The Dissenting Voice on Pakistan’s War Against Terror


A conspiratorial view of the world is frequently inaccurate, exposing more the paranoia of the view rather than the reality of the world. The sequential destruction of Muslim nations — Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, (and Iran is on the list) — may or may not be a conspiracy hatched in Washington D.C., but it is becoming an international reality.  It is no secret that the United States and Europe, with varying degree of mutual cooperation and some make-believe internal discord, superintend the sequential destruction of Muslim nations. This War of Sequential Destruction (WSD), despite Nobel-Laureate Barack Obama’s denials, refuses to go away.

The WSD is multi-frontal. It crosshairs Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, Al-Bashir,  Ahmadinejad, Sunni, Shia, Wahabi, Gaza, Iraq, Syria,Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan. Many Western policymakers rarely see Muslim nations, including allies, with any inherent respect. Vice President Dick Cheney described the Muslim world as “brute and nasty.” Obama advisers, though more guarded in their word choices, see Muslim nations no differently. The idea that Islam is inherently violent, openly expressed during the Bush administration, continues to animate foreign policy. The White House holds a new President but Congressional leadership and Washington policymakers are more or less the same. Anti-Islamic policies of warfare and destabilization are intact.

Therefore, the WSD will continue and gather momentum. The picture is not pretty. Palestinians are penned in misery and their territorial cage is constantly shrinking to meet the “natural growth” of vociferous settlers. Oil-rich Iraq is under American occupation and its communities have been torn apart with irreversible harm. Afghanistan, one of the poorest nations in the world, is placed under the boots of Western armies. Thousands of Afghans have been murdered, their houses bombed, their villages devastated. The International Criminal Court headquartered in Holland has indicted the first sitting head of the state, the Muslim President of Sudan. The United States and Europe, themselves armed with thousands of nuclear heads, are strategizing to punish Iran for asserting a treaty-based right to produce nuclear energy, leaving open the option of attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities.

After razing Iraq and Afghanistan, the WSD has now turned to ravage an ally, Muslim Pakistan. Pakistan is a nation that the British, in 1947, carved out of India and that India, in 1971, broke into two, liberating Bangladesh from the murderous clutch of the Pakistani military. Over the past sixty-two years, Pakistan’s military and civilian rulers, one after the other, and without exception, have turned to America for military training, weapons, money, and strategic instructions.  Eager to send their sons and daughters to Western cities for education and employment, Pakistani politicians, generals, and bureaucrats all look for ways, and create the ways, to oblige Western capitals, particularly Washington D.C.  Partly for personal interests and partly out of faulty readings of geopolitical situations, Pakistani rulers, like most rulers in Muslim nations, frequently compromise national sovereignty and public welfare.

The Pakistani orientation for self-destruction serves American interests. Facing a failing campaign in Afghanistan, Obama advisers decided to expand the war into Waziristan and other parts of Pakistan. The United States desperately solicited the Pakistani military to join the Afghan war. Pakistani rulers, this time a democratically elected government, listened to the American call. They first permitted the CIA to fly drones armed with missiles, which killed a few militants but hundreds of civilians in the tribal areas. The United States later urged Pakistan to invade Swat to kill militants. Pakistan did. Millions of civilians were made homeless.

The reaction to drone attacks and the ground offensive in Swat was fierce. Pashtun and Punjabi militants began to attack soft and hard targets. They attacked police stations, military trucks, and even the military’s fortified headquarters in Rawalpindi. Citing these counter-offensives as a threat to Pakistan’s national security, the United States urged the Pakistani military to launch a ground offensive in Waziristan. The rulers listened to the call and sent 30,000 troops to Waziristan. Muslims fighting Muslims have been efficacious in weakening the Iraqi militancy. The same formula, Obama advisers are betting, will crush the Pashtun resistance in Afghanistan.

Certainly, the United States can kill hundreds of thousands of Pashtuns on both sides of the AF-PAK border, even if no more troops are dispatched to the region.  Killing militarily weak populations requires no sophisticated military strategy. The convenient but thoroughly demonized label of “Taliban” provides the rhetorical shield to justify the ghastly massacres of civilians. Since Pakistani military has joined the war, killings on both sides of the border will become even more robust. These killings will carry an air of logic, even legitimacy, since no military presumably kills is own people unless it sees a threat to national security.

