War in North-West Pakistan
|War in North-West Pakistan|
|Part of the Global War on Terrorism|
The Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, aflame after being bombed in September 2008.
|Commanders and leaders|
Asif Ali Zardari
Baitullah Mehsud †
140,000 Pakistani troops
|20,000~ Hakimullah Mehsud's Taliban 
7,000~ TTP militia
2000~ Lashkar-e-Islam militia 
1000+ ~ TNSM militia 
700~ IMU 
|Casualties and losses|
5,000 soldiers killed 
8,671+ soldiers wounded
857+ soldiers and policemen captured (558 released)
Two P-3C Orion aircraft destroyed
|Over 27,000 militants killed (as of April 2013) 
|Over 3.44 million civilians displaced
18,494–48,782 civillians killed (2004–2013)
(11 Frenchmen, 4 Chinese, 3 Americans, 1 Czech, 1 Dane, 1 Pole, 1 Turk and 1 Vietnamese)
The War in North-West Pakistan is an armed conflict between the United States, Pakistan and the armed militant groups such as the TTP, LeI, TNSM, al–Qaeda, regional armed movements, and elements of organized crime.
The armed conflict began in 2004 when tensions, rooted in the Pakistan Army's search for al-Qaeda fighters in Pakistan's mountainous Waziristan area (in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas), escalated into armed resistance. Pakistan's actions were presented as its contribution to the international War on Terror. Clashes further erupted between unified Pakistan Armed Forces and Pashtun, Arab and Central Asian militia forces in 2008–10. The foreign militants were joined by Pakistani non-military veterans of the Afghan war in West which subsequently established the TTP and other militant umbrella organizations such as LeI. The TNSM established in 1992 allied with the TTP and LeI.
The war depleted the country's manpower resources and its outcomes outlined a deep effect on its national economy since it Pakistan had joined the U.S-led on War on Terror. According to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) statistics and mathematical data survey collections, the economy has suffered direct and indirect losses of up to ~$67.93 billion since 2001 due to its role as a "frontline state." According to the MoF issued Pakistan Economic Survey 2010-11, pointed out that "Pakistan has never witnessed such a devastating social and economic upheaval in its industry, even after dismemberment of the country by a direct war with India in 1971."
Names for war
Various names have been applied to the conflict by the authors and historians. War in North-West Pakistan is the most commonly used name in English. It has also been called the Waziristan War, and the War in Waziristan. On the other hand, political scientist, Farrukh Saleem, termed the war as "Fourth Generation War" or "4G War".
In the aftermath of Battle of Tora Bora, formal troop deployment was begun by the Pakistan Army, at the behest of the Pakistan Government, in 2002. The XI Corps, under its commander Lieutenant-General Ali Jan Aurakzai, entered the Tirah Valley in the Khyber Agency for the first time since Pakistan's independence in 1947. The army troops later moved into the Shawal Valley of North Waziristan, and eventually entering in the South Waziristan. A monitoring reconnaissance base was established by the Special Service Group [Navy] in 2003. The troubles mounted as the Tribes began to see Army's deployment and repeated Air Force's flights in the region as an act of subjugation.
In public speeches, Musharraf had been calling to evicted out the foreign fighters from the South Waziristan and had justified the army deployments in the region despite the concerns. In December 2003, at least two assassination attempts against President Pervez Musharraf were traced to South Waziristan. The government responded by intensifying military pressure on the area, however the fighting was costly and government forces sustained heavy casualties throughout 2004 and into early 2005 when the government switched to a tactic of negotiation instead of direct conflict.
Fighting breaks out
On 16 March 2004, a bloody mountainous battle between the Pakistan Army and the combined Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters was fought in the white mountains of the South Waziristan. The Pakistani media speculated that Pakistan Army had surrounded a "high value target" in the mountainous region, possibly al-Qaeda's then-second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri. After a week of the battle, the entire area was captured by Pakistan Army, as much as 400 al-Qaeda operatives were apprehended by the Pakistan Army. In spite of its success, the army failed to capture Zawahiri or he was never among between in them.
By 2004, additional battalions were stationed by General Musharraf to help curb infiltration into Pakistan through its porous border. On 7 October 2004, Musharraf approved the appointment of his close aide, General Ehsan-ul-Haq from ISI, who superseded seven colleagues; his appointment was brutally criticized by the media. After becoming the chairman joint chiefs, General Ehsan-ul-Haq oversaw the ground troops deployment of army only, while the air force and navy were kept out of the region.
In April 2004, the Government of Pakistan signed the first of three peace agreements with militants in South Waziristan. It was signed by militia commander Nek Muhammad Wazir, but was immediately abrogated once Nek Muhammad was killed by an American Hellfire missile in June 2004. The second was signed in February 2005 with Nek's successor Baitullah Mehsud, which brought relative calm in the South Waziristan region. This deal would later, in September 2006, be mimicked in the neighboring North Waziristan territory as the third and final truce between the government and the militants. However, all of these truces would not have a substantial effect in reducing bloodshed. The latter two deals were officially broken in August 2007 with the Operation Silence was initiated in Islamabad, which saw a tenfold increase in suicide attacks on Pakistan Armed Forces.
Strategy of keeping the air force and navy out from the conflict proved to be wrong as the violence spread out all over the country, and the army was increasingly in great pressure from the militants in 2004-07. In 2007, General Ehsan-ul-Haq admitted publicly that keeping navy and air force out of the conflict was wrong.
Transition in Tribal areas: 2005–2006
On 4 May 2005, in a secretive operations led by the Special Services Group (SSG), the special forces combat commandos captured high ranking al-Qaeda operative Abu Faraj al-Libbi after a raid outside the town of Mardan, 30 miles (48 km) northeast of Peshawar. Abu Farraj al-Libbi was a high ranking al-Qaeda official, rumored to be third after Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Libbi replaced Khalid Shaikh Mohammed after his arrest in March 2003 in connection with the September 11 attacks. The Pakistan government arrested al-Libbi and held him on charges in relation to being a chief planner in two assassination attempts on the life of President Pervez Musharraf in December 2003.
On January 13, 2006, the United States Air Force launched an airstrike on the village of Damadola. The attack occurred in the Bajaur tribal area, about 7 km (4.3 mi) from the Afghan border, and killed at least 18 people. The attack again targeted Ayman al-Zawahiri, but later evidence suggests he was not there.
On June 21, 2006, pro-Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan militants in the Bannu region of North Waziristan stated they shot down a Bell military helicopter that was reported to have crashed. The government denied missile fire as the cause, stating it was due to technical faults. The helicopter had taken off from a base camp in Bannu at around 7 am for Miramshah and crashed 15 minutes later into the Baran Dam in the Mohmandkhel area on Wednesday morning. Four soldiers were killed while three others were rescued. On the same day militants killed an inspector and two constables on a road connecting Bannu and the main town of Miranshah.
