Editorial: September 2013
The War without End….
Dr.Rasheed Hasan Khan
More than a decade ago, the United States of America launched a so called War against Terror and the date 9/11 has become indelible, denoting the commencement of this war. Death and destruction was spread over half the globe, from Indonesia to Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq and onward to Libya,Tunis and Morocco all in the name of fighting the war against terror.
In Afghanistan, materially superior US and NATO occupation forces are fighting a war in which they have not been able to make any headway for more than a decade of combat. The result is a lethal destabilization in the region and the destruction of the social, economic and political fabric of Pakistan and Afghanistan.
A million deaths, total economic devastation, with hate and sectarian strife as the main feature of national life is the dismal reality of Iraq today. The situation in Iraq is having a profound effect on the neighboring countries and the region. The US and its allies had projected rosy visions of a post- Saddam Iraq but the grim and sordid reality is there for all to see.
Now with the Iraq adventure consigned to the deep freezer, and an incipient retreat in Afghanistan on the agenda, US Imperialism is paradoxically venturing on another ill fated campaign to affect a regime change in Syria. Ironically its friends and allies in this venture are the self same fundamentalist and religious extremist forces it has been accusing of perpetrating atrocities in Afghanistan and the rest of the world.
We are all familiar with the cynical aphorism”In politics there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies. There are only permanent interests” During the Cold War period US Imperialism and its allies chose to befriend religious fundamentalist forces, armed and aided them across the globe to fight ‘Godless’ communism. But when the Soviet Union and its allies ceased to pose a threat to US hegemony, the ‘God fearing’ fundamentalists were considered to have outlived their usefulness and could be dispensed with, So Osama bin Laden and his cohorts were consigned to perdition. But politics is somewhat different from a game of chess; living, thinking, individuals can and do strike back if an attempt is made to remove them from the scene against their wishes. Perhaps the Imperial puppeteers and others who would follow in their footsteps would do well to remember this, in relation to the past and the future as well.
For the last decade and more, the War against Terror has spelt unmitigated disaster for people in Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is a decisive moment in the history of Pakistan, with an ever-growing need to establish a normal political ,economic and social life and to curb lawlessness, corruption and violence, the new government has declared its resolve to undertake a coherent effort to engage in political dialogue with the religious extremists and seek to resolve issues related to the rights of the people of Balochistan as well as to affect a general improvement in the law and order situation in all the provinces of Pakistan. This is nothing new or earth shaking, there have been numerous occasions in the past when such noble resolve was expressed by past governments. Is it going to be different on this occasion? Only time will tell.