Is Pakistan paying for the wrong policies of General Musharraf?

Is Pakistan paying for the wrong policies of General Musharraf?

Pervez Musharraf Afghan policy: After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, the Afghan policy of Pakistan’s then President Pervez Musharraf to support the US war against terrorism and his soft approach towards the Taliban proved to be a double-edged sword for his country Pakistan. The result of these policies of Musharraf was that extremist groups turned against him and terrorist attacks took place in Pakistan. General Musharraf (79) died in a Dubai hospital on Sunday after a prolonged illness.

General Musharraf, Pakistan’s former military dictator and mastermind of the 1999 Kargil War, seized power in a bloodless military coup in 1999 and remained in charge until 2008.

The mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks was Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, who was being sheltered by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Musharraf wrote in his autobiography ‘In the Line of Fire’, “The US was sure to retaliate like a wounded bear after the 9/11 attacks. If the conspirators were al-Qaeda, the wounded bear would come straight to us.”

Revealed in Autobiography

According to the autobiography, in 2001, US Secretary of State Colin Powell told Musharraf after the 9/11 attacks that Pakistan would either be with us or be against us. Despite the US message, the invasion of Afghanistan did not come at a more opportune time for Musharraf. But, then he sided with America and opened the way for American money to Pakistan.

Lack of security arrangements on the border

The decision of the former military dictator of Pakistan had far-reaching consequences. Extremist groups in Pakistan turned against him and not only did Afghan terrorists get support, but attacks inside the country also started. In the absence of local mobility and security along the border with Afghanistan, Musharraf could not prevent terrorists from entering the border. Western countries blamed him for this double game, but he failed to break the nexus between Pakistan and Taliban. The Taliban finally returned to power in Afghanistan in 2021, long after Musharraf had disappeared from the political scene.

Pakistan was used as a transit route

Pakistan was used as a transit route for NATO and US forces to enter Afghanistan, and Musharraf endured US military attacks against suspected terrorists in Pakistan’s rugged border areas. Musharraf’s Afghan policy exposed Pakistan’s vulnerability to terrorist organizations such as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which emerged in 2007. The TTP has been blamed for several deadly attacks across Pakistan, including an attack on an army headquarters in 2009, attacks on military bases, and the 2008 Marriott Hotel bombing in Islamabad.

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