Archive for September 28th, 2008

28
Sep
08

Understanding Pakistan’s Approach to the War on Terror

Although Pakistan has been a frontline state in the war on terror since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, there is no doubt that General Musharraf initially cast his lot with the United States mainly as a result of deep fears about what U.S. enmity might imply for Pakistan’s long standing rivalry with India, its efforts at economic revival, its nuclear weapons program, and its equities in the con ict over Kashmir.(6) Desirous of protecting Islamabad’s interests in these areas and to avoid Pakist an becoming a target in the campaign against terrorism, Musharraf reluctantly cut loose Islamabad’s ties with the Taliban-a force it had nurtured, trained, and equipped for almost a decade in its effort to secure control over Afghanistan-and stood aside as the U.S.-led coalition assisted its detested antagonist, the Northern Alliance, to rout its own clients and their al-Qaeda accomplices and seize power in Kabul. Because the al-Qaeda elements in Afghanistan during the 1990s were never directly dependent on the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISID) for their success (despite maintaining a significant liaison relationship), the ejection of their Arab, African, and Central Asian mercenaries was viewed with fewer misgivings than the flight of the Pashtun-dominated Taliban, who were tied to Pakistan directly in terms of both patronage and ethnicity.(7)
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