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Pakistans Loss In The War Against Terrorism

Info: 5423 words (22 pages) Essay
Published: 25th Apr 2017 in Politics

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Terrorism is a global phenomenon now-a-days brought by twenty first century with itself acutest form. Before twenty first century it was never so violent as today. Terrorism is the product of unrest in society and it damages human lives, property, economy and peace of mind. It is an evil which is afflicted humanity for centuries but it amounted global dimensions after the 9/11 tragedy. Today it has exceeded all boundaries and deeply impacted the political, economic and security environment of all regions, countries and societies. It has created fear, frustration and disillusionment.

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In this assignment my aim is to give account on the meaning of terrorism, background of terrorism the 9/11 tragedy and its repercussions, Pakistan become an ally of the US in the war against terrorism. Pakistan tried to demand from Taliban to hand over Osama Bin Ladin and Taliban refusal. Pakistan provided base for US attack on Afghanistan which created a lot of problems for Pakistan. In different parts of the country many religious groups emerged as a reaction and against the act of Pakistan as well as against US forces. Religious extremism started in the country side by side with this suicide bombing and terrorism started which compelled Pakistan to a state of uncertainty. Pakistan is still facing a lot of problems. A big loss has been done on the part of Pakistan which would be highlighted in the assignment.

Definition of terrorism

Terrorism is a method of action by which an agent tends to produce terror in order to impose his domination. In 1948, the encyclopedia of social sciences defined terrorism as a tool of nonstate actors; “a term used to describe the method or the theory behind the method whereby an organized group or party seeks to achieve its avowed aims chiefly through the systematic use of violence”. [1] There is no universally accepted definition of terrorism which is today generally viewed as politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents. A short legal definition used in the UN for an act of terrorism in the” peacetime equivalent of a war crime” [2] 

Background of Terrorism

Terrorism per se is not usually a reflection of mass discontent or deep cleavages in society. More often it represents the disqualification of a fragment of the elite, who may take it upon themselves to act on the behalf of the majority unaware of its plight, unwilling to take action to remedy grievances, or able to express dissent. This discontent, however subjective in origin and minor in scope is blamed on the government and its supporters. Since the sources of terrorism are manifold, any society or polity that permits opportunities for terrorism is vulnerable. Government reactions that are inconsistent, wavering between tolerance and repression, seem most likely to encourage terrorism. [3] 

Till 1980s the people of subcontinent and specially the people of Pakistan were not acquainted with extremism or terrorism. During the regime of Zia-ul-Haq, the USA adopted the policy to contain communism. For this purpose CIA of USA and ISI of Pakistan established a mutual partnership. As the government of Pakistan considered that communism was harmful for the Muslims too. For this reason they not only joined the partnership against the USSR under the command of USA, but also declared formal war against them bearing the name jihad. As a result various Jihadi groups came in to existence and also joined the US partnership to encounter USSR. Thus Pakistan became the third largest recipient of US aid after Israel and Egypt during the Zia’s Martial Law. [4] In order to fulfill her purpose, the US gathered all those who are associated with Jihadi groups from all over the world including Usama Bin Ladin. They started training these people properly and equipped them with the weapon, and all other resources. Thus US provided weapons and other support to these militants for Afghanistan Jihad during this strategic partnership through the agencies of Pakistan. They trained militants and waged guerilla warfare against the Russian forces. Ultimately the USSR disintegrated in 15 independent states, due to economic reasons. Soon after the war US abandoned her activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Jihadi groups started their struggle to seize power in Afghanistan and they fell on the brink of civil war. Thus kalashinkov culture along with extremism and terrorism was received as a gift of this strategic partnership with the CIA of the USA in Afghanistan and Pakistan. [5] The 11 September attacks on World Trade Centre and the Pentagon drew the attention of the people of North America, particularly USA and West Europe to Islamic terrorism. Before 9/11 superpower USA fought all the wars on foreign soil. But 9/11 attacks brought the action to the US soil. In the language of one of the American, America’s war of the twentieth century were fought on the soil of other countries, now the battle has been brought to our shores and to the symbols of our economic power. The stakes have risen for everyone. [6] 

The Ex-president of USA Richard Nixon had quoted in a magazine that the real threat was not communism but it was the Islamic Fundamentalism. So they continued to deal with this threat. They introduced new terminologies for Islam such as Fundamentalism, Political Islam and radical Islam. They first quoted Islam with fundamentalism, then with extremism, and now with terrorism.

