DAWN - Letters; January 22, 2009
DAVID Miliband’s assertion that the ‘war on terror’ was a mistake, together with Nato’s Secretary-General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer’s criticism of pro-American Afghan President Hamid Karzai clearly indicates a rift between Europe and America towards Afghanistan and Pakistan.
International relations and global realities have changed tremendously since 9/11. The war on Iraq has exposed the limits of American military might. Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghuraib exposed the moral bankruptcy of American regime which tremendously weakened American political power.
The resurgence of Taliban in Afghanistan is testing the commitment of International Security Assistance Forces. The conflict between Georgia and Russia and now between Europe and Russia over gas supplies has marked the return of a belligerent anti-western power to the international stage.
The Iraq war and the recent butchery of Gazan Muslims in Palestine have exposed the bias inherent in international institutions such as the United Nations towards the West and its interests. And, above all, the most severe economic crisis has hit the West and crippled its economy, shattering the core capitalist principles of free market economy.
All of these factors have weakened western powers and their ability to influence states like Pakistan. Now is the time for Pakistan to review its foreign policy and make radical changes in it. The challenge on the eastern front provides Pakistan a golden opportunity to make a case for pulling out from the self-destructive war on terror.
The Pakistani government has already indicated that it would pull out from the war on terror if India isn’t reined in by the international community. After the rift increasing between America and Europe over the war on terror, Pakistan should actually move beyond just sending signals.
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