ISLAMABAD - Ten years on, Pakistan in the post 9/11 period represents a bleak picture of misery. The war on terror came to this country with too dear a price. With the erosion of state institutions and complete destruction of socio-political fabrics in Afghanistan, the impact of the US-orchestrated war on terror has reverberated to the unfolding heights in Pakistan.
Many say, if any country is to be moaned on for this self-imposed (courtesy Pakistans 'yes to the US offer) war on terror that rooted in Afghanistan, it has to be Pakistan. For most, unlike the past when violence, insecurity and instability were alien to majority parts of Pakistan, the gangrene of terrorism has perhaps become the genetic offshoot of this countrys existential component. Not only that Pakistan today stands Greek to peace, but Pakistanis brace their nerves, every single day, for unwelcomingly welcoming any new form of shock.
Were the country that has suffered the most on one hand and delivered the most on the other, Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Athar Abbas told this newspaper. Our sacrifices are unprecedented and our losses unparallel. Its Pakistan that has taken out the top brass of Al-Qaeda terrorists and their affiliates. We have destroyed their sanctuaries, established the writ of the government and regained lost territory in Pakistani borderlands and tribal terrain. Pakistan has paid the heaviest price for this war on terror. No country has sacrificed the way Pakistan has. We have lost our people including our valiant soldiers more than anybody else has, he said.
The known defence analysts and international diplomacy experts think no differently. According to a renowned foreign affairs expert and Pakistans former foreign minister Sartaj Aziz, Pakistanis have sacrificed their dear ones that exceed 35000 in number since 2004. The country has embraced economic losses amounting to $60 billion or 5 per cent its GDP on annual basis over the last eight years.
When you talk about what we gained and what we lost ten years after 9/11, there are no gains and therere losses everywhere. The US war on terror might have bought Pervaiz Musharraf some years in power but it made Pakistan pay through nose. The US-trained Afghan Mujahideens of Soviet era have backfired. Pakistans economy has crippled, our exports have declined massively and we are struggling with a plethora of serious challenges coming from security, economy and external threats. The material losses can be recovered but theres no substitute to human loss and thats the worst part of this saga.
According to Lieutenant General (Retd) Talat Masood, the gains for Pakistan from this war on terror are not to be found. I dont think any positive outcome has been the product of this war on terror. In ultimate analyses, the US has also realised that this war would not bear any positive results. The situation in post 9/11 period has deteriorated drastically. The militants expanded their frontiers. The non-state actors gained strength and Pakistan has not been able to cope with this situation. The improvement of Pak-US relationship is mutually beneficial for both countries. Military operations alone are not the solution. Development is equally important. The US has interests in Afghanistan and we should draw our benefits from this situation. There have been growing signs of improvement in relationship and Pakistan should capitalise on it.
Renowned social scientist and foreign affairs analyst Atle Hetland believes otherwise. This is all a sad story and more saddening is the fact that this tale of sorrow would be unending. The US, according to me, stands to have lost this war. Its economy is heavily burdened and its soldiers are bad trapped in the badlands of Afghanistan. And for Pakistan, well see what Pakistan was like before 9/11. It used to be a peaceful country like any other state on the globe and what it has become now They (US and allies) say we give money to Pakistan. I dont believe they really do. Pakistans economy is badly damaged and theres no investment. What they have given is nothing compared to what Pakistan has given, blood, lives and sacrifices.
Loss, loss and loss, says former Army Chief General Mirza Aslam Beg when he drew a sketch of Pakistans plight. Our territorial sovereignty is compromised. There have been drone attacks and theres blood everywhere, from Karachi to Quetta and Waziristan to FATA. Therere killings everywhere. Were bearing the brunt of something we never deserved. Who brought this on us? None other than the US And the US too has a price to pay. Just look how its trapped in Afghanistan and it cannot get out of it. This is a vicious circle that was formed out of vicious vested US interests and these interests had born out of ambitions to grab resources, oil and gas. What happened in Iraq, what happened in Afghanistan, what would happen in Libya, youll see that, you should wait and see.. the general remarked
No gains, all lost.