of State-Sponsored Terrorism of the Patterns
of Global Terrorism 2001, released by the Office of the
Coordinator for Counter terrorism May 21, 2002 opens with the
statement of US President of September 20, 2001 as- "Every
nation in every region now has a decision to make. Either you are
with us, or you are with the terrorists." Implicitly, as long
as Washington believes in the worth of Pakistan for US war against
international terrorism, remote is the chance that Washington will
admit the demand of any third country to designate Pakistan as a
terrorist state. Washington’s prevarication vis-à-vis Pakistan is
nothing but the latter's primacy to the US national interests.
the war against terrorism US remains unclear to many in India as how
US perceives Pakistan’s role as a state towards reigning in
terrorism. US efforts, to soften the delicate balance of its
individual bilateral relations with India and Pakistan, considerably
lack effective communication in its response towards Indian
grievance over cross border terrorism. Why does US not show
determination to deal with Pakistan as a “terrorist state”
from a reorientation in US-India relations, the US foreign policy in
the post 9-11 world toward South Asia mainly revolves around three
aspects- US relationship with Musharraf; despite acknowledging
Pakistan as the hub or international terrorism, US' shying away to
take harder steps in dealing with Musharraf; and conceivable US
national interest involving Pakistan in the region.
New Delhi time may be running fast to realise the effectiveness of
US President George W Bush’s statement in his first State of the
Union Address on January 29, 2002- “In this moment of opportunity,
a common danger is erasing old rivalries. America is working with
Russia and China and India, in ways we have never before, to achieve
peace and prosperity”, US may take its own time to internalise the
Indian demands comprehensively in its national interest.
Musharraf is too close to US?
Musharraf remains committed voluntarily to portray as staunch
anti-terrorist stance in Pakistan.
As the head of an Islamic republic, US believes that Musharraf is
best suited to take the ire of anti-US fundamentalist groups and
Presently within the centrifugal rival claimants of political and
military leadership in Pakistan, Musharraf reposes through
articulate designs as the readily available stable country-head to
provide uninterrupted US operations against anti-US terrorist
By projecting himself as the safe custodian, Musharraf, not
convincingly though successfully, tries his best to allay the
international fear of the weapons of mass destruction falling into
With the past experience of working closely with Musharraf against
Soviets in Afghanistan, US agencies might be able to read the
intentions and ability of Musharraf as an easier task than to deal
with any new leadership in Pakistan at this moment of international
remains reluctant to take hard steps against Pakistan?
To fight back the international Jehadi
network, US remains apprehensive of displeasing Musharraf.
The Al-Qaeda network and the other constituents of the International
Islamic front in Afghanistan, were the joint creation of Gen.
Musharraf, Gen. Mohammad Aziz Khan, the chairman of the Joint chiefs
of Staff Committee, and Maj. Gen (retd.) Mahmud Ali Durrani, during
Zia-ul-Haq’s regime. In case of excessive US pressure, the close
nexus of militant outfits with the government agencies raises fear
of another Talibanisation of Pakistan.
Pakistan should not be dealt with for punitive measures similar to
those against Afghanistan or any other non-nuclear weapon state.
The fear of spread of nuclear terror through the perceptions related
to the ties of Islamic Bomb
and Islamic Jehadis present a unique insecurity scenario.
To play the Islamic card Pakistan still seems to hold importance in
the geo-strategic configurations of US foreign policies.
Pakistan’s nuclear blackmailing requires multidimensional
preventive roles of the international community. US may be
interested to help assist with Permissive Action Links (PALs) to
prevent any accidental use of nuclear weapon in Pakistan as a first
step of several others to come in future. US must be apprehensive of
fundamentalist ridden regimes of having control over or knowledge of
the existing nuclear components in Pakistan that may have
international security ramifications.