9/11 Attacks on USA

On Tuesday the 11th September 2001, two jet airliners slammed in to the World Trade Centre Towers at short interval of only 18 minutes. The third hit the Pentagon and the fourth crashed in Pennsylvania. These attacks were so co-ordinated. The hijacked planes were all en route for California, and were therefore stuffed with fuel. Their departures were spaced within one hour and 40 minutes.

Al-Quaida was suspected of organizing the September 11 attacks, in which two hijacked passenger planes hit the WTC, the third the Pentagon and possibly a fourth which crash landed following passenger’s resistance, which was intended to hit the white house. After the incident Al-Quaida under its leader Osama Bin Ladin has become the most targeted terrorist organization of the world. [7] 

After the startling attacks of 9/11, 2001 US started her new strategy to counter the situation and the US media immediately blamed Osama Bin Laden as the mastermind of these terrorist attacks. Osama Bin Ladin with his organization AL-Quaida was suspected to have their base in Afghanistan and Taliban government was their supporter. Due to the geographical proximity of Pakistan with Afghanistan and before 9/11 attacks Pakistan was staunch supporter of Taliban, It was predicted that Pakistan had to face difficult situation. The arrogance of power can be manifested when the President of Pakistan was being awakened by the telephone call from Washington at past midnight and asked to decide whether he was a friend or a foe of the US and he had to agree under compulsion to its demands. US Required Pakistan to remain steadfast in the war against terrorism in return they would provide the so-called one billion dollar debt. But actually it was America’s undeclared war against Islam. [8] Osama Bil Ladin and his close associates have stated that their aim is to establish a caliphate, an extreme and fundamentalist Islamic theocracy, to replace the state governments that now exist in the Muslim world. To this end they have declared a religious war on the United States, the west in general and on existing Muslim-led governments that do not match their brand of Wahabbism Muslim theology. They believe each of these that they have made their foes pose as barriers to achieving their puritanical form of Islam and these they have dedicated themselves to expelling from power these so-called apostate regimes which include key US friends such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan and others. [9] A review of Bin Ladin’s statements indicated that his purpose was to inflict so much damage on the United States and its citizens that the US government would withdraw its forces from Muslim states, withdraw its financial and other support from Israel and cease its support for apostate Muslim states. In order to create this level of damage, Osama Bin Ladin did not differentiate between military targets and civilian targets. [10] 

Pakistan declared its full support for US retaliation against Taliban and sent a high-level delegation to Kandahar on Monday to demand the Taliban hand over Bin Ladin to the United States or risk a massive retaliatory assault. [11] 

