Entangled Pakistan and War on Terror
At eight forty-six Flight eleven crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre (Board). Sixteen minutes later Flight number, one seventy-five, impacted the South Tower (Board, George Washington University). American Airlines Flight seventy-seven dropped on the Pentagon at nine thirty-seven (Board, George Washington University ). On eleventh September 2001 two thousand nine hundred and seventy seven people died (Glazier). It marked the worst terrorist attack in the American history. The United States economy froze while the world still stood in shock. In those dramatic moments on twelfth September 2001, President George W Bush addressed the nation and declared America’s War on Terrorism (US declares War on Terror). What followed was a global campaign by American and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) troops against Taliban, who controlled Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda, the master mind behind the nine-elven plot. The military campaign was named “Operation Enduring Freedom”. The leader of Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden was the key target of the United States. When the Afghan government refused to hand over, USA decided to invade Afghanistan (Channel). On twenty-second September 2006, President Parvez Musharraf confided that United States threatened Pakistan. In an interview, Musharraf said "The intelligence director told me that Mr Armitage said, 'Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age'," (Beale). But before US could go on with its claims, Pakistan had accepted to cooperate and provide a channel into Afghanistan. However, ten years into the war Pakistanis have started to raise serious questions as to whether the war is Pakistan’s or not. In this regard President Musharraf is often blamed for dragging Pakistan into a war which was not Pakistan’s. The debate on this issue has been a controversial one. Opposition leader Imran Khan said "A friend should tell the other friend what is good for them. A military solution is a disaster for the U.S., it's a disaster for the people of Pakistan." (Solomon). At many instances it has been suggested by opposition leaders that Pakistan should withdraw from the war. Although Pakistan has benefited by the uplift of sanctions imposed in 1998 and improved foreign relations through its critical role in the war, illustrated by Western assistance during natural disasters, the war on terror has been a disadvantageous feat in terms of receiving highly misallocated foreign aid, fighting terrorism which it structured in the first place, and healing a scarred reputation of being a pro-fundamentalist country. Moreover, Pakistan’s ill-equipped economy is not suited to sustain a pro-longed war, especially a one which has extended to its own territories. USAID (United States aid for International development) is the most commonly presented counter argument when Pakistan’s self-interest in the war is put forth. However, it is to be noted here that survival of Pakistan does not solely depend on USAID, let alone boost economy. Between 2002 and 2008 Pakistan received a total of twenty three and a half billion dollars in USAID (Ibrahim). This aid was intended to stabilize Pakistan and render its capability strong enough to counter terrorism. Although the amount “appears” large enough to change any country, it has largely been futile for Pakistan. If the real purpose of USAID was to enhance cooperation between Pakistan and USA and boost Pakistan’s economy, as it is mostly portrayed, then it should have been more wisely allocated. For instance, a mere ten percent is spent on development projects such as poverty, education and healthcare (Ibrahim). With such meager resources, these programs cannot be extensively carried out to achieve the desirable results. Meanwhile, a stunning seventy five percent of aid was allocated for military purposes (Ibrahim). These included purchasing of advanced weaponry and obtaining counter-terrorism training...
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