A decade since 9/11, Pakistan back to square one: Daily


Islamabad : Ten years since 9/11, Pakistan finds itself “back to square one”, a leading daily said, adding that with Osama bin Laden dead, the country needs to reset its strategic priorities.

Support TwoCircles

Osama bin Laden was killed in a daring raid carried out by heavily armed US commandos who stormed his Abbottabad mansion May 2.

An editorial in the Dawn Saturday said: “In some ways, a decade since 9/11 Pakistan has found itself back to square one.”

“In September 2001, Pakistan was a pariah state, shunned by the outside world, one of the few countries to recognise the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and on the verge of economic collapse.

“Then 9/11 occurred and Pakistan had a choice to make: hitch its wagon to the American war on terror or risk being trampled underfoot. But while circumstances forced Pakistan to make that choice quickly, the country’s own strategic interests demanded decoupling from the `non-state actors’ and pushing the outside world to embrace it.”

It went on to say that now, with 9/11 mastermind Osama dead, “there is a second chance for Pakistan: look inwards, tackle the internal security threat with resolve, reset the strategic priorities of the state and engage the outside world as a responsible member of the international community. Anything less than that, and it is hard to see anything but further pain for Pakistan”.

On Pakistan’s neighbours, the editorial said: “Pakistan does need a stable Afghanistan. Pakistan will feel threatened by an increasingly powerful India that is courted and wooed by the international powers.

“But a less anxious Pakistan may be willing to engage the outside world more positively.”