Pervez Musharraf Afghan policy: After the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, the then President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf’s Afghan policy of supporting the US fight against terrorism and his soft stance towards the Taliban It proved to be a double edged sword for 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) passed away on Sunday in a Dubai hospital after a prolonged illness.
General Musharraf, Pakistan’s former military dictator and mastermind of the 1999 Kargil War, seized power after a bloodless military coup in 1999 and remained in charge until 2008.
The main conspirator of the September 11, 2001 attacks was Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, who was being given refuge by the Taliban in Afghanistan. Musharraf wrote in his autobiography ‘In the Line of Fire’, "America was sure to hit back like a wounded bear after the 9/11 attacks. If the conspirators are al-Qaeda, the wounded bear will come straight for us."
Revelation 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 return to power in Afghanistan in 2021, long after Musharraf 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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