tjir_v3n4e - Pakistan and the War Against Terrorism in...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations Vol.3, No.4, Winter 2004 120 Pakistan and the War Against Terrorism in Afghanistan: Choices, Pragmatism and the Decision Ijaz Khan* Terrorist attacks against US on September 11 2001 and the US response to it, suddenly changed the geopolitical situation of South and Central Asia. Pakistan located at the crossroads of these two regions was affected profoundly. Pakistan had to take a fundamental foreign Policy decision. It had to abandon, the Afghan Policy, that depended on friendship of and support for Taliban, or stand by them against the imminent US ‘War on Terrorism’ of which they (Taliban) were the immediate target. Pakistan decided to ally itself with the United States led global War against terrorism. This paper attempts to analyze that Pakistani decision, which has been termed as a U–Turn by some. The War against Terrorism, with full Pakistani support including the permission to use its territory, has resulted in a government in Afghanistan, dominated by forces considered not friendly to Pakistan. Could Pakistan by choosing a different policy response have avoided this outcome of the US War against Taliban/Al- Qaeda in 2001? There is opinion in this country which argues that such outcome could have been avoided. They argue that without Pakistani support Taliban could not have been removed. At least this is what they imply, when it is argued that
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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations Vol.3, No.4, Winter 2004 121 Pakistan has lost ground in Afghanistan, more specifically to India, after the fall of Taliban. For the United States Terrorism had been a very significant security threat since long. After the cold war ended, global terrorism became important and significant. Pakistan, however, at that time felt no real pressure to do much about the growing accusations against it for being, if not a direct sponsor, at least of being a state with a tolerant attitude towards religious extremism which provided and sill provides the recruiting ground for terrorists and justification for terrorism as a means to achieve political goals. India tried to sell Pakistan as the main source for terrorism everywhere generally and in Kashmir more specifically. This Indian policy became really frantic after the Kargil episode 1 . However, India could not sell this view to many, at least to a level with which Pakistan could not cope. During this period US gradually started identifying Usama Bin Laden and his Al- Qaeda organization as the main terrorist threat to her interests worldwide. Taliban became the target of her Campaign against terrorism by default, as they refused to hand over Osama and put an end to the use of Afghan territory as a safe haven to Osama and other alleged terrorists. Pakistan’s continued support to Taliban, brought up at least a regional contradiction between Pakistan on one side and Iran, Russia , and India on the other. This had a potential of pushing
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course BIOL 227 taught by Professor Koob during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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tjir_v3n4e - Pakistan and the War Against Terrorism in...

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