Abstract:Since the attack on World Trade Centre on 11 September2001, Pakistan has been fighting the War on Terrorism side by side with America. Although, this alliance with America has brought billions of dollars in the form of military aids, it has also affected the country in innumerable ways. Apart from the economic and sociopolitical debacle, the country’s international image has also been tarnished as various journalists and conspiracy theorists claim that the Taliban have financial and social ties with the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) and the ISI has aided the terrorists in carrying out attack on the WTC. 1 2 3 In this paper, we attempt to analyze the economic, social, political and foreign impacts of this war on Pakistan from this beginning till now. Although, this war has brought havoc in the whole country but the cities of Quetta and Peshawar which borders Afghanistan has suffered the most.
This subjective paper demonstrates a substantial adverse connection between militant exercises and financial development, social advancements, and political progression.Background:Before the attack of 9/11 which was nail in the coffin for the declaration of war on terror across the globe, it was actually accumulation of events that happened before 9/11 that are of great importance.Back in the 1970s, there were high geopolitical tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. The race for the most dominant super power was ongoing. Both of the Countries were involved in a fierce nuclear arms race starting in the late 1940s.
Both the countries had thousands of nuclear weapons in their stockpile. Several treaties were signed between countries including the Soviet Union and the United States which prompted them to their nuclear arsenal. Among other reasons such as further influence in Central Asia and territorial reasons, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in the 1979. Several hundred Soviet special forces troops infiltrated the Capital of Afghanistan, Kabul to kill the Prime Minister Hafiz Ullah Amin. The Soviet Union had now set their foothold in the Capital. They expanded their influence in the country and soon the huge chunk of Afghanistan was under Soviet Control. However, militant factions in the country resisted the Soviet rule, chief among which were known as the Afghan mujahedeen.
They engaged in guerilla war and bit by bit dismantled the Soviet Control. It is no hidden secret that the US as well as Pakistan backed the Afghan mujahedeen in the war. There is a famous picture of the US president Ronald Reagan sitting together with the Afghan mujahedeen leaders in the White House. The funding and the weapons for the war were funneled in by few countries, mainly the US, through Pakistan. An example of this is Operation Cyclone, in which CIA funneled money and weapons through ISI to the militants. As a result of this, slowly and gradually, the Soviet Union forces were pushed and in February 15,1989, they were forced to retreat from the country altogether.Amidst of all of this, some mujahedeen wanted to go even further and expand their struggle to the cause of Palestine and Kashmir. And it was around 1988, when a militant movement which wanted to take stretch the reach of their operations, this came to be known as Al-Qaeda.
The Al-Qaeda leader, in a video statement, declared “jihad” on the US and the West. 4The first known attack carried out by Al-Qaeda on 29 December 1992, known as the 1992 Yemen Hotel Bombings. A bomb exploded at the Gold Mohur Hotel, in which the US troops en-route to Somalia. Others such attacks kept on occurring in the 90s targeting the US, such the first World Trade Center bombing on 26 Febuary,1993.
Al-Qaeda bombed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing over 200 people and injuring hundreds others. Among the killed were 12 Americans. As a retaliation, the US President Bill Clinton launched Operation Infinite Reach, a bombing campaign in Sudan and Afghanistan, both being places where Bin Laden had stayed at some point in his life. This was the precursor to the full-fledged declaration to the War on Terror.However, the final nail in the coffin was struck when on September 11 2001,4 commercial airliners were hijacked by 19 terrorists. The hijackers took control of the plane, killing crews of all the planes. They flew 2 of the 4 planes into the World Trade Center, one into The Pentagon while the last one crashed into a field as the passengers wrestled the hijackers to take back the control of the plane. This attack shook the world.
Almost 3000 people died as a result of these attacks, and over 6000 people were injured. The attack caused an estimated $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. The World Trade Center suffered from a huge damage. In reaction, there was an significant increase in hate crime against the Muslims. One such example of hate crime occurred on September 15,2001, a Sikh gas station owner from Arizona was a victim of hate crime as the murderer mistook the man for being a Muslim.
The U.S. government retaliated by launching the War on Terror. President George W. Bush, while addressing a joint session of Congress September 20, 2001 said, “Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.
” 5 They invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to flush out the Taliban from Afghanistan and overthrow the Taliban government, and most important take out the most wanted criminal in the world, Osama Bin Laden. The U.S. also started a huge bombing campaign. The countries included Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen.
In 2003, Congress overwhelmingly voted in favor of the Iraq War, citing Saddam Hussain’s supposed “weapons of mass destruction” as a reason.Involvement of Pakistan in the War on Terrorism:Although several of the military officials of American Intelligence Agency (CIA) suspects the involvement of ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) in the WTC massacre, Dick Armitage (Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs) asked the then Director General Mahmoud Ahmad of ISI to assist the American government in eradicating the terrorists elements from existence. On September 13th , the Pakistan Government officially announced their alliance with America in its War on Terrorism. 1Impact of the War on Pakistan:In this paper, we discuss the 4 foremost impacts of War on Terrorism on Pakistan, namely: economic, social, deterioration of law and order situation and changes in International perspective of the very word ‘Pakistan’.