American Attacks and initial Situation

On 12 September, Powel declared that they would attack terrorists wherever they were in the world and Pakistan would be consulted if Usama was involved. Taliban Appealed to the US not to attach Afghanistan. Taliban opposition said US should attack Pakistan, not Afghanistan. Lashkar opposed Pakistan move to support US. US Marine’s personnel landed in Pakistan for surveillance on 15 September. Taliban also threatened Pakistan with a massive attack if it helped the United States launched military strikes on Afghanistan. Pakistan announced that it would back global terrorism. Pakistan as one of its conditions on helping US asked it to keep India, Israel out from attack on Taliban. Also asks for sanctions to go for a solution to the Kashmir issue. Pakistan Finance Minister said Pakistan support to US would yield economic gains. Pakistan failed to persuade Taliban to hand over Bin Ladin. Taliban brought scud missiles near Pakistan border. Pakistani delegation began talks with the Taliban in a bid to persuade the Islamic militia to hand over Usama Bin Ladin. Pakistan put its army on alert ahead of a possible US attack on neighbouring Afghanistan over last week’s terror attacks. Meanwhile China sealed its border with Pakistan for fear that terrorists might seek refuge in China after last week’s attacks on US. The Pakistan religious parties gave strikes call for Jihad volunteers. Taliban declared national emergency and war games started. Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Umar issued a defiant message saying that Ladin would not be extradited without clear evidence as hundreds of Islamic clerics met in Kabul to decide whether to extradite him. Pakistan Ulema Council echoed the Taliban’s call for a holy war against the United States and its allies if they attacked Afghanistan. Demonstrations throughout Peshawar and Karachi were observed. US began operation sent nearly 100 US Air Force planes to bases in the Gulf, the Indian Ocean and Central Asian republics of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Indian guards on alert along the border with Pakistan to combat any infiltration bids by Muslim militants following US attacks. [12] The Asian Development Bank warned that global economic growth could be cut by half this year. But the US President George W. Bush declared war against Afghanistan. On 7 October 2001, USA and its close ally Britain began air strikes on Afghan military installations and terrorists training camps. By November 13, only the cities of Kandahar Kunduz had not surrendered to the Northern Alliance. On December 7 the Taliban Regime collapsed entirely when its troops fled their last strong hold, Kandahar. However pockets of resistance remained because Osama Bin Ladin and Taliban leader Mullah Muhammad Umar couldn’t be traced. US killed thousands of people, occupied the country and installed a puppet government there. But captured and killed Osama Bin Ladin recently in 2012. As long as the mujahideen were fighting against USSR by the backing of US they were Mujahideen means the holy worriers but when they were suspected of hurting US interests, they became bloody terrorists. [13] 

Suicide terrorism in Pakistan

Pakistan is the victim of suicide bombing more specially after the 9/11 incident and due to the policies adopted by its military backed governments. A dreadful and very violent state of law and order has prevailed over the country which has made the society hostage in the hands of the terrorists. This all due to the alliances of the military rulers of Pakistan and US in which Pakistan has accepted her role in the war against terrorism and has become a front line state against it. Moreover, we should realize what we had done with the innocent people of Wana Waziristan Agency, Swat, Bajwar Agency, and Baluchistan. Their houses were bombed and their families were destroyed and humiliated without any justification. Innocent students belonging to Madrassahs were massacred indiscriminately. The first ever operation was carried out against mosque. In spite of all these, we consider they have no right to retaliate. Everyone knows who brought and sponsored all this on the soil of Pakistan; certainly it was the US who supported the military backed government against the will of the people. [14] 

Pakistan’s Loss

U.S. Asst Secretary of State, Philip J. Crowley, told “There is no country that has suffered more significantly from terrorism than Pakistan itself”. A study conducted by Brookings institution said that there were 2,113 terrorist attacks in Pakistan in 2010. No country in the world even comes close to that. Almost 3000 people died and 6000 were wounded. Soon after the tragedy of September 11, 2001, Pakistan allied itself with the U.S. in the war against terror. The U.S.-led

invasion in Afghanistan commenced in 2001. The Talibans were defeated but could not be eliminated and their resistance transformed into an insurgency and an armed struggle against the foreign forces and their local supporters. Since Pakistan is supporting the war against the militants or terrorists in Afghanistan, the insurgency in that country has spilled over into Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), adjacent to Afghanistan, and the adjoining settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These terrorists are a source of the numerous acts of violence and terrorism that plague the whole country.