On June 21, 2006, Afghan Taliban leader Sirajuddin Haqqani issued a decree that it was not (Afghan) Taliban policy to fight the Pakistan Army. However, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan intentionally did not circulate the decree in North Waziristan thereby keeping pressure on the government.
Waziristan peace accord signed
On September 5, 2006, the Waziristan Accord, an agreement between tribal leaders and the Pakistani government was signed in Miranshah, North Waziristan. to end all fighting. The agreement includes the following provisions:
- The Pakistani Army will help reconstruct infrastructure in tribal areas of North and South Waziristan.
- The Pakistani Military will not tolerate any assistance to intruders in North Waziristan, and will monitor actions in the region.
- The Pakistan government is to compensate tribal leaders for the loss of life and property of innocent tribesmen.
- “Foreigners” (informally understood to be foreign jihadists) are not allowed to use Pakistani territory for any terrorist activity anywhere in the world.
- 2,500 foreigners who were originally held on suspicion of having links to the Taliban were to be detained for necessary action against them.
The agreement, dubbed the Waziristan accord, has been viewed by some political commentators as a success for Pakistan. Others were far more critical, seeing it as allowing militants to regroup and reorganize after military operations. However in 2007, accord's chief architect and chairman joint chiefs General Ehsan-ul-Haq openly admitted to the media that the only ground troops deployment was wrong as the "Waziristan truce went wrong".
PAF Madrassa air strike
On October 30, 2006, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) conducted its first air strike against a madrassa in the Bajaur region bordering Afghanistan. The madrassa was destroyed killing 70 to 80 people. In retaliation for the attack the militants conducted a suicide bombing on an army camp on November 8, 2006, killing 42 Pakistani soldiers and wounding 20.
Insurgency in the North, 2007
As early as 2007, the Northern region had been suffering with an intense insurgency and President Musharraf was increasingly in great pressure from the militants when several of army operations outlined mixed results. In March, his government was forced to signed a peace treaty with Fakir Mohamad, the main militant leader in Bajaur. Militant groups now held three districts in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas: South Waziristan, North Waziristan and Bajaur Agency.
In South Waziristan, the Uzbek militancy had been growing as many former Soviet fighters–turned militants were reportedly seen encircling in the area. In 2007, the fighting sparked between the Uzbek fighters and the native militant groups by the killing of Arab fighter, Saiful Adil, an al-Qaeda operative, blamed on the Uzbeks fighers by Maulvi Nazir, described as a top pro-Taliban militant commander in the region. According to the other version, the fighting started after Maulvi Nazir, whom the government claimed had come over to its side, ordered the Uzbek followers of former Soviet fighters Tohir Abduhalilovich Yo'ldoshev and Kamolitdinich Jalolov to disarm, both were formerly the close confidants of Osama bin Laden.
Defeat of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan
Local militants allied to the tribesmen were reported attacking and seizing the IMU's private jail in Azam Warsak. The Pakistan Army intelligence said it did not intend to step in, but witnesses say government artillery fired on the Uzbek fighters they set up to fight the tribesmen.
Heavy fighting resumed on March 29 2007, ending a week-long ceasefire between tribal fighters and foreign militants. According to initial reports, tribesmen attacked a checkpoint manned by former Soviet Uzbek fighters and captured two of them. The clashes also left one tribal fighter dead and three wounded. The following day, a senior Pakistani official announced that 52 people were killed during the past two days, 45 of them were Uzbeks and the rest tribesmen. One of Maulvi Nazir's aides put the death toll at 35 Uzbeks fighters and 10 tribal fighters. However, residents in the area said that the death toll on both sides was inflated.
The conflict further escalated on April 2 when a council of elders declared jihad against foreign militants and started to raise an army of tribesmen. According to Pakistani intelligence officials, heavy fighting concentrated in the village of Doza Ghundai left more than 60 people dead, including 50 foreigners, 10 tribal fighters and one Pakistani soldier. Intelligence officials also said that "dozens of Uzbeks" had surrendered to tribal forces and that many bunkers used by militants were seized or destroyed.
On 12 April 2007, the army general in charge of South Waziristan said that tribal fighters had cleared the Soviet Uzbeks out of the valleys surrounding Wana and the foreign figthers had been pushed back into the mountains on the Afghan border. Four days later, the local tribesmen has urged Islamabad to resume control of law and order in the area.
Lal Masjid siege
The siege of Red Mosque was one the serious breach in the conflict and escalated the conflict in the summer of 2007. On 3 July 2007, the armed militants and the police clashed in Islamabad after the mosque's students On July 3, 2007, the militant supporters of Lal Masjid and the Pakistan police clashed in Islamabad after the students from the mosque attacked a and stoned the the nearby MoE secretariat. Their resultant faceoff with the military escalated, despite the intervention of then-ruling PML(Q) leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Ijaz-ul-Haq. The Pakistan police, aided by the Pakistan Army Rangers immediately put up a siege around the mosque complex which lasted until July 11 and resulted in 108 deaths. This represented the main catalyst for the conflict and eventual breakdown of the truce that existed between Pakistan and the Pakistani Taliban groups. Already during the siege there were several attacks in Waziristan in retaliation for the siege.
As the siege in Islamabad ensued, several attacks on Pakistan army troops in Waziristan were reported. On 14 July 2007, a suicide bomber attacked a Pakistan Army convoy killing 25 soldiers and wounding 54. On 15 July 2007, two suicide bombers attacked another Pakistan Army convoy killing 16 soldiers and 5 civilians and wounding another 47 people. And in a separate incident, a fourth suicide bomber attacked a police headquarters killing 28 police officers and recruits and wounding 35 people. The assault on the Red Mosque prompted Islamic militants along the border with Afghanistan to scrap the controversial Waziristan Accord with Musharraf.
Under pressured, Musharraf moved the army in large concentration of troops into Waziristan and engaged in fierce clashes with militants in which at least 100 militants were killed including wanted terrorist and former Guantanamo Bay detainee, Abdullah Mehsud. The militants also struck back by attacking Army convoys, security check points and sending suicide bombers killing dozens of soldiers and police and over 100 civilians. In one month of fighting during the period from July 24 to August 24, 2007, 250 militants and 60 soldiers were killed. On 2 September 2007, just a few dozen militants led by Baitullah Mehsud managed to ambush a 17-vehicle army convoy and captured an estimated 247 soldiers without a shot being fired, an event that shocked the nation. Several officers were among the captured, the public criticism grew hard on Musharraf.