Under coercion, Pakistan has started a civil war that will consume its economy, national security, and tear apart its social fabric. The civil war will spill into many parts of Pakistan. It already has arrived in some parts of Punjab. Militants are unlikely to confine this war to sparsely-populated Waziristan. They are taking the war to the most populated cities, including Peshawar, Rawalpindi, and Lahore.  Karachi, which appears to be quiet, is sitting on a tinderbox. Karachi can erupt any minute as its ethnic rivalries are primed for a civil war. It is sheer foolery and a grave analytical mistake to presume that the Pakistani military offensive will provoke no one but only a few misguided militants in the North.

It is not yet too late for Pakistan to return from the precipice of national suicide. Pakistan must take a U-turn and preempt the civil war. Pakistan must say an emphatic no to President Obama who must also carefully weigh the stakes of expanding the WSD to Pakistan. If the NATO forces cannot subdue the militancy in Afghanistan, adding one more military into the battlefield will not solve the problem of occupation and resistance. Furthermore, an internally torn Pakistan does not weaken but empowers militants.  Obama advisers must ponder over one thing more: The people of Pakistan, like the people of Iran under the Shah, might rise to oppose the US hegemony over their internal affairs.



Filed under Pakistan, War On Terror

12 responses to “The Dissenting Voice on Pakistan’s War Against Terror

  1. Rashid

    The current conflict between Muslims and Non-Muslims is GOOD for ISLAM.

    Islam is VICTIM, where as its followers i.e. Muslims, and its opponents i.e. Non-Muslims are PERPETRATORS.

    The vocal Muslims present DISTORTED and UGLY picture of Islam. And vocal Non-Muslims use this distorted and ugly picture of Islam to SLAM on Muslims.

    Here is benefit of this conflict:
    1- Muslims who present distorted and ugly picture of Islam are/will be militarily defeated and weakened.
    2- Opponents of Islam who exploit distorted and ugly picture of Islam are/ will be economically and ethically defeated and weakened.
    3- The rational, intellectual, tolerant, peaceful, inspiring, loving, international, and non-sectarian picture of Islam will takeover and Muslims holding such understanding of Islam will takeover.
    4- History will repeat itself, just like the Mongol savages, invaders, conquerors, victorious, rulers who were under no obligation to accept and to convert to religion of their slaves got impressed by innate beauties and qualities of Islam and accepted Islam. And then they propagated message of Islam to Central Asia. Had those savage Mongols not attacked Muslims, probably Islam would have not spread so fast to those lands. Similarly, today’s DAJJALI forces i.e. occupation armies of US, UK and other Non-Muslim countries will get impressed by message of Islam and take them back to their lands of origin.

    Let the PERPETRATORS i.e. extremists on both sides fight and weaken each other so that the VICTIM i.e. Islam gains strength.

    Mark my words: The good will come out of this conflict. InsAllah.

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  3. Bloody Civilian


    so the ‘perpetrators’ are human beings and the ‘victim’ is some non-human entity! thousands have to die, millions have to suffer, while you sit there watching it all and rubbing your hands together in obvious glee.

  4. Shahab Riazi

    I am not sure where to start on this. I understand where the writer is coming from because there is something to be said about the western imperial instinct that has been enveloped thinly with the post-modern thinking of the world but the author has an extremely one-sided view expressed in this article, which surprisingly follows after an initial paragraph containing a dissenting rejoinder on the entire concept. Assuming, and it is a big assumption, that everything is true about western capitals coming together for the sole purpose of the defeat of Islam, I wonder how would you explain the exploitation of the non-Islamic third world people?

    Conflicts are complex beasts and any simplification attempt runs the risk of over-simplification as is depicted clearly by this article.

    What must be accepted is the willingness of the oppressed (in your view, the Muslim world), to acquiesce to the conditions created around them, again assuming, that these conditions are solely created by people in Washington and London. I am not blaming the victim here, however, there are reasons for why the Muslim world, as you put it, is on the receiving end of all the firepower in the world. We don’t need to look to the west to find those reasons. Reasons are there for all to see. All I have to say is that states will follow their interests, not some grand scheme to push an entire populace of one denomination or another. Pakistan has to reap what it sowed. What it sowed were seeds of exclusion on the basis of religion and hatred of the “other”, in a class based society with a restive population where the class distinctions only grew stronger as time passed. That is the control that people must take back. Pakistan has people who can and are doing that today. For every nutjob, there are numerous people who are involved in community related work in Pakistan. They are not organized and PR is not their priority so they don’t show up but people have realized that govt cannot be relied upon to affect changes in how they live and conduct their lives in their communities. That is your ray of hope, not the wish that Pakistan govt. apparatus is going to decide to do the right thing someday. By the way, in terms of realpolitik, a civil war in Pakistan is the worst case scenario for both US and other regional powers, including China, India and Iran. You are confusing terrorist activity with civil war and that is a distinction Pakistanis are becoming clear on everyday.