Malign Islam

The attacks on World Trade Centre and Pentagon made the Muslims, especially of the developed countries like the USA and even elsewhere suspects. A Muslim name is sufficient to invite discriminatory checking, inquiry and interrogation in any air port and also at other places. Even before 9/11, some people had started claiming that terrorism has found its most menacing expression in Islamic fundamentalism. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of 9/11, the detractors of Islam found an opportunity to plot stereotypes to malign Islam and to mobilize a climate of hatred against its adherents by focusing enthusiastically on the religion of individuals and organizations allegedly involved in terrorist activities and started using terminologies for Islam As Fundamentalism, Political Islam Radical Islam and Religion of Extremism. [15] When some Christians and Jews resort to terrorism, they are not generally called Christians or Jews terrorists but if Muslims resort to terrorism they are called Muslim terrorists. We hardly hear or read about Christian terrorism but there is a lot of discussion about Islamic terrorism, Islamism, Islamists, Islam fascists, Islamic fundamentalism, Militant Islam, Islamic radicals, Radical Islamism, Islamic Terrorists, Islamic commando Units, Militant Muslims, Muslim Mujahideen, and Jihadis etc. [16] 

Psycho-social Loss

In psycho-social loss in the war against terrorism, the first exposed curse was the rise in militancy and extremism which narrowed the circle of common people lives. The Pakistan’s government participated in the US-led war on terrorism it was to work against its old policy of Islamization and increasing extremism in Pakistan. It was a challenge to crack down on Madaris and religious groups which were preaching and teaching militant Islam. Musharraf allowed the monster of extremism to remain relevant to the war on terror and prolonged his military rule. Pakistan didn’t have this scale of intensity before he took over. Our involvement in this campaign today complicates our tasks, both at home and at regional and global levels. [17] There was lake of coordination among government, military and intelligence groups on the matter of eradication of these religious groups in view of their Kashmir policy, India factor and very old routes of the Madaris, therefore this double policy encouraged the militant figures and fostered militancy as well as religious extremism within country and beyond the borders. At present even with government’s claims to triumph over extremist symptoms and militancy within state the reality show that this curse is still upsetting and non reductioning.

Along with suicide bombing, drone attack is also one of the mortal casualties inflicted upon common people since 2004 by CIA’s special activities division. The series of attacks took place in the tribal areas and afghan border of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa aiming at to defeat Taliban and Al-Quaida militants. This US intervention and infringement of Pakistan’s sovereignty and the civilian deaths as a result of the drone attacks has been caused of increasing extremism and intensifying suicide attacks.

Social repercussion

As a result of the prolonged war another heavy social repercussion was the issue of internal displacement. Factual figures declare that around more than five million people migrated from northern areas to different parts of the country during military operations. The dark side of this internal displacement is not only psychological, material and personal sufferings of the IDPs but a long lasting social implication in the form of various upsetting issues such as irregular management in case of registration and placement of these IDPs, migration of terrorists from tribal areas to the urban areas of other provinces and opposition against the influx of IDPs in those provinces and the dilemma of identity. [18] 

Human Loss

Many people lost their lives in terrorism. In 2001 there were 110 incidents took place throughout the country in which 54 killed and 94 injured. In 2002, 56 incidents were observed in which 102 people killed and 311 injured. 88 incidents took place in 2003, 29 killed and 152 injured. In 2004, 159incidents took place in which 76 killed and 412 injured. 113 incidents took place in 2005 in which 28 killed and 113 injured. 1444 incidents took place in 2006, 769 killed and 1627 were injured. In 2007, 1820 incidents took place in which 2252 killed and 3527 injured. During 2008, 1575 incidents took place, 2789 killed and 5099 injured. In 2009, 1946 incidents took place, 2380 killed and 7366 injured. In 2010, 2061 incidents took place 1955 killed and 5348 injured. In 2011, 54 incidents took place, 40 killed and 79 injured. The fight against militants and terrorists has so far cost Pakistan 2273 soldiers of the Army killed and 6512 injured, making a total of 8785, besides 21,672 civilians killed. As against them the U.S. and NATO, comprising 43 nations, have suffered only 1582 casualties. [19] 

