By Rida Zeenat
Pakistan desires peace and stability in the region and, therefore, asks for peaceful co-existence with its neighboring states. Peace in the region is indispensable for long-term progress and prosperity. Pakistan appeals the United Nations, the United States of America, Russia and other stakeholders involved in the region to work together for bringing positive development structure in the region.
Terrorism has grown to become one of the biggest security threats to the region and militant groups have been known to incite extremism and violence inside the region. Pakistan is fighting a very crucial battle to eliminate terrorism. As a result of which Pakistan has to face retaliation from terrorists in form of suicide attacks, bomb blasts in buses and buildings, attacks on military installations and personnel, kidnapping students and certain other ways to terrorize the citizens of Pakistan. Hundreds of our soldiers were martyred while fighting this battle.
Pakistan has suffered from human as well as structural damage. Pakistan has sacrificed a lot., On the other hand, Pakistani leadership faces allegations like providing safe havens to extremists, charges of providing protection to al-Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, extremist activities of different Taliban factions, alleged charges of demonstrating double standard by Pakistanis in targeting hubs of terror are merely for the sake of propaganda warfare and undermines Pakistan’s efforts to counter terrorism.
Every Pakistani is taken aback when the call to `Do More’ is given despite the evident fact that our armed forces are already performing to the best of their capability and competence. The fatalities and losses it has suffered in the past ten years are far more than any other nation engaged in the global anti-terror efforts.
Pakistan has rendered invaluable sacrifices in the war against terrorism, and that the international community should respect these efforts. They do not realize that Pakistan suffered 16,2352 deaths of civilian due to drone attacks, 35-40000 in suicide bombing, martyrdom of 5,000 security personnel and $68 billion damage. Almost 248 Al-Qaeda operatives, among them senior leaders, had been captured by Pakistani armed forces. Many of them have been tried and sentenced under 1997 Anti-Terrorist Act of Pakistan.
Pakistan in economic terms has spent a lot more than was aided or granted to it. The Coalition Support Fund (CSF) has still not been reimbursed and Pakistan had to take it from its socio-economic budget to fulfill its requirements. No other country in the world and no other security agency have done so much to interdict al Qaeda than the ISI and Pak armed forces have.
Pakistani armed forces and intelligence agencies are well-developed and fully equipped to take on any threat posed to the national integrity and security. They are keeping their eagle eye on eastern borders as well as doing their best on the western frontiers to weed out the menace of terrorism. This is a global fight and world must not focus on specific religion or a single state, instead of blame game they must rather join hands with Pakistan in eradicating the root causes that breed terrorism.
Moreover the high handed US policies and killing of innocent people through indiscriminate bombing, made things more difficult and complicated for Pakistan. Even then the morale of Pakistan armed forces and its citizen is high. U.S. officials consider parts of Pakistan’s porous border with Afghanistan the epicenter of global terrorism, being used for deadly cross-border attacks on Afghan and international troops. However this is not the case.
The achievements of ISI against al-Qaeda are extraordinary. It is quite agreeable that around 100 top level al-Qaeda operators were killed or arrested by ISI, without support of CIA. United States and NATO allies must consider the fact that the intelligence furnished by ISI and Pakistani security services to American forces and NATO is appreciable. Without ISI the war against terrorism would have been a failure and whatever the American and NATO forces have achieved only got possible because Pakistan intelligence agency furnished them with the intelligence.
The Global Counterterrorism Forum, a new multilateral counterterrorism body that includes China, India, Russia, the United States and the European Union, is a great effort towards combating terrorism. Only one nation is not responsible for it, the terrorism can only be eradicated when the whole world comes forward and plays its role.
Pakistan wants good relations and clear mode of communication with America. Similarly on the other side Pakistan must clearly state its objectives. Instead of hiding the embarrassment of losing the war and putting all the blame on Pakistan, United States must come up with new tactics to deal with the prevailing problem. Moreover respect for all the sacrifices that Pakistan has made till today is required instead of being assertive and demanding more from Pakistan. Every state has some national interests which are dearer to it. Moreover the combined efforts with United States are very important for the world peace.