This research is carried out purposely in order to provide a review of issues related to Pakistan and terrorism with the specific context of the U.S policy interest and goals. This is driven by U.S policies towards Pakistan and Al Qaeda that seemed to have drastically changed after the 9/11, and appears to have achieved void success and enhanced religious extremism (Geltzer, 2009). Additionally, anti-Western militants have not yet been neutralized while the neighboring Afghanistan is still destabilized by the acts of the Taliban. This therefore calls for America to re-evaluate terrorism-related policies in order to win the war of against this vice and restore sobriety to Pakistan and its neighbors. This research will find out the root causes of terrorism in Pakistan and the role of Al Qaeda and United States of America in this phenomenon (Linden, 2007). The research question that will act as a suitable guide in the achievement of the desired explanation will be: what is the root cause of terrorism in Pakistan and what is the government doing? The hypothesis developed for this study will be: terrorism in Pakistan is caused by Al Qaeda and the government has involved the United States in ending this vice (Jamaluddin, 2006).
Terrorism is defined by the United states Department of Defense as the deliberate use of violence or threat to create fear or intimidation on governments, people, or societies in order to achieve political or religious objectives. The main aim why terrorist exist is to seek audience from the government and the populace by conducting their heinous acts. A perfect example that earned terrorist a mileage is the 9/11 in the United States and this prompted the government to track down Al Qaeda which is based along the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan (Rollins, 2010). Inside Pakistan for example, terrorism has solely been associated with a section of Islamist groups which has threatened the normalcy in its major cities. It is also important to note that in Pakistan, terrorist groups can be categorized into two depending in their location of operation. One group of terrorists is based in the disputed Kashmir border and is generally thought to be Indian-based. The second group re those that are based in along the border with Afghanistan and it is this group that prompted the American government to launch an anti-terrorism mission in the Middle East nation (Jamaluddin, 2006).
When Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, President Bush hosted President Musharraf in mid 2003 with the aim of seeking assistance of tracking Osama. Pakistan in turn received monetary grants and armory through a congressional backing in exchange of providing the assistance. This gave room for America to send troops to Pakistan to counter the activities of the terrorists and the possible death of their leader; Osama bin Laden. It is also however important to note that there is continued attacks of civilians by the terrorists and this may make the role of America in fighting terrorism questionable. This research will therefore seek to definitely identify the role of America in helping Pakistan stop the activities of Al Qaeda and make the life of the common man comfortable and evade being victims to the terrorists (Jamaluddin, 2006).
Aims and objectives
The fact that terrorism is a harmful vice to the life of a common man prompted this research to be carried. This becomes a relevant topic because terrorists are dangerous elements in the society and can paralyze the normal economic activities of the society besides causing panic. The purpose of this research will be to identify the causes of terrorism in Pakistan (Buckley & Fawn, 2003). Additionally, it will seek to show the interventions carried out by the government in tackling Al Qaeda. At the end of the research, we will also be able to show if there is subsidence violence and also identify the role of United States in curbing the terrorists.
The definite provision of solution and successful completion of this research dwelt on the facts and writings of various authors relating to this topic. A number of them have shared their thoughts about this topic and thus making a colossal contribution to illustrate the dangers posed by terrorism and the efforts made to handle it. Buckley and Fawn in their book “Global responses to terrorism: 9/11, Afghanistan, and beyond” give us an insight of the whole world reacts to terrorism. They use the example of Al Qaeda to show how terrible the effect are, that seemed to have forced President to declare war on terror on Afghanistan (Buckley & Fawn, 2003). They also widened they discussion on terrorism beyond the 9/11 by giving us other examples of terrorist activities in Russia and Indonesia which they describe are threatening stability, democracy, and prosperity of the world in the 21st century. In their book also, they have brought out clearly the various thoughts of other specialists in this field by examining the domestic effects of terrorism and counterterrorism activities (Buckley & Fawn, 2003).
In his book “US Counter-terrorism Strategy and Al-Qaeda: Signaling and the Terrorist World-View”, Geltzer evaluates the ways in which the American government use approach it counter-terrorist strategies by relying on the believe that some of its perceptions are right and could alter the manner in which terrorist groups carry out their activities in the future (Geltzer, 2009). The author of this book brings out the general understanding of the world that by analyzing the fact that the operations of Al Qaeda will forever remain unpredictable since they use unconventional ways to carry out their activities. He also shows us that the aim of America of trying to undermine the Al Qaeda terrorist group proved counterproductive. He also shows the reader some of the tactics and strategies used by the America government in carrying out it anti-terrorist mission and policies (Geltzer, 2009). The author ends his book by showing us that if the world could have a more informed understanding of the Al Qaeda activities, then the war on terror could be approached in more sober-minded policies.
Edward Linden’s contribution to this research cannot be underestimated because in his book “Focus on Terrorism, Volume 9”, he tells us that it is a fact that terrorism is there to stay and with time, more dangerous to humanity because it will motivated by the intentions to revenge. He further informs us how the American government was not really prepared to tackle terrorism with their half baked policies and must therefore play wise in order to win the war on terror. The author provides us with a possible tactic of curbing terrorist and their acts by analyzing some of the weaknesses in the activities the carry out. This could be helpful in winning the war against terrorism including international and societal terrorism (Linden, 2007).
“Divide Pakistan To Eliminate Terrorism” is book by Jamaluddin who addresses issues that have a direct relationship with the issues on tackling terrorism especially those originating from Pakistan. Such issues, he says, have drastically made Pakistan to be a source of threat that affects the world peace due to the existence of the vicious groups in the region. The author further analyses the role of Pakistanis Inter-Services in its involvement in the production of terrorists and their strategy to disorient world peace (Jamaluddin, 2006). He points out that the groups use Islamatization of the world through holy war and martyrdom as their prime ways of interrupting the world peace. The author focuses of Pakistan by focusing on some of the military dictators and religious cults believed to be aiding the flourishing or terrorist activities committing their atrocities on the dark and playing angel by day (Jamaluddin, 2006).
Rollins in his book “Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy” provides an insight how Al Qaeda grew and expanded its activities to the extent of significantly overseeing the 9/11 attacks at the heart of America. The author illustrates clearly how Osama issued orders and sought for ideas with those under him with the aim of furthering their interests (Rollins, 2010). He further outlines the historical growth of Al Qaeda into a classical movement that threatened the sovereignty of world super powers. Additionally, the author provides us with a list of other affiliate groups to Al Qaeda like Al Shabaab and other radical Islamist groups in SE Asia and they impact they have on the world peace and the policies by the United States (Rollins, 2010).
In order to obtain the intended objectives as formulated in the research, a number of primary methods were used. The main primary research method used was the questionnaire which was well structured to ensure that the correct answers were obtained. This method has its own merits like instant recording of results obtained without having to wait for them to be recorded later. The method also ensures that information is obtained from the correct source because suitable clients are identified. Presence of the person who administers the questionnaire also serves as an advantage because the questions which are not understood can be paraphrased to facilitate easy understanding (Cargan, 2007). One of the disadvantages of this method however is the fact that it is too involving and existence of open ended questions gives room for respondent to gives respondents the freedom to give answers that might be out of topic.
