Pakistan and the "War on Terror" | Middle East Policy Council
cooperation between the United States and Pakistan in the war on terrorism and yet there This article examines the history of US-Pakistan relations providing. Terrorist Safe Havens. In the s, as factional fighting kept Afghanistan in a state of almost constant warfare, Pakistan's government supported the rise of a. Afghanistan–Pakistan relations involve bilateral relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Further tensions have arisen with various issues related to the War in Afghanistan (–present), and with the millions of Afghan refugees who The Pakistani military have accused Afghanistan of sheltering various terrorist .
Today inPakistan has won the round tactically; the world acknowledges that it has a central role to play in negotiating an end state in Afghanistan. Yet the fact is that both Pakistan and the United States have sought to defend their self-defined interests all along.
Therefore, just as they have cooperated, both sides have also continued to work at odds with each other. Going forward, a convergence of interests and not a normative blame game will bring about a final solution in Afghanistan. There is an opportunity for the two sides to work together to find a mutually agreeable end state.
The optimism stems from the fact that both sides are highly constrained in their options and yet remain frustrated with the status quo. Three Pakistani limitations should give Washington hope. A reversion to an anarchic Afghanistan with little or no state authority would imply a fresh refugee spillover and economic burden on Pakistan.
Pakistan is also wary of the possibility of the TTP using a lawless Afghanistan as a safe haven to launch attacks within Pakistani territory once the U.
The anti-Pakistan groups appear intent on fighting Islamabad, regardless of what happens in Afghanistan. There is a realization that the Afghan Taliban may have already peaked militarily and that a lengthy civil war would have to ensue for Taliban militants to take over Afghanistan; Pakistan is neither willing nor able to back a new civil war across the border.
Pakistan is also cognizant of the development benefits large pockets of Afghan society have extracted from the U. Third, Pakistan has an interest in having the Afghan insurgent groups currently present in its tribal belt relocated to Afghanistan. Their presence provides the TTP and other anti-Pakistan groups the ability to present their actions as an extension of the Afghan fight against the Americans. The sheer proximity of the two factions carries a lingering threat of growing organic, and perhaps even covert, links.
In practical terms, the above implies substantial convergence in U. To begin with, both sides see an interest in stabilizing Afghanistan. This should prevent Pakistan from supporting any move that raises Western costs to a point that they consider a premature troop withdrawal.
Next, the averseness to the Afghanistan of the s means that Pakistan is open to a broad-based government in Kabul. Approaching the End State Despite some shared goals between the United States and Pakistan, there should not be unwarranted optimism. There are a number of differences that need to be addressed within this frame of convergence.
Relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan began deteriorating in the s after Pakistan supported rebels such as Gulbuddin HekmatyarAhmad Shah Massoud Haqqanisand others against the governments of Afghanistan.
After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in Decemberthe United States joined Pakistan to counter Soviet influence and advance its own interests in the region. In turn, AfghanIndian and Soviet intelligence agencies played their role by supporting al-Zulfikar — a Pakistani leftist terrorist group responsible for the March hijacking of a Pakistan International Airlines PIA plane.
Its goal was to overthrow the military regime that ousted Bhutto.
Pakistan became a major training ground for roughlyforeign mujahideen fighters who began crossing into Afghanistan on a daily basis to wage war against the communist Afghanistan and the Soviet forces. The mujahideen included not only locals but also Arabs and others from over 40 different Islamic nations.
Many of these foreign fighters married local women and decided to stay in Pakistan, among them were radical Muslims such those of Saudi-led Al-Qaeda and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as well as prisoners from Arab countries.
There were no regular schools provided for the refugees but only madrasas in which students were trained to become members of the Taliban movement. The Taliban claimed that they wanted to clean Afghanistan from the warlords and criminals. According to Pakistan and Afghanistan expert Ahmed Rashid"between andan estimated 80, toPakistanis trained and fought in Afghanistan" keeping the Taliban regime in power.
However, the relations began to decline when the Taliban refused to endorse the Durand Line despite pressure from Islamabad, arguing that there shall be no borders among Muslims.
InAfghan President Hamid Karzai warned that " Iran and Pakistan and others are not fooling anyone" when it comes to interfering in his country. In the past we have suffered alone; this time everybody will suffer with us. All the countries in the neighborhood have the same ethnic groups that we have, so they should know that it is a different ball game this time. InAfghan intelligence captured Muhammad Hanifthe Taliban spokesman. During his interrogation which was recorded, Hanif claimed that the Taliban leader was being kept in Quetta under the protection of the ISI.
Pakistan usually denies these allegations but has said in the past that it does not have full control of the actions of the ISI.
Afghanistan–Pakistan relations - Wikipedia
There have been a number of reports about the Afghanistan—Pakistan skirmisheswhich usually occur when army soldiers are in hot pursuit chasing insurgents who cross the border back and forth. Kashmir, however, has also posed a problem for the Pakistani government and military.
Pakistan has neither been able to seize it from India nor to persuade India to give it up. Doing so would not only be hugely unpopular inside Pakistan; it might also encourage other ethnicities Pushtuns, Sindis and Balochis to push for secession from the Punjabi-dominated state. During the period of their Cold War alliance, the differing American and Pakistani priorities were evident: The height of Pakistani-American cooperation occurred during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, when the United States, Pakistan and many others backed the Afghan mujahideen, who were resisting the Soviets.
Even then, however, Pakistan favored the Islamist Afghan mujahideen groups over the more nationalist ones.
Pakistan's role in the War on Terror
Islamabad seemed to think that it would have more influence over the former. After the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan inAmerican concern about that country and South Asia in general diminished.
Pakistan, however, remained focused on its rivalry with India. During the s, then, Pakistan supported the rise of the Taliban, for several reasons: With Pakistani help, the Taliban was able to seize control of most of Afghanistan in The Taliban, though, proved to be an extremely difficult ally for Pakistan, providing safe-haven to several radical Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda.