STILL licking its wounds after a humilia- ting, hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States probably wants to revive its so-called ‘war on terror’ once again, taking Pakistan on board. The recent statements by Washington in which it ‘pledged support for Islamabad’s anti-TTP efforts’, and showed ‘concerns on TTP threat against Pakistan’ suggest there might be some brainstorming on the matter in the relevant circles.

This, however, seems to be old wine in a new bottle. We never asked for US help following a small border skirmish with Afghan security forces that has nothing to do with the US. But the US is trying to ‘help’ us in an apparent bid to seek and get military bases in Pakistan and then bringing its own army on lame excuses.

The fact is we do not need US assistance at all as our battle-hardened army can tackle the handful of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists. The army has done it in the past, and can and will do it again. The fact that the US intends to fight against its own proxy terrorist organisation, the TTP, is nothing but a joke.

In fact, the US spread terrorism in Pakistan for several years through the TTP, leaving over 80,000 Pakistanis martyred, including hundreds of Army Public School (APS) schoolchildren and thousands of soldiers.

A chief foreign correspondent of a US news channel, Richard Engel, had visited Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in 2008, and had reported about the terrorist training camps there and in Amritsar that, according to him, had state-of-the-art weapons which even the Pakistan Army did not have at the time. Who else could have supplied such advanced weaponry to terrorists except the US and its ‘special friend’ Israel?

How can we forget the attack at Salala checkpost by the US forces where we lost 26 soldiers? They were guarding a sensitive checkpost which was earlier being used by TTP terrorists for infiltrating into Pakistan. This made US, especially its military, jittery as it could not send in fresh groups for spreading terrorism inside Pakistan. Therefore, the US army attacked the post in a bid to clear the route for the TTP terrorists. Now we are told the US wants to help Pakistan against TTP.

If the US was serious in stopping TTP from entering Pakistan when it was in Afghanistan, why could it not locate and kill the terrorists despite having the most advanced technology and precision-guided ammunition?

The US has been crying wolf about terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and Pakistan; all Islamic countries. But Washington has never talked about which country provides training as well as state-of-the-art weapons to these terrorists. Which country arranges their movement through special aircraft without visas or travel documents from one country to another? Most importantly, who finances them?

The US has never accused any country of spreading terrorism in these countries because such organisations have for long been its proxies, trained and financed in collaboration with ‘friendly’ countries. No country in the world could finance and manage terrorism at such a massive scale.

The US left Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen after killing millions of Muslims in those countries. The Pakistanis realise very well that the US wants to repeat its actions in Pakistan. The US has also been trying to create rift between the people of Pakistan and its armed forces for long. It may have succeeded to some extent, but the people of Pakistan at large trust their forces and will stand with them. We must not embroil ourselves in another bogus ‘war on terror’ by swallowing the American bait.

Sajid Mahmood Ansari
Islamabad

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2023

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