  5. Rashid

    @Bloody Civilian:
    What ever is happening to reciters of Kalma-Shahada i.e. Muslims is VERY UNFORTUNATE. Unfortunately, Muslims in general and Pakistani Muslims in particular believe that they are RELATIVES OF ALLAH SWT and chosen people of Allah SWT.
    You probably have no idea how much damage extremist Muslims have done to Islam, Holy Quran and to honor of Prophet Muhammad SAWS.

  6. Bloody Civilian


    humanbeings. i said, humanbeings. must you leave it to the readers to assume better than the worst about what you write? that you are being unforgivably partial in the sense of lacking completeness rather than being prejudiced.

  7. Rashid

    Yes, it is VERY SAD. Humanbeings on BOTH SIDES of conflict are suffering and dying.
    I wish conflicts could be resolved with dialogues.
    At the end dialogues will solve global conflict.

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  11. Shaheen Sultan Dhanji

    Liaquat, an excellent read. Was discoursing the exact topic with a friend, thus, your article is efficacious. It is the responsibility of each of us to take a good view at the larger realm of this atrocity and just not be a voyeur passing through. It is understaood, long before George Orwell, that memory must be repressed. That if we are to question and address our views to the public, we may just be slandered and ridiculed for taking sides, however, injustice cannot be silenced. And, the cheap propaganda is dangerous — propaganda can be either explicit or silent. But, worse is, when we are silent about witnessing atrocity, destruction and injustice — it is our collective moral responsibility to raise voice and sharpen our pencils to keep protesting the policies that often are self-interest. No more.

    As Noam Chomsky once said, “For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit”.


    In solidarity,
    Shaheen Sultan Dhanji

  12. rexminor

    mr khan’s article reflects a superior intellect and visionary deliberation. But i do like to add some comments for readers attention.
    .pakistan military is not a national army.
    it has never won a war and have proven not to be able to defend the country.
    .the current military campaign at the behest of western nations including usa and resistance from certain groups within the country cannot be regarded as the begining of the civil war.there is nothing civil about it- killing of civilians, sick and old, women and children whether by aerial bombardment and use of long range artillery or suicide missions and home made cruel bombs in the midst of villages or urban population.
    .the civil fabric of the society has never been cohesive, those who came to seek refuge from india in the current pakistan have never tried to integrate with those who for generations were living before them.instead the natives were stamped as illetrates if they did not speak english or urdu language. it is curious to note that people of the country from different provinces now speak a mixture of urdu and english language. i wonder if bengalis and former pakistanis would have accepted to speak this mixture. pushtoons,punjabis,baluchis and sindhis must feel pain in their stomach, and no wonder that pakistaini ministers now speak openly in their public conferences purely english language.shame on the civilian govt. to speak to its people in english language which not many of the 170 million follow. did clinton and holbrook ask them to speak in english so that back home the americans can follow the press conference.
    .all the military rulers of the country at one time or other said that they introduced the basic democracy in the country.can any one say now what level of democracy is in pakistan.
    .now the waziris and the pushtoons, who have been living in plains and valleys and many in mountains interspersed over the entire area betwwen the indus,hindukush and the sijistan plateeau of iran is the largest group of independent tribesmen in the world.No one in living and non-living memory have ever been able to subdue them or defeat them or conquer them.the readers can draw their own conclusion of the fate of the military people disregarding the centuries old agreement made with brits and then accepted by successive pakistan govts.islam does not need any approval,classification or qualification.the fact that muslims living in islamic and non islamic countries are suffering from identity crisis and have started growing long beards and wearing long dresses by men and women with head scarfs.this is not a unique phenomena in pakistan. in the part of the world there is a saying in the local dialect what has to happen will happen, so what let it happen.the people are not muslims and the same is expressed by pushtoons and waziris.for the non pushtoons when people associate their traditions and culture with islam because they believe that every thing about islam is good.they do not realise that the persons they address is an infidel.
    finally usa reminds of the latin phrase “roma duit fluid, nunc potens minus est.” rome has flourashed long,now they have lost the power.