After the army returned to Waziristan, they garrisoned the areas and set up check-points, but the militants hit hard. In mid-September, the TTP and other forces attacked a number of Pakistan army outposts all across North and South Waziristan. This resulted in some of the heaviest fighting of the war. Following the Lal Masjid Siege, the first outpost was attacked and overrun by the militants resulting in the capture of 12 Pakistani soldiers. The next day on 13 September 2007, a suicide bomber in Tarbela Ghazi attacked a Pakistan army base, destroying the main mess hall and killing 20 members of the SSG Karrar Commando Unit; Pakistan's most elite army unit. A series of attacks ensued and by 20 September 2007, a total of five Pakistan Army military outposts had been overrun and more than 25 soldiers captured. More than 65 soldiers were either killed or captured and almost 100 wounded. A little over two weeks later, the Army responded with helicopter gunships and ground troops. They hit militant positions near the town of Mir Ali. In heavy fighting over four days, 257 people were killed, including 175 militants, 47 soldiers and 35 civilians.
By the end of October 2007, another heavy fighting erupted in the Swat district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, with a large TNSM force, under the command of Maulana Fazlullah, trying to impose Sharia law. Around 3,000 strong brigade, led by a local Brigadier-General, was sent to confront them. After almost a week of heavy fighting, the battle came to a standstill with both sides suffering heavy casualties. On 3November 2007, around ~220 paramilitary soldiers and policemen surrendered or deserted after a military position on a hill-top and two police stations were overrun. This left the Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) in control of most of the Swat district.
The fighting in Swat is the first serious insurgent threat from militia forces in what is known as a settled area of Pakistan. Forces loyal to Maulana Fazlullah, including some foreign fighters, after taking control of a series of small towns and villages, tried to implement strict Islamic law in November 2007. In mid-November, the regular army was deployed with the help of helicopter gunships to crush the uprising. The Pakistan Army deployed over 2,500 men. By the beginning of December the fighting had ended and the Army recaptured Swat. Almost 400 of Maulana Fazlullah's fighters were dead along with 15 Pakistani soldiers and 20 civilians in the military offensive. Despite the victory by the Pakistan army, TNSM militants slowly re-entered Swat over the coming months and started engaging security forces in battles that lasted throughout 2008. By early February 2009, the whole district was in Pakistan Army control.
Rawalpindi attacks in 2007
On September 3 2007, the two coordinated suicide bombers targeted a ISI bus and a line of cars carrying ISI officers. The bus attack killed a large number of Defence Ministry workers and the other attack killed an Army colonel. In all 31 people, 19 soldiers and 12 civilians, were killed.
Two months later on November 24, another military intelligence (MI) bus was again attacked. Almost everyone on the bus was killed. Another bomber blew up at a military checkpoint. 35 people were killed, almost all military officials.
2007 State of emergency
Facing with an intense criticism from media regarding the Red Mosque siege, President Musharraf became involved in a confrontation with the country's judiciary who began taking suo motu actions against the directives issued by Musharraf and his Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on issues involving the forming of the investigative commission on Red Mosque as well as hearings of victims of the siege, the findings of missing persons, issuing verdicts against the controversial NRO and privatization, and issuing subpoena regarding the extrajudicial killing of Baloch nationalist, Akbar Bugti, in 2006. Failing to reach a compromise and subdue the judiciary, Musharraf authorized the decree of sacking around ~70 senior justices including, the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, immediately and declared the state of emergency on 9 November 2007. Virtually suspending the supreme law of the land, the constitution of the country, the massive nation-wide demonstration and anger erupted against President Musharraf.
Though, this action and its responses are generally related to the controversies surrounding the re-election of Musharraf during the presidential election that had occurred on 6 October 2007, and also was claimed by the government to be the reaction to the actions by militants in Waziristan.
2008 general election
On 27 December 2007, Pakistani opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated upon leaving a political rally for the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. A suicidal assassin reportedly fired shots in Bhutto's direction just prior to detonating an explosive pellet-laden vest, killing approximately 24 people and wounding many more.
Ultimately, President General Musharraf and his military establishment blamed the attack on al-Qaida, but this was contradicted following day when Baitullah Mehsud sending a statement to the media saying that he and al-Qaida had "no involvement in the murder of the former Prime Minister", and that they believed that Musharraf was responsible. The violence spread all over the country and national media broadcasted the wave of violence across the country that left 58 people dead, including four police officers. Most of the violence was directed at Musharraf and his political party, PML(Q). Opposition parties, notably the PPP, branded PML(Q) as "Qatil League" (lit. Murderer's League). Benazir Bhutto had previously survived an assassination attempt made on her life during her homecoming which left 139 people dead and hundreds wounded.
Escalation, air and ground war
In January 2008, militants overran Sararogha Fort, and may have overrun a fort in Ladah as well. Both forts are in South Waziristan, and were held by the Pakistan Army. After the general elections in 2008, army's fighting capability was depleted under the command of Musharraf and many had scrutinized the role of the army in the national politics. On 25 February 2008, a suicide bomber struck in the garrison-town of Rawalpindi which targeted and killed top military medic and Medical Corps Surgeon-General, Lieutenant-General Mushtaq Baig, along with two more soldiers and five civilians.
In a secretive appointment by Musharraf personally, General Baig had been an operational commander of the army fighting in the region and was the highest-level military official to be assassinated since 1971 war. In 2008, General Musharraf was soon relieved off his command, succeeding General Ishfaq Pervez Kiani as chief of army staff. Events led by successful movement pushed Musharraf to downfall, followed by the consolidated impeachment movement led by Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani ousted Musharraf from the presidency in 2008. The new socialist government led by Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani of the PPP made critical decisions and appointment in the key combatant staff of the armed forces, including the new chief of naval staff (Admiral Noman Bashir) and endorsing air chief marshal Rao Soleman as chief of air staff; all in late 2008.
The upcoming and then-newly appointed Chairman Joint Chiefs General Tariq Majid formalized a plan and strategy to tackle the insurgency. Terming as "tri-services framework (TSW)", the chairman joint chiefs emphasized the role of inter-services to tackle the insurgency with full force, and joint army-navy-airforce efforts that are synergized within a framework of jointness and inter-operability to meet present and future challenges". His plan was submitted to Prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani who approved the new strategy, which followed the new order of battle and new deployments of combat units of joint army-navy-air force in the north-western region.
After a brief intense change in chain of command in the Pakistan Armed Forces, a full-fledged military operation called 'Zalzala (lit. earthquake) was undertaken by 14th Army Division in January with the goal of flushing out Baitullah Mehsud's TTP group militants from the area. The area had previously been a more or less safe zone for militants, with some villagers providing them support and shelter. The operation resulted in tactical success and many militants were killed during the operation, and within three days the armed forces were in full control of the area. The army later captured a few other villages and small towns as part of their attempt to pressure Baitullah Mehsud.
