Pakistan: West’s Achilles’ Heel in Counter-Terrorism

White House Report to the US Congress questions Pakistan’s activities on counter extremism. Pakistan doesn’t have a major plan to defeat Taliban fighters, the report says.

Mohammad Zaher Qadery for Beyondheadlines

Pakistan is one the few countries in the world which has used various extremist movements in order to achieve its military and political goals in Afghanistan, India and some other countries of the world during the past years. However, Pakistan’s civilian government has not yet been able to perform its military and political task. Pakistan’s army is the major supporter of International Terrorism. It backs ‘terrorism’ (Pakistan may call it some other name) and used them as a means, in order to maintain its political presence.

From Baluchistan to Khyber area, extremist activities are at its height, in collusion with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Of course Pakistan government has always denied such allegations and incriminates other countries (India, Afghanistan, etc.) for such activities against Pakistan.

Afghanistan and some other regional countries have shown their concerns about sustained supporting of extremism by Pakistan in the past years. These countries pleaded to western countries especially the United State of America to remove their black glasses and see what the truth inside Pakistan is. Unfortunately, there has been no effective change.

However, a recent White House 38 pages report to the US Congress questions Pakistan’s  intent on counter extremism. There has been no significant achievement in defeating insurgents in Pakistan and Pakistan doesn’t have a major plan to defeat Taliban fighters, the report says. According to this report, America wanted Pakistan to take serious steps in order to defeat Taliban fighters who are secured in regional areas.

US – Pakistan: Pakistan is one of the strategic allies of the West in the region against counter terrorism. However, India is its strong trading partner, besides obviously China, which has shared confrontational relation with its Pakistan, to say the least. Pakistan has effectively used its position in the past to leverage its military, political and strategic interests.

Non-cooperation of Pakistan in counter extremism: In politics often actions don’t match words. Existence of safe heavens for extremism on Pakistan’s soil and expansion of extremism around the globe is not a new word. But the million dollar question is why does not West/USA act against Pakistan?

So while using Pakistan as a ‘strategic ally’ has the West in the course become a tool for this troubled nation to usher its own interests? Or is it just letting it happens to keep a check on other international rival forces? Going by the latest White House report, is it safe to say that USA is in the process of shunning its trusted partner?

Both these sights are the two bitter facts which Afghan people have experienced in the past three decades of war.

Suggestions for Afghan Government: Afghan government and people who suffered most for its neighbour’s policy should be aware, that Pakistan is a country which itself is the birthplace and fosterage of fundamentalism and terrorism.

Expecting that Pakistan is going to fight against terrorism is itself naive. However, Pakistan forcefully stands with the allied forces for counter terrorism and had participated in overthrowing of Taliban regime which Pakistan itself had created. Islamabad believes that its interest in Afghanistan and India are better served by protecting fundamentalism.

It has to be emphasized that west and USA well never let Pakistan to be a victim of Afghanistan or any other regional countries. On the other hand, Pakistan itself doesn’t want strong and powerful government in the region, especially Afghanistan.

What is more important for Pakistanis; is to make at least a situation in Afghanistan, in which Afghans are busy tackling at least for next decade. At this point Afghan government should realize the situation, consider Pakistan’s actions and must change its diplomatic policy relying on sound strategy, in order to combat against Pakistan’s ill doing.

A weak state like Afghanistan faces a daunting task in tackling shrewd diplomats from Islamabad. But it is better to be a little optimistic about future and play its cards well.

On its part, Kabul should realize and consider the following points, in order stand against international wrong policies.

1.      Create a strategy in foreign diplomacy to achieve set goals.

2.      Identification of ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’ in domestic and foreign policies.

3.       To build close ties with international partners who really want to combat extremism.

4.      To provide a clear description of fighting with Taliban.

5.      To avoid domestic crisis for maintaining power.

6.      To combat against corruption and narcotics.

The above mentioned points are the initial steps on resolving Afghanistan’s crisis. But nevertheless, if pursued carefully will go a long way in building a more stable Afghanistan and region.


Mohammad Zaher Qadery is a Journalist with Afghanistan’s Noor TV. The article originally written in Dari was translated by Nasrat Yatemyar.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect BH’s editorial policy.


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