorism form roots. It is a comprehensive document and plan of action to end this menace from the country. It is a wide ranging 20 points agenda including madrasah reforms, registration of afghan refugees, registration of NGOs, elimination of terrorist facilitators and financers. At the last stage Pakistan has revised its national internal security policy which is proof of our seriousness and willingness to end terrorism from the country and ultimately from region. Al above mentioned efforts showed the seriousness and level of concern of Pakistan about Afghanistan. Pakistan has always shown its readiness and willingness to work with afghan government for peace and stability in the region. Pakistan has bring about afghan Taliban on the table talks to resolve long lasting issues and end the terrorism in the region. To be a part of Quadrilateral Coordination Group and Afghanistan Pakistan action plan for peace and solidarity is a clear proof of it. In all dimensions Pakistan is doing hard to curb the menace of terrorism for peace and stability in the region.
Now let’s have a look on behavior of United States. Despite of all these efforts and sacrifices of Pakistani people, the behaviors of Trump’s management is pathetic and discouraging and loathsome. United states is trying to put the weight of all his failures on the shoulders of Pakistan and constantly bullying us for her failures. Apathy from all efforts and sacrifices, US is constantly lobbying against Pakistan. Its recent example is latest FATF meeting in Pakistan is included in the watch list of terror financing and money laundering countries on the pressure of United States. There is a long list of activities through which United States is trying to undermine the Pakistan instead of acknowledgment, recognition and appreciation. Pakistan and United States relations always remained in paradoxical roller coaster intertwined with blame games, accusations and fake charges. United States has used many ways to discourage the Pakistan efforts in different ways. In his first policy announced for south Asia, Donald Trump made incendiary speech, announced prudent policy and Diatribes towards Pakistan in spite of declaring strong ally in war against terrorism. This thing has more widen the trust deficit between two allies in war on terror.
To peruse her policy United States suspended security assistance and withheld and 900 million dollars under coalition support fund. In later stage Unites states put Pakistan into watch list of banned countries under international religious freedom act 1998. The story does not ended here after passing one year, United States again reduced security assistance from 350 million dollars to 150 million dollars. Trump administration had also applied new travel regimens on Pakistani diplomats and put some travel restrictions on them. Now trump administration has also suspended military training programs for Pakistani soldiers
What all these activities are showing? These activities are just increasing trust deficit and building an embrittled relationship between two old allies of SEATO, CENTO and chasing of soviets in Afghanistan during cold war era. These activates are halting the progress and efficacy of Pakistani efforts against war on terror. One thing must be clear that, by stabbing every time to Pakistan and treacherous attitude United States cannot achieve her targets of peace and prosperity in south Asia especially in Afghanistan. America must acknowledge that, if she is sole super power of the world today then it became possible due to Pakistan alliance for withdrawal of soviets from Afghanistan. As far as Pakistan is concerned, we must have to think about our foreign policy and there is dire need to mend it because world is becoming multipolar and Pakistan has to come out from American bloc and should join Russian and Chinese bloc which are rising super powers of the world.
Last but not least, the relations of both Pakistan and United States has plummet to historic lows. The only way to abridge this trust deficit and gap of interests is acknowledgment, recognition and acceptance of Pakistani sufferings, fatalities and sacrifices in the way of war against terrorism. This is the only way through which best can be achieved for this region, for Pakistan, for United States and for all people of the world.