However, the operation led to a huge displacement of local population. According to the GOC of the 14th Army Division's Major-General Tariq Khan, about 200,000 men, women and children, were displaced. Khalid Aziz, former NWFP chief secretary and expert on tribal affairs, said the displacement was "one of the biggest in tribal history" adding that human cost of the conflict in Waziristan "has gone unrecorded."
Earlier on 7 February 2008, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had offered a truce to Musharraf and peace negotiations resulting in a suspension of violence. On May 21, 2008 Pakistan signed a peace agreement with the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.
Despite the agreement sporadic fighting continued until late June and escalated with the takeover of the town of Jandola on June 24, by the militants. Around 22 pro-government tribal fighters were captured and executed by the TTP at that time.
On 28 June 2008, Pakistan Army started another offensive against militia fighters in Kyhber, codenamed Sirat-e-Mustaqeem (lit. Righteous Path). The military took control of a key town and demolished an insurgent group's building. In this offense, one militant was reportedly killed while two soldiers died in Swat valley. The operation was halted in early July. On 19 July 2008, clashes erupted between the TTP and a faction of pro-government Taliban militants. The fighting ended with 10–15 of the pro-government fighters were killed and another 120 were captured. Among the captured were two commanders who were tried under "Islamic" law by the Taliban and then executed.
On 21 July 2008, heavy fighting in Baluchistan Province killed 32 militants, 9 soldiers and 2 civilians. More than two dozen militants were captured and a large weapons cache was found. Between 28 July and 4 August 2008, heavy fighting flared up in the northwestern Swat valley leaving 94 militants, 28 civilians and 22 soldiers and policemen, were dead.
On 6 August 2008, the heavy fighting erupted in the Loisam area of Bajaur district. Loisam lies on the strategically important road leading towards the main northwestern city of Peshawar. The fighting started when hundreds of militants poured into the area and began attacking government forces. After four days of fighting on August 10, the military withdrew from the area. It resulted in confirmed killing of 100 militants and 9 soldiers, and another 55 soldiers were missing, at least three dozen of them captured by the militants. While the fighting was going on in Bajaur, in the Buner area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa militants killed at least nine policemen in an attack on a check post. The checkpoint was then abandoned, and the local Pakistani forces withdrew to Khar, the main town of Bajaur Agency. There were reports that the town of Khar was then besieged by tribal militants.
On 21 August 2008, in response to the military offensive in Bajaur, two suicide bombers attacked the Pakistan Ordnance Factories in Wah while workers were changing shifts. The attack killed at least 70 people.
Tribesmen declare war against the militants
By the beginning of September 2008, the Pakistani tribal elders began organising a private army of approximately 30,000 tribesmen to fight the Taliban. A lashkar, or private army, composed of Pakistani tribesmen, began burning the houses of militia commanders in Bajaur, near the Afghan border, vowing to fight them until they are expelled. This included the house of a local militant commander named Naimatullah, who had occupied several government schools and converted them into seminaries. A tribal elder named Malik Munsib Khan, who heads the lashkar, said that tribesmen would continue their struggle until the militants were expelled from the area, adding that anyone found sheltering militants would be fined one million rupees and their houses will be burned. The tribesmen also torched two important centres of the militant activity in the area and gained control of most of the tehsil.
One of the main motivations for this activity was the operations that were taking place in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas that had displaced some 300,000 people while dozens of citizens had been killed in clashes between the militants and military. Since the start of Pakistan's war against the militants, some 150,000 tribesmen have sided with them.
US support and aid for Pakistani tribesmen
American military proposals outlined an intensified effort to enlist tribal leaders in the frontier areas of Pakistan in the fight against Al-Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani militia groups, as part of a broader effort to bolster Pakistani forces against militancy in the region. The proposal was modeled in part on a similar effort by American forces in Iraq that had been hailed as a great success in fighting foreign insurgents there. But it raised the question of whether such partnerships can be forged without a significant American military presence in Pakistan. And it is unclear whether enough support can be found among the tribes. Small numbers of United States military personnel have served as advisers to the Pakistani Army in the tribal areas, giving planning advice and helping to integrate American intelligence. Under this new approach, the number of advisers would increase.
American officials said these security improvements complemented a package of assistance from the Agency for International Development and the State Department for the seven districts of the tribal areas that amounted to $750 million over five years, and would involve work in education, health and other sectors. The State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs also assisted the Frontier Corps with financing for counternarcotics work.
Islamabad Marriott Hotel Bombing
In 2008, the al-Qaeda strike its largest terrorist attack in Islamabad when a truck bomb targeted the Marriott Hotel. This attack was a defining moment in the war and around ~266 sustained the injuries and 54 died. According the testimonies, numbers of U.S. Marines soldiers and U.S. Navy personnel also died in the attack; many believed the Americans were the target of the terrorist attacks. In a response to attack on 23 September 2008, the PAF launched its aerial bombing mission which resulted in ultimate success. Military reports indicating that more than 60 insurgents were killed in northwest Pakistan. In the nearby Bajur tribal region, the air force strikes killed at least 10 militants, according to government officials. The Bajur operations, which the army said left more than 700 suspected militants dead, won praise from U.S. officials.
Renewed Bajaur offensive
|“||They [Taliban militants] never see us on the ground. The only time they find out that an aircraft has struck is when the bomb explodes on them. It creates a great psychological impact....||”|
In a television emergency address, President Zardari and Prime Minister Gillani publicly vowed revenge in response to the Marriott Hotel bombing. By 26 September 2008, Pakistan air force and army had successfully conducted and completed a major joint offensive in the Bajaur and the Tang Khata regions of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, codenamed Operation Sherdil. Thist joint operation had killed over 1,000 militants in a huge offensive, a day after President Asif Ali Zardari lashed out at US forces over a clash on the Afghan border.
Major-General Tariq Khan, now Inspector General of the Frontier Corps, mentioned to journalists that since the beginning of the Bajaur operations, there were up to 2,000 militant fighters including hundreds of foreign fighters who were fighting with the soldiers and the armed forces. The overall death toll was over ~1,000 militants and also adding that 27 Pakistani soldiers had also been killed with 111 soldiers seriously wounded.
In this major aerial offense, five of the most wanted al-Qaeda operatives and Central Asian militant commanders were among those killed in a month-long operation in Bajaur. According to PAF reports, "out of the five militant commanders killed, four appeared to be foreigners: Egyptian abu Saeed Al-Masri; Abu Suleiman, also an Arab; an Uzbek fighter named Mullah Mansoor; and an Afghan commander called Manaras. The fifth was a Pakistani commander named only Abdullah, a son of aging hardline leader Maulvi Faqir Mohammad who is based in Bajaur and has close ties to Al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Between October 22 and October 24, the armed forces engaged in another hard-push against militants in the restive Bajaur and Khyber tribal regions. The army troops did not enter in the region until the PAF conducted its precision bombings. The PAF intense high-altitude air strikes missions were carried out in the Nawagai and Mamond sub-districts of Bajaur Agency. The advancing troops destroyed several centers of militants at Charmang, Chinar and Zorbandar and inflicted heavy losses on them. The army gunship helicopters shelled in Charming, Cheenar, Kohiand Babarha areas of Nawagai and Mamund Tehsil of Bajaur agency, destroying various underground hideouts and bunkers of militants. The armed forces also took control of different areas of Loisam, a militant headquarters, and advanced towards other areas for complete control.
Intensified U.S. strikes
At the end of August 2008, the United States stepped up its attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. On September 3 a commando attack took place in a village near the Afghan border in South Waziristan, and there have been strikes from unmanned drones in North Waziristan, culminating on the morning of September 8, 2008, when a United States Air Force drone aircraft fired a number of missiles at a "guest house for militants arriving in North Waziristan." 23 people were killed, but the operations target, Jalaluddin Haqqani, was not among them.
On September 25, 2008, following exchanges of gunfire between US and Pakistani forces on the frontier, President Zardari told the United Nations that Pakistan would not tolerate violations of its sovereignty, even by its allies. The incident happened after two US military helicopters came under fire from the Pakistani forces. A US military spokesman insisted that they had been about a mile and a half inside Afghanistan.
President Zardari told the United Nations, "Just as we will not let Pakistani's territory to be used by terrorists for attacks against our people and our neighbours, we cannot allow our territory and our sovereignty to be violated by our friends," he said, without specifically citing the United States or the border flareup.
Militants targeting of tribesmen
On October 11, 2008, a suicide bomber struck an anti-militant gathering of tribal elders just as they had decided to form a lashkar (tribal militia). At least 110 anti-Taliban tribesmen were killed and a further 125 were wounded. The suicide bomber drove his car into the gathering itself and blew himself up. The attack on the tribal council took place in Orakzai, normally a relatively quiet corner of the nation's chaotic tribal areas.
Fighting for the NATO supply lines
On October 19, 2008, the Pakistan Army was locked in a fierce battle with militants to keep open the fuel and arms supply routes to British and American forces in Afghanistan. For months, militants had been trying to either attack or seal off the supply routes. The army claimed that Mohammad Tariq Alfridi, the militant commander, had seized terrain around the mile-long Kohat tunnel, south of Peshawar, three times since January. He had coordinated suicide bomb attacks and rocket strikes against convoys emerging from it. Maulvi Omar, a Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan spokesman, said that his fighters would lay down their arms if the Pakistan Army ceased fighting. The Pakistan Army ignored his offer. The battle for the tunnel began at the start of the year when Tehrik-i-Taliban fighters seized five trucks carrying weapons and ammunition. They held the tunnel for a week before they were driven out in fierce fighting with the Army. Since then, Tariq and his men have returned several times to attack convoys. The army launched its latest onslaught after a suicide bomb attack at one of its bases near the tunnel six weeks ago. Five people were killed and 45 were injured, including 35 soldiers, when a pickup truck packed with explosives was driven into a checkpoint.
On November 11, 2008, militants attacked two convoys at the Khyber Pass capturing 13 trucks which were headed for Afghanistan. One convoy was from the United Nations World Food Programme and was carrying wheat. The second was intended for NATO troops and one of the captured trucks was carrying with it two U.S. military Humvees, which were also seized.
On December 8, 2008, militants torched more than 160 vehicles destined for US-led troops in Afghanistan. The militants attacked the Portward Logistic Terminal in the northern city of Peshawar at around 02:30 am, destroying its gate with a rocket-propelled grenade and shooting dead a guard. They then set fire to about 100 vehicles, including 70 Humvees, which shipping documents showed were being shipped to the US-led coalition forces and the Afghan National Army. At the same time, militants torched about 60 more vehicles at the nearby Faisal depot, which like Portward is on the ring road around Peshawar, where convoys typically stop before heading for the Khyber Pass.
Public support and unified military operations
On February 3, 2009, militants blew up a bridge at the Khyber Pass, temporarily cutting a major supply line for Western troops in Afghanistan. After the attack supplies along the route had been halted "for the time being", according to NATO. In 2009, the Chairman joint chiefs General Tariq Majid, working with his JS HQ staffers, had been running several meetings of planning to conduct the joint warfare operations against the TTP militants
Pakistan agreed to impose Sharia law and suspend military operations in the Swat Valley. The decision was troubling for the United States, which believed it would embolden militants fighting US-led troops in Afghanistan and desire to impose Islamic law across nuclear-armed Pakistan. US officials believed it would provide another safe haven for the militants within 80 miles (130 km) of Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, as well as a corridor between the Afghan border and the disputed region of Kashmir.
Pakistani officials said that it was the only way to pacify a fierce Islamist insurgency and avoid more civilian casualties in Swat – whose ski resort and mountain scenery once made it a popular tourist destination. Amir Haider Khan Hoti, the chief minister for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, announced the government’s decision after a meeting with militant leaders in the provincial capital, Peshawar. He said that local authorities would impose Islamic law across Malakand region, which includes Swat. Officials said that Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani President, would sign off on the deal once peace had been restored. The agreement came the day after the militants in Swat said that it would observe a ten-day ceasefire in support of the peace process. Pakistani officials say that the laws allow Muslim clerics to advise judges, but not to outlaw female education, music or other activities once banned by the Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan.
Defeat of the militants in Bajaur
On March 1, 2009, the Pakistan Army finally defeated Bajaur militants and foreign militants in Bajaur, which is a strategically important region on the Afghan border. Major-General Tariq Khan, who was commanding the military operations in five of the seven agencies, said his Army and the Frontier Corps had killed most militants in Bajaur, the smallest of the agencies but a major infiltration route into Afghanistan, after a six-month offensive. By the time the battle in Bajaur was over, the Pakistan Army killed over 1,500 militants while losing 97 of their own soldiers and 404 soldiers seriously injured.
On March 30, militia commandos struck in Lahore. They attacked the Munawan Police Academy killing and taking hostage police cadets. A siege was under way for about eight hours after the militants had barricaded themselves in the academy. Eventually police forces managed to retake the compound. 18 people were killed in the attack: eight policemen, eight militants and two civilians. At least 95 policemen were wounded and 10 were taken hostage before being rescued. Four gunmen were captured by the police.