Pakistan in post 9-11/12-13 South Asia:
that the state of Pakistan allowed the centralisation of jehad in Karachi at the Banuri Mosque Complex where Osama bin Laden
and Mulla Omar reportedly met for the first time during the Afghan
war and whose founder Maulana Yusuf Banuri was empowered through
induction into the Council of Islamic Ideology in 1977 by General
Zia, Khaled Ahmed, a leading Pakistan’s analyst, traces back the
connection of Al Qaeda with the Pakistan’s jehad
movement. The analyst elaborates extensively on the Al Qaeda empire
in Pakistan quoting media reports and other sources. (Daily
Times, July 29, 2002)
having overwhelming evidence with the American Intelligence against
Pakistan for state-sponsored terrorism, US is still hesitating to
declare Pakistan a terrorist state.
the recent visit, July 27-28, 2002 of US secretary of state, Colin
Powell, seemed interested more in broadening the US wish list
including election in J&K with an international eye on it and
the release of “prisoners of Kashmir”, than to speak out on
failed Pakistani pledges to stop cross-border terrorism.
omnibus statement released before September 11 attacks, titled
"Worldwide Threat 2001:
National Security in a Changing World", while citing
examples of terrorist outfits such as Al Qa’ida (Osma bin Laden),
HAMAS and Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the statement drew
attention towards the expanding Islamic militancy. It had mentioned
expressly that - "worldwide pool of potential recruits for
terrorist networks is growing". However, nothing seriously
taken up to deal with the activities of Pakistan involving support
to terrorist outfits both inside and outside the country.
US perceptions though reflect reformulative in nature, today in
reality, historical partnership with Pakistan remains more or less
unchanged from pre 9-11 incident.
Pakistan’s role in fighting terrorism the
Patterns of Global Terrorism 2001 mentions, “Some clear and important signs of fresh thinking are already apparent.
After September 11, Pakistan’s President, Gen. Pervez Musharraf,
made significant changes to Pakistan’s policy and has rendered
unprecedented levels of cooperation to support the war on terrorism.
Pakistan not only broke its previously close ties with the Taliban
regime but also allowed the US military to use bases within the
country for military operations in Afghanistan”.
US, to pursue its interest without disturbing India-Pakistan
strategic balance, South Asia has remained an arena of significant
foreign policy play. The US policy towards South Asia looks as of
maintaining a delicate balance in the region. The security scenario
of the region is so complex that US treads quite cautiously as not
to antagonize either India or Pakistan.
much of the past half century, U.S. relations with India and
Pakistan were perceived in the region and by Washington as part of
the same equation. Improvements in U.S. relations with one were
generally perceived (and sometimes intended) to come at the expense
of the other. Since last September’s attacks, however, the United
States has found itself in the unaccustomed position of having good
relations with India and Pakistan at the same
time……….Pakistan’s adroit, if opportunistic, decision to
align itself with the United States is more of an opportunity than a
threat to Pakistan’s military ruler and self-appointed president,
Pervez Musharraf. (A NEW
EQUATION: U.S. Policy
toward India and Pakistan after September 11, Carnegie Endowment
Working Papers, No.27, May 2002)
fact, Pakistan’s aim and desire to foment cross-border terrorism
is in pursuance of its policy of “keeping
the Kashmiri cauldron on fire” and “to
keep India perpetually bleeding”. As a matter of practice,
Pakistan derives its interventionist policy towards Kashmir for
three main objectives plus one. First, the involvement in Kashmir
diverts the mind of its citizens from national brinkmanship at home.
Second, sticking still to the two nation theory Pakistan’s
Islamist parties, fundamental groups and the ISI are trying to
Islamise the entire Valley so that they could remain in permanent Jehad.
And, third, Pakistan tries to exemplify the establishment of a
regime of terror that could be capitalised for financial and
political support from other countries of the world. After the
defeat of Kargil misadventure, Pakistan has been concentrating more
on historically rooted intention of nuclear blackmailing.
the cold war period while using Pakistan as a frontline state,
Americans had to turn a blind eye towards Pakistan's misdeeds. The
post cold war phase visualised reexamination of new possibilities in
US-Pakistan relations for US’ geo-strategic interest in Asia and
the Islamic world. However, the post 9-11 and 12-13 (besides many in
past) terrorist attack in US and India respectively raised worldwide
alarm against Pakistan for being the epicenter of international
the upcoming changes in international matrix and regional
configurations US should give a fresh look at the Pakistan's support
to unlawful acts in India or elsewhere in the world. After all, US
administration must act on what the Patterns
of Global Terrorism 2001 report ends with as a cautious note
that “Questions remain,
however, whether Musharraf’s "get tough" policy with
local militants and his stated pledge to oppose terrorism anywhere
will be fully implemented and sustained”.
arrangement with South Asian Analysis Group, New Delhi