This article was initially published in Frontier Post.

Ideologies, mindsets and perspectives do not drop instantaneously like meteoroids from heaven. Their roots always lie in a series of consequences impinged together with many internal and external affairs. Such was the fate of the militancy in Pakistan. The chronicle dates back to 1979; when in an endeavor to overthrow the growing USSR shadow in Afghanistan, the US implanted the seeds of militancy to serve its purpose. Pakistan, the third world country in child like awe of the superpowers submitted to alliance with US and presented its ground for militancy enrichment.  Saudi Arabia played its cards by providing financial backing to this madness for upholding her motives.  Books containing sadistic interpretations of Jihad were fed to young vulnerable minds and they underwent carefully designed training schemes. The outcome, a savage army, was then handed weapons and all possible equipment to play on behalf of the big the powers in Afghanistan. All this was done with the label of Jihad. The chase ended a decade bowing victory to US; after which the royalties checked out, leaving Pakistan impregnated with an illegitimate monster. And following the universal trend, the mother had to bear the ignominy and penalties whereas the happy father strutted around indifferently.

@Big Powers, meet your old buddies.

So now when the monster grew up and dipped its fangs to spit out its venom, the daggers are pointed to Pakistan-alone. Ironically, the jury is US itself. The outcome of what initially was a wild fire play by more than one participant is now piled on Pakistan’s shoulders exclusively. The different facets of terrorism bred rapidly, and in every episode the verdict proclaimed Pakistan as the sole culprit. Trend wise, both Pakistan government and military are subject to extensive bashing in this respect these days. It is not to say that their part is impeccable in the counter terrorism efforts. But to say that all bungles were committed by one party is exaggeration.

While it is very convenient to arraign Pakistan for not containing the terror activities, what is casually forgotten is the fact that US did an even poorer job in doing the same in Afghanistan. The war that started on Oct 7, 2001 can hardly be termed as a decisive defeat to terrorists even after a decade. Even with the deployment of over 103,700 military personals in what is now in scripted in history as the longest war on US part, the terror networks could not be snubbed down. Their activities not only augmented but also penetrated its tentacles in Pakistan. So, where Pakistan got the daily arm twisting dose of “Do-More!”, the same wasn’t upholded much as a point in Afghanistan. True, militants are not some kind of back street boys who could be rounded up and stashed slickly. But if ten years of substantial crackdown couldn’t bring much happy news from Afghanistan, then putting Pakistan in the shame box for not yielding over night miracles also doesn’t equate the equation proficiently.

Is this war against terror really on track?

The militancy on both sides of the border plays twin role. For Pakistan, the prime nightmares are the Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nuristan. Not only they are reported to serve as the hub of key terrorists like Maulana Fazlullah, Faqeer Muhammad, Adbul Wali and Hakeemullah but are the launch pad for conducting cross border attacks on Pakistan territory. In view of their momentous potential threat, Pakistan has deployed 147,000 troops at 900 posts along Pak-Afg border. But what now baffles Pakistan military is the new war strategy to pull back NATO and Afghan National Army (ANA) troops from these crucial regions. A detailed article in NY times confirming this news discusses the quizzical clauses of this withdrawal of US military from the grounds ‘it once insisted was central to the campaign against Taliban and Al-Qaeda’.  The army pull back from Pech (a remote area in Kunar) raised serious debates and questions since Pech valley was initially referred as central to American campaign against Taliban. The NY article states:-

“The previous strategy emphasized denying sanctuaries to insurgents, blocking infiltration routes from Pakistan and trying to fight away from populated areas, where NATO’s superior firepower could be massed, in theory, with less risk to civilians. The Pech Valley effort was once a cornerstone of this thinking.

The new plan stands as a clear, if unstated, repudiation of earlier decisions. When Gen.Stanley A. McChrystal, the former NATO commander, overhauled the Afghan strategy two years ago, his staff designated 80 “key terrain districts” to concentrate on. The Pech Valley was not one of them.”

The senior military personals from Pakistan voiced their trepidation on this move when the troops started backing off starting from 15th Feb, 2011 stating this would enable the terrorist infiltration from Afghan border to Pakistan’s tribal areas. The apprehensions lay unanswered. This sudden shift of war strategy poses a vital question mark for US policies. Whether it is an insight to incompetency or strategic faults, in any case something just doesn’t add up. These loopholes in US strategic policies don’t get much media coverage. Somehow all media forums are interested in scrutinizing Pakistan government and army only.

Another important raw junction here is the contribution from Arab countries in this respect which always meets a muted silence from US. It remains an established fact that innumerable madrasaas in Pakistan are providing fodder to the terror factories in the form of brainwashed militants and provide safe heavens to terrorists. According to rough estimate, there are over 28, 000 madrasaas in Pakistan with only 8000 registered, with 260 in the capital Islamabad alone. A major portion of the extremist cult from these comes under the banner of Wifaq-ul-Madaris Arabia. Who finances Wifaq-ul-Madaris is an open secret: Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait. According to a report in ‘The News’, 74% funding in Punjab to these seminaries was by supplied these foreign sources. Terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamat-Dawa are day light finance receivers from Arab countries. Somehow, this grave reality is always brushed under the carpet when it comes to US foreign policy. Where at one end Pakistan is screwed in a nut bolt for not checking terrorism, this deliberate policy of letting the other extremism contributors swing on loose strings makes quite an incomprehensible puzzle. In fact, not to forget that US itself is one of the key backers of this very dictatorship in Middle East.