On April 4, a suicide bomber attacked a military camp in Islamabad killing eight soldiers. Less than 24 hours later on April 5, two more suicide attacks occurred. One bomber targeted a market on the border with Afghanistan killing 17 people and the other attacked a mosque in Chakwal, in the eastern Pakistani province of Punjab, killing 26 more civilians. The next day, the leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud, promised that there were to be two suicide attacks per week in the country until the Pakistani army withdrew from the border region and the United States stopped its missile attacks by unmaned drones on militant bases.
Militants violate Swat deal
In March 2009, many Pakistanis were horrified when a videotape surfaced that showed miliant enforcers publicly whipping a 17-year-old girl in Swat accused of having an affair. The girl had not committed fornication or adultery but was flogged simply because she refused her brother's demand to marry someone of his choosing. Protests broke out all over Pakistan to demonstrate against the flogging. Raja Zafar ul-Haq, a well-respected Pakistani Islamic scholar and political activist said this summary punishment of flogging simply for refusing a marriage proposal was totally un-Islamic and had nothing to do with Sharia. He went on to say that Prophet Muhammad had strictly forbidden the practice of forced marriages and in this case, the girl had not done anything wrong by refusing a marriage proposal.
In Buner, the Taliban continued their criminal activities when residents said Taliban fighters had been stealing cattle for meat, stealing other livestock, berating men without beards and recruiting teenagers into their ranks. The Taliban also began to steal vehicles belonging to government officials and ransacked the offices of some local non-government organisations for no apparent reason. 12 schoolchildren were killed by a bomb contained in a football.
Operation Black Thunderstorm
On April 26, 2009, the unified Pakistan Armed Forces started the strategic and tactical airborne attack, codename Black Thunderstorm, with the aim of retaking Buner, Lower Dir, Swat and Shangla districts from the Pakistani Taliban after the militants took control of the area since the start of the year. The Pakistan Army, now backed by the Pakistan Navy and PAF, renewed the unified operation that was well rehearsed and prepared. The fighter jets of Navy and air force began pounding the militant hideouts while army kept advancing in the militant hideouts. The combat fighter pilots of the navy and air force flew their aerial bombing mission together in high altitude at continuous 24 hour period, to avoid being hit from the anti-aircraft guns. During the initial stages of the unified operations, the ground troops and paratroopers performed combat HALO/HAHO techniques to hold the control of high strategic mountains and hills surrounding the Taliban-controlled cities.
The operation largely cleared the Lower Dir district of militia forces by April 28 and Buner by May 5. On May 5, operations started to retake Swat and later on Shangla. Fighting in Swat was particularly fierce since the Taliban threw away their insurgent tactics and the ground forces their counter-insurgency tactics. Both sides favored more conventional frontline warfare as a means of fighting each other. By May 14, the military was only six kilometers south of Mingora, the milita-held capital city of Swat, and preparations for all-out street fighting were underway.
On May 23, the battle for Mingora started and by May 27, approximately 70 percent of the city was cleared of militants. On May 30, the Pakistan military had taken back the city of Mingora from the Pakistani Taliban, calling it a significant victory in its offensive against the militants. However, some sporadic fighting was still continuing on the city's outskirts.
In all, according to the military, 128 soldiers and more than 1,475 militants were killed and 317 soldiers were wounded during operation Black Thunderstorm. 95 soldiers and policemen were captured by the militants, 18 of them were rescued while the fate of the others remained undetermined. 114 militants were captured, including some local commanders. At least 23 of the militants killed were foreigners.
Sporadic fighting throughout Swat continued up until mid-June. On June 14, the operation was declared over and the military had regained control of the region. Only small pockets of Taliban resistance remained and the military started mopping up operations. This led to a refugee crisis, and by August 22, 1.6 million of 2.3 million have returned home according to UN estimates.
Blockade of South Waziristan
On June 16, 2009, in the aftermath of the successful victory and recapture of the entire Swat valley, the Pakistan military began a massive army troop build-up along the southern and eastern borders of South Waziristan. Pakistan was now taking the fight to Mehsud's mountainous stronghold, ordering an expansion of its current offensive against Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan fighters in the Swat valley. On Sunday night, denouncing Mehsud as "the root cause of all evils," Owais Ghani, the governor of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said the government has called on the army to launch a "full-fledged" military operation to eliminate Mehsud and his estimated 20,000 men.
Islamabad's decision to launch the offensive against Mehsud signaled a deepening of Pakistani resolve against the militants. The army had targeted the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan leader on three separate occasions – in 2004, 2005 and 2008 – but walked away each time after signing peace deals with Mehsud. The military appeared more determined this time. It also enjoyed the backing of a government that had gained public support as a wave of terrorist attacks had swayed public sentiment against the Taliban.
Killing of Baitullah Mehsud
The leader of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud, was killed in a drone attack in early August 2009. This was later confirmed by captured chief spokesman Maulvi Umar. He was replaced by Hakimullah Mehsud.
In early October 2009, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan started a string of attacks in cities across Pakistan. The goal of the attacks was to show that the militants were still a united fighting force following the death of their leader and to disrupt a planned military offensive into South Waziristan. Places targeted include the U.N. World Food Program offices in Islamabad, Khyber bazaar in Peshawar, Army General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, a market in Shangla, security establishments in Lahore, police stations in Kohat and Peshawar, the International Islamic University, Islamabad, and Pakistan Air Force Complex in Kamra. The month ended with a car bombing of Meena Bazaar, Peshawar killing 118 civilians. The army then began a ground offensive in South Waziristan.
November saw suicide bombings of the Army's National Bank of Pakistan in Rawalpindi, a market in Charsadda, and six bombings in Peshawar including the regional headquarters of the ISI and the Judicial Complex.
South Waziristan offensive
On October 17, the combined units of Pakistan armed forces launched a large-scale offensive in South Waziristan involving 28,000 troops advancing across South Waziristan from three directions.
Starting with air force strike and naval intelligence assessment on Taliban, the first town to fall to the Army was Kotkai, the birthplace of the Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, on October 19. However, the next day, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan re-took the town. Troops had thrust into Kotkai only to be hit by a determined counteroffensive that killed seven soldiers, including an army major, and wounded seven more. The Army managed to take the town once again on October 24, after days of bombardments.
On November 1, the towns of Sararogha and Makin were surrounded, and fighting for Sararogha started on November 3. The fighting there lasted until November 17, when the town finally fell to the military. The same day, the town of Laddah was also captured by the Army and street fighting commenced in Makin. Both Sararogha and Laddah were devastated in the fighting.
By November 21, more than 570 militants and 76 soldiers had been killed in the offensive.
On December 12, 2009, the Pakistan army declared victory in South Waziristan.