Some of the questions in the questionnaire include: what is terrorism? According to your own understanding, what causes terrorism in Pakistan? What are some of the things done by Pakistani government to handle this issue? How is the American government involved? These are some of the questions contained in the questionnaire which facilitated the research and the collection of results that were later analyzed for the arrival of the final conclusion. Interviews were also used to supplement the questionnaire method of data collection. This method is advantageous because the interviewer can be able to obtain more detailed information. There is also room for the correction of mistake since there is direct interaction with the client but limitations do exist. Chief among them is language barrier, handling of illiterate respondents, and the exercise being too involving. It is important to point out the use of secondary sources in the obtaining of information which were not adequately answered by the two primary methods. The method is merited because accurate data is obtained especially from libraries and indexing sources (Cargan, 2007)
Results and findings
The research exercise was finalized by analyzing the findings and it was found out that, most people are in the agreement with the definition of United states Department of Defense which entails the creation of fear and intimidation by use of violence in order to get noticed. Several factors were identified as the chief causes of terrorism in Pakistan. These include the fact that, most of the militants have teamed with the intention of trying to oust the government of President Pervez Musharraf (South Asia Terrorism Portal). This is facilitated by the fact that the government allied itself with the United States which somewhat appears to threaten the lives of Pakistani citizens. This has prompted insurgents like Taliban and Al Qaeda to increase the degree of their heinous acts. Religious intolerance traced back to 1980 is also blamed as the root cause of domestic terrorism in Pakistan. This is seen to have enhanced religious extremism and sectarianism thus aggravating the state of lack of peace in Pakistan (Rollins, 2010).
Terrorism has also been caused by the misunderstanding between India and Pakistan in relation to the Kashmir state that seeks independence. This has promoted the flourishing of activities related to terrorism. The soviet Afghanistan war is also blamed for the spread of terrorist activities in Pakistan because they form possible hide outs. The war led to the easy way of weapon acquisition and promotion of war (Rollins, 2010). Some religious sects are also blamed as the causes of terror activities since they believe in suicide bombing as a way of exercising their holy war. The Pakistani government with the United States has done its best to fight terrorism. This is evidenced by the cooperation between the two governments which commenced on 2003 when President Musharraf was hosted by President Bush to deliberate on ways to do so. The government has also been on the forefront in trying to resolve conflicts between Taliban and other religious groups. Additionally, the government has been strengthening the protection of vulnerable victims and proper protection and demarcation of its border with Afghanistan (South Asia Terrorism Portal).
Al Qaeda has all along been connected with the terrorist attacks in Pakistan. This is evidenced by the fact that, they usually claim responsibility whenever a terrorist attack occurs in the cities of Pakistan. Additionally, most of the hideouts of Al Qaeda are in its borders with Afghanistan and because of the unguarded borders, there is a high possibility of them sneaking into Pakistan to carry out their atrocities (Jamaluddin, 2006). Al Qaeda is also connected to terrorism because it is directly link with Taliban which has been mostly responsible for most terrorist attacks in Pakistan (Kronstadt). Pakistan is a relative rich nation in SE Asia due to its oil deposits and it is possible for the government to create an immense support that will enable it solicit help from other nations in ending terrorism by Al Qaeda and other groups. Reliable data from South Asia Terrorism Portal indicate the violence has been on the rise since 2003 with greatest deaths recorded in the year 2009 (South Asia Terrorism Portal).
The US has played a great role in helping Pakistan from further attacks and spread of terrorist activities. In September 2001, Pakistan received up $1.5 billion directly from the US government for security related operations that would help counter terrorism. In additions to this, the US government has provided direct arms transfer including the sale of advanced aircrafts and missiles to Pakistan which would adequately help the government in tracking any terrorist activities. The US government direct security assistance aimed at bolstering Islamabad’s counterterrorism efforts (Kronstadt). This includes building of road projects, provision of night vision equipments, and protective vests among others. These are some of the activities conducted by the US with the aim of helping Pakistan evade the vulnerability of being attacked by Al Qaeda and others terrorist groups.
Terrorism is a criminal activity that threatens the normal flow of activities in any society. This is shown by the magnitude of effects that Pakistan and its neighbors have suffered for a long time. It is upon the cooperation of various nations that would see that this group is non-existent and this will ultimately stabilize peace (Kronstadt). The cooperation may be in terms of monetary or armory help evidenced by the cooperation between Pakistan and America.