On of destruction and bloodshed. Since that September

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On September 11,
2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda
hijacked four airplanes and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the
United States. Two of the planes were flown into the twin towers of the World
Trade Center in New York City, a third plane hit the Pentagon just outside
Washington, D.C., and the fourth plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.
Almost 3,000 people were killed during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which
triggered major U.S. initiatives to combat terrorism and defined the presidency
of George W. Bush.

It was 9/11 that ultimately took the U.S. into
two of its longest and costliest wars—first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq—as
well as bringing the phenomenon of radical Islamist terrorism to the
forefront of the public conscience in the West. Ultimately it was 9/11 that set
Al-Qaeda and, a decade later, the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), on
their paths of destruction and bloodshed. Since that September morning in
2001, more than 200,000 people have died in attacks on trains, markets, famous
boulevards and concert halls, military compounds, souks and mosques from
Baghdad to Boston, Paris to Kabul. Terrorist attacks may be on the decline, but the world lives now in a new era of
unpredictability and insecurity, where danger feels omnipresent. (2)
– http://www.newsweek.com/new-era-how-terrorism-has-changed-911-attacks-661716

After the terrorist
attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration declared a worldwide
“war on terror,” involving open and covert military operations, new
security legislation, efforts to block the financing of terrorism, and more.
Washington called on other states to join in the fight against terrorism
asserting that “either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”
Many governments joined this campaign, often adopting harsh new laws, lifting
long-standing legal protections and stepping up domestic policing and
intelligence work.

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Pakistan’s relationship to the “War on Terror” has
been highly ambivalent. Pakistan played a key role in facilitating the U.S.-led
intervention in Afghanistan from shortly after 9/11 up to the present. It has
permitted the transit of matériel across Pakistani territory to U.S. forces in
Afghanistan. Pakistan has also tolerated American missile attacks launched from
Afghanistan against Taliban and al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan’s lawless border
region with that country.

While the United States and Pakistan have some
common goals, their priorities differ markedly. The U.S. was concerned primarily
with the Soviet threat during the Cold War, and has been focused on the threat
from al-Qaeda and its Taliban allies since 9/11. Pakistan, by contrast, has
been primarily concerned with its struggle with India ever since the two became
independent from Britain in 1947. The fate of Kashmir, the Muslim-majority
region that was divided between India and Pakistan during the first war between
them, has been Pakistan’s principal concern. It also has many others, including
which of the two rivals will have predominant influence in Afghanistan. – http://www.mepc.org/commentary/pakistan-and-war-terror

Terrorism in Pakistan originated with supporting
the Soviet war in Afghanistan, and the
subsequent civil war that continued for at least a decade. The conflict brought
numerous fighters from all over the world to South Asia in
the name of jihad. The mujahideen fighters were trained by Pakistan’s
military, American CIA and other western intelligence agencies.The
post-9/11 War on Terrorism in Pakistan has
had two principal elements: the government’s battle with jihad groups banned
after the attacks in New York, and the U.S. pursuit of Al-Qaeda,
usually (but not always) in co-operation with Pakistani forces. Also, a major
cause of terrorism is religious extremism while so-called mullahs and movies
inject in mind of innocent people and also the policies of Gen. Musharaf i.e.
Lal masjid, murder of Akbar bughti are also some major causes of terrorism in
Pakistan In 2004, the Pakistani army launched a pursuit of Al-Qaeda members in
the mountainous area of Waziristan on the Afghan border,
although sceptics question the sincerity of this pursuit. Clashes there erupted
into a low-level conflict with Islamic militants and local tribesmen, sparking
the Waziristan War. A short-lived truce known as
the Waziristan accord was brokered in September
2006, This truce was broken by Taliban. They misinterpreted the conditions of
the truce that led to the annoyance of Pakistani government and armed forces
that launched a military operation known as operation “Rah-e-Rast”
against Taliban in order to clear the area of Taliban.

In 2012 Pakistani leadership sat down to sought out
solutions for dealing with the menace of terrorism and in 2013 political
parties unanimously reached a resolution on Monday 9 September 2013 at the All
Parties Conference (APC), stating that negotiation with the militants should be
pursued as their first option to counter-terrorism.10

However, all attempts of bringing the militants to
table seemed to fail while terrorist attacks continued. In late 2013,
therefore, the political leadership in Pakistan gave a green signal to a
military operation against terrorists which was named Operation Zarb-e-Azb. Operation Zarb-e-Azb is
a joint military offensive being conducted by Pakistan Armed Forces against
various militant groups, including the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP),
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jundallah, al-Qaeda, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement
(ETIM), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and the Haqqani network. The
operation was launched by the Pakistan Armed Forces on 15 June 2014 in North
Waziristan (part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan
border) as a renewed effort against militancy in the wake of the 8 June attack
on Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, for which the TTP and the IMU
claimed responsibility. Part of the ongoing war in North-West Pakistan, up to
30,000 Pakistani soldiers are involved in Zarb-e-Azb, described as a
“comprehensive operation” to flush out all foreign and local
militants hiding in North Waziristan. The operation has received widespread
support from the Pakistani political, defence and civilian sectors.

Despite Islamic teachings
against suicide and killing innocent people in battle, terrorist groups like Al
Qaeda and the Islamic State, or “ISIS,” have used a political form of
Islam known as “Islamism” to justify an unholy war of terrorism. In 1988,
Osama bin Laden founded Al Qaeda. Even after his death in 2011, Al Qaeda
persists, and the more recently formed group ISIS has attempted to provoke an
apocalyptic war with the United States and the West.

Over many years, Al Qaeda committed terrorist acts
killing many innocent men, women, and children. On August 7, 1998, Al Qaeda
terrorists almost simultaneously set off bombs 150 miles apart at U.S.
Embassies in the East African countries of Kenya and Tanzania. The blasts
killed 12 Americans and about 250 Africans, most of them Muslims. The group was
also responsible for the September 11, 2001, suicide terrorist attacks
(commonly referred to as “9/11”) on New York’s World Trade Center and the
Pentagon, which murdered close to 3,000 people. On May 12, 2003, Al Qaeda
suicide terrorists set off bombs in three housing compounds in the capital of
Saudi Arabia. The bombs killed 35 people, including 12 Americans.

Other terrorist groups, often linked to Al Qaeda,
have been responsible for attacks around the globe. Bombings of the underground
subway in London in 2005 killed 56 people, and shootings and bombings in the
Indian city of Mumbai in 2008 resulted in over 160 deaths. A bomber attempted
to set off a car bomb in New York City’s Times Square in 2010.

In recent years, a group calling itself the Islamic
State in Iraq and Syria (aka ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh) has risen to power in the
Middle East. ISIS is an Islamist organization that initially formed in Iraq and
that seeks to bring about a war against the West centered in Syria. Now a rival
of its former allies in Al Qaeda, ISIS has developed an ideology even more
extreme and brutal than other terrorist groups.

The U.S. State Department maintains a list of
terrorist groups. Included on the list are, to name a few, Nigeria’s Boko
Haram, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Algeria’s Armed Islamic Group, Egypt’s Islamic
Jihad, Palestine’s Islamic Jihad and Hamas, Uzbekistan’s Islamic Movement, the
Philippines’ Abu Sayyaf, and Pakistan’s Jaish-e-Muhammad (Army of Muhammad) as
foreign terrorist groups. Unlike Al Qaeda, most of these groups have not
committed terrorism internationally. Instead, they use terrorism to help
overthrow the regimes in control of their countries.

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