Insurgency in West and defeat of Taliban: 2010-2011
On March 23, 2010, the Pakistan armed forces launched an offensive to clear Orakzai. Officials also announced a future offensive in North Waziristan. The week prior the Pakistan military killed approximately 150 militants in fighting in the region. It was expected that all tribal areas would be cleared by June 2010.
June 3, Pakistani authorities announced a victory over the insurgents in Orakzai and Kurram.
As late as 2010, chief of naval staff Admiral Noman Bashir had coordinated many of successful tactical ground operations against TTP hideout to support the army and air force pressure on militants. Many successful operations were executed by the navy and its operational capability brought navy's image to international prominence. By 2011, Pakistan's armed forces were stretched thin by natural disasters and deployments against extremist groups, with one third of the army deployed for the fight, another third along the Indian border and the rest engaged in preparing to deploy. On 1 May 2011, in a clandestine operation in Abbottabad, al-Qaeda supremo Osama Bin Laden was raided and killed by the U.S. Navy SEALs in his private compound. The groups affiliated with the armed TTP vowed to avenge Osama's death to Pakistan Armed Forces, on media.
On April 21 and April 28, the al-Qaeda operative, Ilyas Kashmiri, laid out series of coordinated terrorist attacks on the Pakistan Navy presence in Northern and Southern contingents. Alone in the month of April, al-Qaeda operative, Ilias Kashmiri, coordinated a number of attacks on high naval officials of Pakistan Navy in Karachi, first attacking the Navy bus near the Navy bases. Finally on May 22, TTP attacked the Mehran Naval Base, killing up to 10 naval officers, 30 others were wounded with two reconnaissance naval aircraft were destroyed during their counter offense. In a response, the navy launched its largest offensive efforts since 1971 operations, and managed to control and secure the base during the shootout. Operationally resulting in tactical success, the navy's counter offense killed all the militants and ring leaders behind this operations were killed by the Navy's SSG(N); and had secured the base after a massive shoot out. On 4 June 2011, senior Al Qaeda operative Ilyas Kashmiri was killed by a US drone strike in South Waziristan, widely suspected in Mehran operation.
In 2012, the north-west region of Pakistan experienced periodic bombings perpetrated by insurgents and resulting in thousands of deaths. On 22 December 2012, a suicide bomb attack carried out by the Pakistani Taliban killed Bashir Ahmed Bilour, a minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and 8 other people.
Tirah Valley clashes
In January 2013, at least 80 militants & civilians were killed in clashes between the Tehrik-e-Taliban / Lashkar-e-Islam and Ansar ul-Islam (a pro-government militant group) in Tirah Valley of Pakistan's Khyber Agency. Fighting between Ansar ul-Islam & the Pakistani Taliban continued till March and as a result, almost the entire Tirah Valley came under the control of Lashkar-e-Islam and TTP fighters. Over 250 militants & civilians were killed and 400 others wounded in the three month long clashes. The fighting also displaced about 200,000 to 300,000 people. This forced the Pakistan Army to start Operation Rah-e-Shahadat in order to root out insurgents & extremists from the strategically important region & restore peace & stability for the upcoming May elections.
Operation Rah-e-Shahadat (English: Path to Martyrdom), is a codename of an on-going military operation that was commenced on 5 April 2013 by the Pakistan Army, with assistance provided by the PAF and Navy for air support. In close coordination with Local Peace Committee (Aman Lashkar), the army troops, SSG teams, and paramilitary Frontier Corps personnel, to flush out TTP & LeI militants from the Tirah Valley of the Khyber Agency. At least four Pakistani soldiers & 14 insurgents were killed while 5 soldiers were also wounded.
On 7 April 2013 Pakistani security officials said that at least 30 Taliban-linked militants and 23 soldiers including commandos were killed during clashes in the Tirah Valley since April 5. Several Aman Lashkar members were also reported to be killed & wounded. Scores of insurgents and Pakistani troops were injured in the operation.
On 8 April 2013 Pakistani military officials said that at least 30 Pakistani soldiers & 97 militants were killed during fierce fighting with Taliban linked-fighters in the Tirah Valley since April 5, the day when the operation began.
On 11 April 2013 at least 15 militants and one Pakistani soldier were killed during fighting in southern sector of Tirah Valley. The areas of Mada Khel and Tut Sar were cleared from militants.
On 12 April 2013 nine Pakistani soldiers & seven insurgents were killed during clashes in Sipah area of Tirah Valley. The security forces took control of the areas of Sandana and Sheikhmal Khel in Sipah area. Three Lashkar-e-Islam militants were also arrested while a dozen others were injured. Two peace committee members were killed and 22 others injured in a bomb blast in the same area.
On May 5, 2013 Pakistan Army's ISPR said that 16 insurgents and two soldiers were killed during heavy clashes in the Tirah Valley. Three soldiers were reported to be wounded. The military also claimed to have captured militant strongholds Kismat Sur and Sanghar & recovered huge cache of arms & ammunition from the militants fleeing from the area.
Peace prospects and developments
Since 2006, major initiatives have been taken out by the government to reconstruct and rehabilitate the war-torn areas of FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The military administrator of the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Lieutenant-General Nadeem Ahmad, supervised majority of the socioeconomic development in the areas that were badly effected by the military operations. The government took many initiatives, including promotion the political activities under the Political Parties Act, the construction of the Peshawar-Torkham Road and the establishment of the Investment Bank of FATA, envisioned to bring prosperity and provide employment opportunities. Around ₨ 1 billion were spend for the rehabilitation of the IDPs and ₨ 500 million were immediately transferred into the account of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for the economic development in the province.
As of 2006 and present, there are numbers of notable and major international agencies and UN efforts to reconstruct the war-torn areas affected of fighting. As early as 2005, there major government institutions who have been involved in public level to lead the reconstruction, economic development and to bring the quick economic recovery in the war-torn areas, as listed below:
- US Aid
- National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB)
- National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)
- Earthquake Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Authority (ERRA)
- Special Support Group for IDPs (SSG)
- Federal Relief Commission (FRC)
- National Logistics Cell (NLC)
- Frontier Works Organisation (FWO
- Navy Reconstruction Group (NRG)
Under the 2006–15 program, a nine-year project, over $2.06 billion would be spend for the economic reconstruction of the FATA region, with the U.S. Government has pledged to provide $750 million over a period of 5 years. Since 2010, the engineering units of army, the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and Corps of Engineers and Military Engineering Service, have been active in the area to reconstruct the war-torn areas. Major operations were carried out by the FWO to completed the wide canvas of works, including construction of over 400 km roads, dams, canals and hydroelectric works. The engineering units commenced the work on Gomal Zam Dam in Waziristan with the help of the local tribal people who were employed for this mega project. The Pakistan Army started the political and educational activities after rebuilding the damaged schools and colleges in Waziristan and gaven admissions to as many as young tribal teenagers and young men and women in the army institutions since August 2011.
