South Asian Studies, Vol 24, No 2 (2009)

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Either You Are with Us or Against Us

Musarrat Jabeen


To counter the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, President Bush left no option for Pakistan except to side with him and fight war against terrorism as an ally. The US-led coalition defeated the terrorist forces of Al-Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan. These remnant forces are making new safe heaven in tribal areas of Pakistan through porous border after dismantling their network by NATO troops in Afghanistan. The US has begun covert operation and direct military attacks on the territory of Pakistan, a sovereign state, with out prior consultation. Pakistan has repeatedly said that these attacks are violation of its sovereignty while it had already countering terrorism and capturing fugitives that are being handed over to US. But President Bush did not heed and continued his policy. Bush’s diplomacy has been paralyzed by the rhetoric of the war on terror, a strategy against evil powers in which non-cooperative actors are with terrorists. Such rhetoric prevents sound strategic thinking. Only political and diplomatic initiatives can distinguish political opponents as well as violent ones such as Al-Qaeda. There is a need to counter violent-ones to reduce the threats faced by US as well as securing the rest of the world. The paper will explore Bush’s strategy of countering terrorism by viewing its policy towards Pakistan during his presidency with Pakistan’s responses. At the end of Bush regime, the US plan to spend $750 million in the tribal area on the development projects is raising many questions. Why do they think of building schools and roads in 2008, seven years after 9/11? Why have they ignored this coroner of world where continued fight has been imprinting the minds of impoverished teenagers against west forcing them to raise guns and living the life of militant? The paper will attempt to review these phenomena. 

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