ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Foreign Policy Options

Events in the past year, while making Pakistan a frontline ally in the 'War against Terror' have had a dramatic impact on its foreign policy. The changing situation in Afghanistan has had repercussions on the domestic political set-up, with hardline Islamic elements increasingly critical of Musharraf's seeming capitulation on the Afghan as well as Kashmir issues. While the army remains a predominant force in the nation's polity, the unfolding domestic balance of power will very likely have a key impact in redefining Pakistani foreign policy.

War against Terrorism:Perspective on Protests

Significantly, the focus of the mass upsurge against the US war on 'terrorism' although visible across the whole Muslim world is in the countries which have large oil reserves or provide a passage for the transport of oil but which continue to be poorly developed. With almost no working class movement, the masses are rallying round the traditional 'ulema' who can understand the mass injustice only in terms of traditional religious symbolism.

Not Just America's War

The war against terrorism is not merely America's war but that of the world order against disorder.

Afghan Watershed for Central Asia

The reactions of the Central Asian states to the United States' 'war against terrorism' will be guided by the fact that while the American presence in the region is likely to be temporary, Afghanistan will always be there on the other side of the border.

Beyond Afghanistan

The bomb and missile attacks by US and British aircraft on targets in Afghanistan connected with the Taliban regime and with Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda organisation, which got under way on Sunday, had been prepared for elaborately from the moment the US pinpointed bin Laden and Al Qaeda as the prime suspects in connection with the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. As the world watched with bated breath, the US and Britain had set about putting together the most awesome assembly of military personnel and materiel all around Afghanistan for precisely this operation. A relentless diplomatic effort too had been mounted to get an impressive number of countries to permit combat aircraft to use their air-space and some also to agree to the stationing of troops on their territories. The air attacks on Afghanistan have been on for less than a week and there is no indication yet of when the expected, but far more problematic, land operations would begin. But already it is clear that, even if the US government’s most optimistic expectations of it are fulfilled, the military effort directed at Afghanistan cannot be the all-important, or the most effective, element in the success of the drive against terrorism that it has been made out to be by the Bush administration.
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