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HomeGeopolitical CompassWest & Centeral AsiaHow the US-Pakistan alliance in the 'War on Terror' hijacked itself

How the US-Pakistan alliance in the ‘War on Terror’ hijacked itself

Author: Abdul Basit

Affiliation: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore

Organization/Publisher: TRT World

Date/Place: Nov 1, 2021

Type of Literature: Journal Article

Word Count: 1300


Keywords: Afghanistan, Pakistan, US, War on Terror


The article analyzes the imperatives of the US-Pakistan relations during the interim government in Kabul. The author critically evaluates existing fault lines in Pakistani society that have led to religious extremism and radicalization. According to the study, the threat of extremism is not over with the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. The causes of extremism highlighted by Islamabad are the result of it being the frontline state in the US-led War on Terror since 2001. Because the airspace and land routes of Pakistan were used by the US and NATO forces for their logistical missions in Afghanistan, these affiliations have made it vulnerable before the extremist factions. According to the author, radicalization has been rooted in Pakistani society since the Islamization process imposed by General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq in the late 1970s and US involvement in Afghans’ jihad against the USSR. If Pakistan adopts a pragmatic approach, it can gradually de-radicalize the extremist factions by education and awareness while providing space in the political arena. This is a generational process that requires a decade or two to neutralize threats of extremism posed towards the state of Pakistan.


By: Muhammad Taimoor Bin Tanveer, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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