US-led War on Terror in Afghanistan (2001-2008) Part-6
The disastrous and undeniable implications
This unrest is causing disequilibrium in the tribal areas of Pakistan. There are some other interest groups for this unrest. USA, China and Iran are also reserving some strategic concerns for the Taliban’s’ existence in tribal areas of Pakistan.As SubashKapila(2006) stated in such a way about these concerns:
“Pakistan’s Western Frontiers inter-sect the strategic interests of the United States, China and Iran and even India. Hence the explosiveness of these frontiers does not remain a solely Pakistani domestic concern but also has serious external implications for these states.”
The western border, Sawat valley and the area of FATA are fully disturbed by the intervention of Taliban’s and their affiliated groups. The outcomes of such interventions are very disastrous especially for the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Similarly Pakistan army has over stretched with this war against terrorism imposed by the United States of America.
a) Subjects’ anger at government and military
The outcome of this war against terrorism resulted in disliking of Pakistan Army and Musharraf regime by the Pashtun society. The Pashtun society of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has hatred and anger on the forces of Pakistan. The reason is that they were the immediate victims of this US-led War on Terror in Afghanistan.According to a survey conducted by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, the views of respondents about this war and role of Pakistan Army are as under:
The 18% of Pakistani madrassas have affiliations with Jihadi and sectarian groups; 78% students of these madrassas are against Pakistan’s role in the War on Terror and 81% are against military operations in tribal areas; and 20% of the students consider the current insurgency a direct reaction to Pakistan’s role in the War on Terror.
This anti-terror operation is an attempt of genocide for the Pashtun People of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The social issues are important to note as it is destroying the cultural, Islamicand social values ofPashtun people. It is threatening the identity of Pashtun in the world. The intervention of army in tribal areas is also threatening the tribal political system. The authority of tribal chief is also exigent the problems of instability of status.
The prominent persons of Pashtun are MaulviFazlullah in Swat and Mullah Umar. Both are Pashtun and educated by Pakistani madrassas. The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa consider this war against Pashtu’s and Islam. That is the reason; the People of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have hatred for Pakistan Army and Musharraf regime. The major destruction emerged in the form of overwhelming bang on the economy and society due to decreased foreign investment, disheartened trade, and enduring fear and uncertainty in the country.
b) Human losses
The rising of insurgencies in Pakistan are the result of this War on Terror in Afghanistan. The aim to exterminate the militant’s intervention is priced by human losses in the country. The most affected people are belonging to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. According to a report by South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), in the period 2003-2010 Pakistan faced serious fatalities due to terrorist violence is as under:
“The total fatalities include 3,087 civilian and 10,887 terrorist casualties. Pakistani military has endured 8,775 casualties, including 2,273 killed and 6,512 injured.”
This has showed the way to a staid law and order predicament and the government’s malfunction to stop suicide bombing and terrorist insurgencies in even settled areas has put the legitimacy of the state at stake. The public questions the military operations and people are in a state of confusion.
c) Economic decline
The affected areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa like Mangora, Sawat and Dir call for attention for the socio-economic and political development. The War on Terror in these areas has shattered the infrastructure of the localities of Pashtun belt. Due to this ghastly state of unrest the economic situations have been smashed. The tourism industry was the main source of economic growth of this region. It has been badly affected by the military operations in these gorgeous places of interests. Hotel industry has also collapsed due to this social disorder and disequilibrium. The developmental projects have been clogged because of this intervention of anti-state militants. The mega developmental projects instigated by Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZ) have been bunged in which the most famous and contributing are Gomal Zam Dam, Kurram Tangi Dam and Munda Dam.
d) Educational debacle
The War on Terror has exaggerated the education system of these areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Due to this turmoil, students and teachers have faced multiple problems to carry on the processes of formal and informal education. Mostly the female education has reached to a zero level because of the rule of anti-state militants. They strictly enforced the people to avoid from female education. The threat of death and fear of humiliation forced the people to live according to the dictations of militants. No one has dared to let down the directions of the militants because to disobey means death. According to the district census report 1998 the literacy rate of these tribal areas of FATA is 17%. Due to this state of disorder the 188 girls and 97 boys’ schools have been destroyed. It has enhanced the illiteracy rate for the whole society. The strict directions for girls to veil properly have destroyed the society of Pashtun especially for females with undue coercion imposed by the militants.
e) The IDPs catastrophe
This military operation forced the locals to escape from their homes for their survival. Mostly people have taken refuge to safe areas of KPK with low level of subsistence measures. They moved to neighbouring Pashtun areas like Districts of Mardan, Swabi, Nowshera, Tank and Dera Ismail Khan.The National Database Registration Authority (NADRA) has registered approximately 1.9 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), of which 96% are registered in KP. About 428,000internally displaced persons were estimated belonging to South Waziristan at the end of 2009. Due to bad economic conditions and danger of death affected the IDPs to return back to their homelands. Totally 2.7 million people were displaced from their homes in which 1.6 million returned back to their homelands. The remaining 1.1million were still displaced. This pressure oriented IDPs , caused disorder in the areas where they have taken refuge. The reason for this unrest was the scarcity of resources for the utilization of host and IDPs. Economic system has severely influenced by the over population of the IDPs in the host areas.
The Al-Qaeda members faced no problems in the areas of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa because they found the same cultural society as in Afghanistan. The impact of this War on Terror is negative in the contexts of political, economical and social structures. The results of such ramifications lead to enhance thelevel of hatred among the people of Pashtun society.Indeed, during the Soviet jihad, the tribal people were freely exposed to radical doctrines by the presence of committed fighters in their midst. The proximity of this area with Afghanistan was the alarming thing to destroy the people of these Pashtun areas. It was used as a training center for the jihadi organizations. It was a safe base for ISI-CIA nexus and other Islamic groups. The people of these areas were used in jihad by Taliban in the Afghanistan. In 1989 many tribesmen fought against Soviet War in Afghanistan. They were familiar about the Taliban’s.
The militancy was the result of corruption, crisis, frequent breaking of constitutional laws. The state has ignored the rights of citizen, and ethnic identities of the groups from various kinship backgrounds. The failure of state was political instability in the region because of change in the national and global level policies. Due to this instability, the gaps were created to provide a room for disturbance in the country. The priorities of the state were not according to the subjects and it enhanced poverty, crimes, and disequilibrium in the systems of state. The most affected social fabric was the areas of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
- SATP (South Asia Terrorism Portal) Report, 2010
- Amir Mir, “Pakistan turned into suicide bombing capital of the world,”‖ Asia Time Online Available at http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/MI16Df04.html (accessed December 5, 2012).
- Government of Pakistan, 2009.
- UNOCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)Report, 2009.
- Masood Haider, “2.2 Million IDPS in Pakistan: United Nations,” Dawn, January 12, 2009
- “World has self interest in Helping Pak IDPs: UNHCR,” The Daily Times, June 17,2009