In a debriefing to parliamentarians on October 19, 2011, the military stated that a total of 3,097 security forces members were killed and 721 other were permanently disabled in the war on terror. The Inter-Services Intelligence lost 63 of its personnel owing to targeted assaults on ISI installations. In the same report it confirmed that since 2001 a total of 40,309 Pakistanis, both military and civilian, had lost their lives in the conflict.
In addition, 17,742 militants had been killed or captured by February 2010. Among these, by November 2007, were 488 foreign extremists killed, 24 others arrested and 324 injured. Before all-out fighting broke out in 2003, independent news sources reported only four incidents of deaths of Pakistani security forces members in 2001 and 2002, in which a total of 20 soldiers and policemen were killed. The independent South Asia Terrorism Portal website has estimated that at least 1,865 soldiers and policemen were killed between 2003 and 2008. The Pak Institute For Peace Studies has estimated that 1,185 soldiers and policemen were killed in 2009.
At least 857 soldiers and policemen were reported captured by the militants in the course of the war, with at least 558 of them being released.
Mr. Naushad Ali Khan Superintendent of Research and Analysis, NWFP Police in his article Suicide and terrorist attacks and police actions in NWFP, Pakistan has provided details of different activities of the terrorists during 2008. Accordingly 483 cases were registered with 533 deaths and 1290 injured. Similarly 29 suicidal attacks were recorded, resulting 247 deaths and 695 injuries. During the same period 83 attempts acts of terrorism were foiled by the NWFP Police.
Since the success of unified military operations in 2009-2011, the Waziristan war has been heavily featured in Pakistan media, including in theatre, television, cinema, music, video games and literature. The war also influenced Pakistan's civil society to gather their support for Pakistan Armed Forces through the media miniseries and films that were released throughout the war. Pakistan's rock bands, such as Entity Paradigm, Strings, Call and Mizraab released many patriotic songs to gather support for the Pakistan armed forces to tackle down the insurgency. The country's most notable band, Junoon, released their album, Rock & Roll Jihad and literature Rock & Roll Jihad: A Muslim Rock Star's Revolution in 2010.
United States role
The military involvement of the United States in this conflict came at a bad juncture whose image and credibility in the country was already defamed and maligned, due to their constant pressure on Musharraf, to keep the military debriefings of a senior scientist suspected in proliferation matters since 2004. The US Ambassador Cameron Munter found it difficult to counter the Anti-American sentiment in the country, especially after the Raymond Davis incident. The Anti-Americanism sentiment in Pakistan is one of the strongest in the world. The Anti-Americanism has risen as a result of U.S. military drone strikes introduced by President George W. Bush and continued by President Barack Obama as his counter-terrorism policy. In the aftermath of the 2010 Pakistan floods, the Pakistani civil society was further frustrated with the United States for not doing enough not to deal with the humanitarian crisis, noting that the US spends $5 billion every month in the war in Afghanistan. These sentiments were further intensified due to the killing of Osama Bin Laden by American forces. As of present, almost 60%-80% of Pakistanis consider the United States as an enemy combatant state. The Anti-Americanism has been provoked mainly as a reaction from those who are critical of American CIA activities in Pakistan, such as the infamous break-out of the Raymond Allen Davis incident and American intrusions from Afghanistan border such as the 2011 NATO attack in Pakistan. It has often confronted expatriate Americans in Pakistan too. According to a recent reports of Gallup Pakistan, approximately 3 in 4 Pakistanis now consider the United States as an enemy state. The polls show increasing hostility towards the United States and new lows in the already strained relationship between the two countries. The credibility of Obama administration was undermined in the country and, furthermore, approximately 4 in 10 Pakistanis believe that U.S. military and economic aid is having a negative impact on their country; only 1 in 10 believes the impact has been positive.
Economics and Cost of war
Studies and research conducted by Pakistan's leading economists and the financial experts, the war hit Pakistan's national economy "very hard", and the outcomes produced by the war on country's national economy, were surprising and unexpected to Pakistan's military and economic planners. The government economic institutions of Pakistan referred the conflict as "economic terrorism" and according to the one Pakistani economist, the indirect and direct cost of the war was around $2.67 billion in 2001-02, which raised up to $13.6 billion by 2009-10, projected to rise to $ 17.8 billion in the current financial year (2010–11). The country's national investment-to-GDP ratio has nosedived from 22.5% in 2006-07 which went down to 13.4% in 2010-11 with serious consequences for job Creating ability of the economy. The leading English language newspaper, The Nation gave great criticism to United States, and called U.S. role as "economic terrorism" in South Asia.
Until July 2009 the conflict, as well as terrorism in Pakistan, had cost Pakistan $35 billion. According to US Congress and the Pakistani media, Pakistan has received about $18 billion from the United States for the logistical support it provided for the counter-terrorism operations from 2001 to 2010, and for its own military operation mainly in Waziristan and other tribal areas along the Durand Line. The Bush administration also offered an additional $3 billion five-year aid package to Pakistan for becoming a frontline ally in its 'War on Terror'. Annual installments of $600 million each split evenly between military and economic aid, began in 2005.
In 2009, President Barack Obama pledged to continue supporting Pakistan and has said Pakistan would be provided economic aid of $1.5 billion dollars each year for the next five years. Unfolding a new US strategy to defeat Taliban and Al-Qaeda, Obama said Pakistan must be a 'stronger partner' in destroying Al-Qaeda safe havens. In addition, President Obama has also planned to propose an extra $2.8 billion dollars in aid for the Pakistani military to intensify the US-led 'War on Terror' along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The military aid would be in addition to the civilian aid of $1.5 billion dollars a year for the next five years from 2009 onwards.
In his autobiography, President Musharraf wrote that the United States had paid millions of dollars to the Pakistan government as bounty money for capturing al-Qaeda operators from tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. About 359 of them were handed over to the US for prosecution.
Pakistan has purchased 1,000 laser-guided bomb kits and 18 F-16 fighter jets from USA. Amongst Pakistanis opinion about the role of the US is generally negative. Incidents of terrorism cause rage and anger against the terrorist organizations but they also cause frustration with the United States. According to Pew Global Polls only 17% of Pakistanis have a positive view of the US and only 11% see it as a useful partner in the 'War on Terror'.
- Human rights in Pakistan
- Economic terrorism
- Joint warfare
- Sectarian violence in Pakistan
- Violence in Pakistan 2006-09, table and map providing overview of all violence in Pakistan between 2006 and 2009.
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