Terrorism in Pakistan
Terrorism in Pakistan has become a major and highly destructive phenomenon in recent years. The annual death toll from terrorist attacks has risen from 164 in 2003 to 3318 in 2009, with a total of 35,000 Pakistanis killed as of 2010. According to the government of Pakistan, the direct and indirect economic costs of terrorism from 2000-2010 total $68 billion. President Asif Ali Zardari, along with former President ex-Pakistan Army head Pervez Musharraf, have admitted that terrorist outfits were "deliberately created and nurtured" by past governments "as a policy to achieve some short-term tactical objectives". The trend began with Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq's controversial "Islamization" policies of the 1980s, under which conflicts were started against non-Muslim countries. Zia's tenure as president saw Pakistan's involvement in the Soviet-Afghan War, which led to a greater influx of ideologically driven Afghan Arabs to the tribal areas and increased availability of guns such as the AK-47 and drugs from the Golden Crescent. The state and its Inter-Services Intelligence, in alliance with the CIA, encouraged the "mujahideen" to fight a proxy war against the Soviet Union. Most of the mujahideen were never disarmed after the war and some of these groups were later activated at the behest of the state in the form of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and others like the Taliban who were all encouraged to achieve Pakistan's agenda in the Kashmir conflict and Afghanistan respectively. The same groups are now taking on the state itself, making the biggest threat to it and the citizens of Pakistan through the politically motivated killing of civilians and police officials, by what Pakistan calls misguided holy warriors (mujahideen) and the rest of the world calls terrorists. From the summer of 2007 until late 2009, more than 1,500 people were killed in suicide and other attacks on civilians for reasons attributed...
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