The US war against terror from the beginning was not on target. Instead of addressing the palpable core factors, the labors were mostly dedicated to just short term ventures that failed to give much potential results. Endeavors like drones in whose case we are still scratching our head whether Ilyas Kashmiri is 98% dead or 98% alive.

The counter terrorism efforts by US have unequivocally met a let-down owing to flawed policies and bamboozling strategies. Pakistan’s role has now become more of a scape goat for buffering America’s failures in the war against terrorism. An effort that was supposed to save humanity is now more of a cat and mouse chase of saving reputations and such inconsiderate aspirations. And here, we all know that might will be unconditionally hailed as the only right. Humanity has yet to wait.

Disclaimer#1 : My title for this piece was ‘a futile blame game’. the changed one in published version owes to editors.
Disclaimer #2: The criticism is directed to US foreign policy not US. Note the difference.

67 thoughts on “A futile blame game

  1. America has a long history of “Making Peace” using bombs! And it also has a history of failing in it.. still coming out shameless! Now its own journos and people want America to stop repeating the same mistakes, before world’s biggest economy turns into a defaulter, but it seems that like a psychopath on the loose, it’s only going to spill more blood wherever it goes. Those soldiers who were sent to gitmo for being the whistleblowers are receiving the most inhuman treatment. Their only ‘crime’ was that they could see no meaning in america’s holy war and leaked videos and evidence of its brutality.
    Your post came at a time when I had just put the paper aside and was thinking on the same lines. A few similarities I must draw.

  2. The Americans are happy for other people to fight their wars, but they cannot understand that the ‘war on terror’ they keep talking about cannot be fought using proxies, or armies.

    THEY created the terrorists to fight as a proxy army against the USSR, they trained them, they armed them and they sent them out to do battle.

    Now the situation has changed and AMERICA is under threat from the terrorists who see them, rightly or wrongly, as the enemy.

    Unfortunately, given American foreign policy, you can see that there was a natural progression from fighting Russia to fighting America and the Americans find themselves trying to use their armies and advanced technologies to fight an enemy willing to die for their cause while the Americans try to lose as few of their soldiers as possible and keep the enemy from attacking American civilians on American soil.

    Osama Bin Laden is dead at the Americans hands, but the terrorists are not giving up and walking away because they are not a country to be conquored, or a leaderless army whose General was the sole reason that they fought.

    You CANNOT kill an idea and as long as the cannon fodder keep coming, the fight will go on.

    Meanwhile the drug supply from Afghanistan, paid for by Western users, continues despite the supposed promise that it would be halted when the Taliban were driven out and which pays for the fighters who have few options of employment to feed their families.

    All we can do is watch the Americans build the Afghan Army and Police up to the point their corrupt leader can control the country and allow the Western forces to go home and stop the politically damaging stream of dead and wounded servicemen and women before the next election.

    I won’t go into the civilian loss of life – that kind of gets depressing….

    God Bless!


    • Thank you for understanding my point here Prenin. When I posted this, i was afraid that many people might misunderstand it as some typical anti-US rant. The point was just to highlight the challenges that lay unaddressed in counter terrorism efforts.

      • Thanks hun – it’s kind of hard to put thoughts out on a blog let alone with all the bugs in the WP software!!!

        The world is a strange place full of strange people – let’s hope they leave the rest of us alone! :)

        God Bless!


  3. Hi Habiba
    There seems to be a lot of hostility towards the U.S. here
    I’m just wondering… does this hostility come from the fact the U.S. came into your country “without permission”
    and killed Obama Bin Laden?
    I hope not.
    I believe they “the U.S.” are doing a pretty good job!

    Interesting read Habiba
    Wishing you a beautiful day x

    • Nope, you mistook my point. This isnt a case of ‘hostility’ for US or any such thing, you missed to read my disclaimer statements. The intention was just to throw light on the history of terrorism, as to how it took roots in this region of the world. US did a mistake by breeding militants in Soviet war and on on the top of that left the mess unattended when the war ended. but generally how many people acknowledge this fact? and when we take a look at present, the war against terror isnt free of visible mistakes-have mentioned some in the article already. And no, OBL raid has got nothing to do with my views here. My basic point is more or less same to what Prenin says above.

