Initially, Pakistan had effectively used terror proxies against India, but now it’s facing threat from them
Aasha Khosa | July 12, 2017 | New Delhi
The discovery that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was living comfortably with his family in Pakistan while Americans were hunting for him all over the world, was the turning point in the Washington-Islamabad relations, said S Paul Kapur, author of ‘Jihad as Grand Strategy: Islamist Militancy, National Security, and the Pakistani State’.
This made the Americans realize the Pakistan’s duplicity of joining the global fight against terrorism and getting millions of dollars from the US while it was actually helping terrorists, he said. “A lot of people in America had to answer for a lot of things after this,” said Paul, professor, Department of National Security Affairs at the US Naval Postgraduate School.
Answering queries of students, researchers and experts at the function organised by the think-tank Observer Research Foundation (ORF), Paul said in the coming days one would see a major shift in the US policy on Pakistan in the light of this development.
Explaining Pakistan’s strategy on using terrorists as a proxy against India, Paul said Pakistan being a weaker state had formed a grand strategy against India – a stronger state – through nuclear weapons, its armed forces and the proxy terrorists. While nuclear option served as a deterrent; the forces found time to strengthen the national security as proxy terrorists were used as offensive tool against India at a minimal cost.
The three together helped Pakistan achieve internal cohesion as well. Paul has also visited Pakistan to promote his book.
He said Islamabad’s strategy had helped the unity of Pakistan, which otherwise was grown out of an idea of hate against Hindus. The terrorists hit the Indian resources and also managed to rake up the issue of Kashmir. However, it was now proving counterproductive for Pakistan for these non-state actors were turning against the state of Pakistan.
The author explained Islamabad had used proxy terrorists since it was the cheapest way to hit the enemy and also remain largely unscathed.
The book traces the history of Pakistan’s use of proxy militants against India since the tribal raid of October 1947and shows how Islamabad had emerged as a fountainhead of global terrorism in the period after the cold war era.
This piece is based on a previous article by the authors published in Geoforum [Elsevier] in May 2019: available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0016718519300764?via%3Dihub
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