Economic Loss

Factual information varies the economic costs as the heavy loss of this war as a result of the prolonged war and deficiency of proper directives. According to the estimate Pakistan has spent around $ 35-40 billion since 2001. Together with direct financial cost is paying huge economic price; such as set back to foreign direct investment in Pakistan, lower domestic consumption, cut on development expenditures, suspension of revenues from sport activities, affect on tourism, in case of trust deficit hard visa policies by several countries for Pakistani traders, students and professionals. [20] Even remittances sent by Pakistanis living and working in the U.S. has affected as those sending money become extremely cautious about the possibility of being questioned by the authorities in America.

Express News reported in Islamabad that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan claimed on Sunday that Pakistan was spending Rs90 billion per month in the war on terror. [21] 

SPDC estimates that that total direct costs of participation in the war on terror increased by 115 percent between 2007 and 2010, whereas the indirect costs grew by 126 percent over the same period. The enhanced perception of risk and uncertainty due to the on-going conflict has resulted in a sharp and continuous decline in private investment since 2005-06. A negative growth of 3.5 percent in private investment was recorded in 2009-10. Additionally, large macroeconomic imbalances and supply bottlenecks such as power load shedding have further aggravated the situation. [22] 

Loss of territorial integrity

Pakistan’s territorial integrity is being violated with impunity. Pakistan is accepting the responsibility for crimes have not committed by her. Particularly India is using the prevalent global sentiment to implicate Pakistan in every act of terrorism.

There seems to be no end to this tragedy of errors and never-ending blame-game. The world also looks at Pakistan with anxiety and suspicion as Pakistan claim unrivalled distinction of having captured the largest number of Al-Quaida operatives and handing them over to the US. The most worrisome juncture is that Pakistan is going through one of the most serious crises of its history. With a corrupt and externally vulnerable regime in power, the country is being kept engaged on multiple external as well as domestic fronts. The Salala episode and its aftermath have amply tested this government which never had a clearer vision of its own and remains totally non-consequential on issues of vital importance. [23] 

The extended nature of war and safe havens for militants has been cause of some crucial political issues on internal and international level. In this regard one of the most tragic instances was lake of concentration and proper redress of the problems of insurgency-hit regions of Balochistan. During Musharraf era Balochistan was dominated by JUI ( Pashtoon dominated fundamentalist and pro-Taliban party) through rigged elections. Latter on killing of Nawab Akbar Bugti added to the flames. The situation was depicted by a Baloch political figure in these words” US assistance against Taliban is deployed against Balochs” [24] 

Blame of providing safe havens

Regarding Pakistan’s position in international community, the assassination of Osama Bin Ladin, the head of militant group of Al-Quaida in Abbotabad by United States Special Sources Military Unit staged a whole new ball game for Pakistan by reason of backing on the wrong horse. Pakistan was to face immediate question s and criticism by international community as to the safe residence of the World’s most wanted individual in Pakistan close to Pakistan Military Academy. [25] 

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Loss of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

It is not surprisingly that the analysts uncovers that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has suffered the most due to security crisis. The costs of KPK economy is highlighted here as 3.5 million people displaced internally. 130 billion rupees cost to the local economy in 2009-10. Decrease in the average growth rate of KPK was observed 4 percent in 2004-05. 36 billion rupees cost due to un-harvested standing crops and lost livestock. 8 percent schools fully or partially damaged in Malakand. 1660 number of industrial units closed down due to conflict. 29 percent of public health facilities fully or partially damaged. 30 percent schemes of water supply damaged. With the intensification of military operations from 2005 onwards, cost to the local economy increased in terms of loss of lives and livelihoods as well as provisions of normal public services to the people, damage to physical and social infrastructure, including houses, businesses, standing crops, livestock, schools, health facilities and water supply schemes etc. [26] 