  4. looking at your wonderful writing skills and such an educated brain….i would be hesitant to meet you in person. But its good to see someone is out to make a difference in the world. keep it coming friend!!
    great article… there will always be the problem between countries and you did a good job explaining and it was well executed !

    crushing on you a bit… (just a tad bit)

  5. Hi Habiba,
    This was quite an interesting read… The blame game between countries never seem to end.. Btw great writing skills…
    Hope you’re having a wonderful day..
    Sheena xxx

  6. Hi hun! :)

    Yes, the pedophile story line was a real sickener in an act of fiction, but the real thing happens and the press and media are like vultures feeding off the corpse.

    Here we have a major story ongoing about how peoples voicemail was hacked by men working for newspapers, including the families of dead children who were raped and murdered – all for the sake of a story.

    One paper has been closed – The News of The World – and its owners are under investigation, but they have a lot of power and even the Politicians fear them as power brokers!!!

    An innocent man was even vilified in the press here because he lived in the same block of flats as a murdered woman, tried and found guilty by the press, only for another man to be arrested and charged.

    As a result two newspapers have been found guilty of Contempt of Court and eight have paid compensation to their victim!

    I have been a victim of press and media investigation which drove me to insanity and suicide only to be completely cleared and now I have a certificate from the Criminal Records Bureau which shows my pristine criminal record – but I am now insane and will be until the day I die.

    Such is the price of irresponsible press freedom…

    God Bless!


  7. Just caught your second comment! :)

    Yes the Owl club is growing – I sleep strange hours because of my medication – but you are young so you should be able to get over it easlily! LoL!!!

    Sweet dreams love!

    God Bless!


  8. Wow, well said my friend. I was never in favor of the war and what it does to the people affected by it. It is never fair to blame one country like Pakistan on terrorism because any where you go, terrorism can be anywhere and can be anyone. I understand where you are coming from. It is easier to blame or use another country as an escape goat than accepting the fact that another country made a mistake or a wrong calculation on how to deal with terrorism.
    With war comes only hatred and pain. I hope and pray that people will work more on achieving peace instead of causing more chaos in an already troubled world. Stay blessed.

    • thanks for taking my views positively here. Usually, as a Pakistani its hard to explain your point regarding how we perceive such things. Even harder to get ur views screened from a neutral prospective. Those who are plain anti-US racist types will simply like such stuff for all the wrong reasons. those on opposite end will consider you a typical prejudiced nut head. Only few will see the reason.
      always good to hear from you friend, have fun traveling :]

  9. Once again you amaze me with your writing abilities and your knowledge. The madrasaas are so hard to hear about/read about…and until they are dealt with accordingly I fear that they will contribute to a very unstable Pakistan…

  10. It was a lethal romance between Bush and Musharraf! That caused a country it’s poor fate.That’s how I will say it.
    It was never our war to begin with. Now it’s not their war to end rather ours. But then Im really not the President of Pakistan. And I have really left President alone. He doesn’t listen. Idiot.

  11. Hi Habiba, I fear Countries who believe it’s their right to dip into others affairs in the guise of helper, when everyone knows they’re trying to turn peoples views and beliefs to their own best advantage. Always a cry of truth comes before the self serving act…In many ways I think America is almost naive’ in it’s actions, as are many countries with the power to do so. The fallout which seems so obvious to others comes as a complete surprise to them. or so we are led to believe. The shame is that terrorism can not be stamped out by getting rid of the ‘name’ at the head, like the Hydra of mystical legend, it can regain it’s power easily, …It seems that many alliances are doomed to failure through different reasons, and differing goals..

  12. MA you’re writing skills and knowledge about current affairs is really remarkable…you have voiced our thoughts in an outstanding way :)but this is a chicken egg paradox…we have been watching them…it has been a decade and seriously im tired…we all are!!

  13. I adore your writing skills! I wish history could be rewritten and Pakistan realized that it was far better to stand up on its feet rather than take up on issues that weren’t its share. :(

  14. hey Habiba first of all Ramadan Kareem to u. n well i wd share the views by FF on this matter. very well written article. u already sound like a columnist. :)

  15. Another well-written piece Habiba..
    The thing is, questions like ‘Why has Pakistan to fall prey everytime, rather generation over generation now. Why our geo-strategic location makes us pay so heavily’ remain unanswered. More ironic, whining of conscious citizens of Pakistan like you, like me, like us) yet remains futile, to some extent though!

    Keep the good work up. All the very best :)

  16. I am happy to note someone taking a deep look into root causes of problems that plague the entire sub-continent. Pakistan easily played into hands of US in Cold War days and now India is repeating same mistake….US will neber be interested in welfare of India or Pak, its like the old divide and rule policy of British before 1947 where the whites played both sections against each other

  17. Hi Habiba!!! :)

    Got a taxi into Middleton yesterday and got Malik as my driver and he asked me to say hi for him! :)

    He’s from Kyrgyzstan and a great bloke – everyone’s favourite grandad!!! :)

    Love and hugs!


  18. Pingback: A futile blame game | Tea Break

  19. I’ve never done this sort of thing before and it seems lame.nevertheless im in dire need of prayers and good luck.tomorrows my result so im counting on you(not on my hard work:P)

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