Highlights of Costs of KPK Economy


Internally displaced persons

Decrease in KPK economy 2004-05

Damaged Schools in Malakand

Damaged public health facilities

Cost to the local economy in 2009-10

Cost due to un-harvested standing crops and lost livestock

Industrial units closed down due to conflict

Damaged water supply schemes

Loss of social sector expenditures

Analysis in public spending after 9/11 reveals that pro-poor spending increased from 3.6 % of GDP in 2001-02 to 6.3% in 2007-08, but then declined to roughly 6 5 in 2009-10. While this is still above the 4.5 % stipulated under the poverty Reduction Strategy Paper(PRSP), a closer look at the budget documents suggests that public expenditures have been diverted from economic sectors, such as water and power and social sectors namely education, health and rural development. In contrast, sectors and areas which had linkages with the on-going conflict had received greater allocations.

Pace of Social development decreased

According to SPDC estimation, incidents of poverty have increased steadily in the last decade from 34.5 % in 2000-01 to 38 % in 2007-08. Poverty is expected to have crossed 40 % by the end of 2010. Sector-wise appraisal of basic social indicators suggests that Pakistan is unlikely to meet most of the targets of MGDs by the 2015 deadline.

Education Sector

Public spending on education declined since 2009. In terms of gender equality, the trend indicates that education of girls has disproportionately borne the burden of the war on terror.

Health Sector

Public spending on health increased significantly in absolute terms between 2002 and 2009 but remained less than one percent of GDP in relative terms. Priorities in health spending showed mother and child care received less than one percent of the total health spending. The pace of improvement in basic health indicators thus slowed in the latter half of 2000s. Hardly any progress was made in the case of infant mortality. [27] 


An attempt has been done to highlight terrorism and its loss in Pakistan. Terrorism is the highly destructive phenomenon for the humanity. Terrorism is found globally everywhere but Pakistan is suffered the most and is still suffering from terrorism. Almost 3000 people lost their lives in terrorism while 6000 wounded. Soon after the attacks of 9/11 Pakistan become an ally of the US coalition war against which were commenced in 2001. Taliban were defeated but could not be eliminated. The resistance of Taliban transformed in to an insurgency and an armed struggle against the foreign combined forces and their supporters. This insurgency in Afghanistan spilled over in to Pakistan’s area Fata and the adjoining settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. These terrorists are a source of the numerous acts of terrorism and violence that overwhelmed the whole country.

After the attacks of 9/11, the detractors of Islam started to malign Islam and different expressions were used for Islam. Pakistan also lost its territorial integrity and the land of Pakistan is used by the US for their own interests. The fight against militants and terrorists has cost Pakistan badly, 2273 soldiers of the army killed and 6512 injured. While the number of civilians killed are 21’672. Terrorist’s activities are on the rise, while the economy is sliding downwards. Foreign investment is not forth coming and development of the country is adversely affecting. The psychological loss of the war against terrorism created uncertainty in the country. People going outside are not sure will come home again or not. In the war against terrorism, province of KPK suffered the most as having border with Afghanistan. Its infrastructure destroyed, the people lost their houses, schools, hospitals industries and water supply facilities. They become internally displaced people, started migration to other areas of KPK. It was a big challenge for the government of Pakistan to rehabilitate them. By these costs and high costs on the security the pace of social development decreased.

While it is true that Pakistan has anti-terrorism laws on the books and courts to enforce them, but have done little to implement them so terrorism has not been brought under control.

All the above stated costs are heavy challenges for human security and prosperity. These costs have created a wide gap between state and society. Majority of people consider it US war by Pakistan for the achievement of US interests.


In order to meet the challenges for terrorism and reducing the threats for human security, we need to review the root causes of terrorism within theoretical frame work.

In view of these theoretical assumption it is suggested that for fair and square fight against terrorism government should try to curb the root causes o


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