S M Hali Pakistans participation in the global war on terror came at the heels of 9/11, when New Yorks Twin Towers and Pentagon were targeted by 19 hijackers, resulting in 2,974 fatalities. In response to the famous query from US President George W. Bush: You are either with us or against us? President Musharraf was forced to become a US ally. Besides, there were other historical warnings by US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage to former DG ISI Lt Gen Mahmood Ahmad: Be prepared to be bombed. Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age. The rest is contemporary history but there have been double standards of terrorism since then. Even a cursory glance at the collateral damage figures tells its own tale. The Taliban government in Afghanistan was asked to hand over Osama bin Laden, considered to be the perpetrator of the 9/11 attacks and a guest of the Taliban, who in turn asked for evidence implicating Osama. President Bush was in a hurry to attack. However, if Michael Moore of Fahrenheit 9/11 fame is to be believed, Laden was a business partner of Bush, who enabled the evacuation of Osamas family from Texas after 9/11 lest harm come to them. Nevertheless, the US attack on Afghanistan was so intense that the death toll of the hapless people of Afghanistan runs to hundreds of thousands, besides the US itself has suffered losses of 1,785 troops to date. If this is not terrorism then what is it? Innocent Afghans including women and children, who had nothing to do with the Taliban, were targeted and killed, thus, turning the survivors into terrorists, who eventually took up arms to avenge the bloodbath. If that were not enough, Iraq was invaded in 2003 with all the might of the US and its allies on the false premise of Iraqs possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). If Saddam was such a monster, it was up to the Iraqis to decide upon his rule. Who gave the USA and its allies the right to impose their brand of democracy on the wretched Iraqis? Look at the destruction and devastation caused: So far, 1,366,350 Iraqis have been slaughtered since the US invaded Iraq, while the allies have lost 4,718 soldiers. The horror stories of Abu Ghraib and other torture cells run by the US troops are still being investigated. Isnt that the worst form of terrorism? Coming closer to home, after nine years of occupation, the US and its allies now realise that they have to cut their losses and exit from Afghanistan. It is not willing to follow in the footsteps of USSR, which in 1989 was forced to retreat by the US and its allies, mainly Pakistan. Now it is the US, which is considering negotiating with the Taliban for a graceful exit from Afghanistan. Though it would like to do so from a position of strength. Once again it needs Pakistan to do its dirty work and inflict maximum damage on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Unfortunately, once the war in Afghanistan began to go awry, Pakistan was made a scapegoat and charges were levelled first that it was playing a double game with the US, supporting it in the war, while simultaneously aiding and abetting the Taliban. Once that charge could not be established, the mantra of do more was taken up. Moreover, the US-India nexus was collaborating with its own agents to destabilise Pakistan and force it into submission to US demands. Whatever be the truth, the sophisticated arms, planning and even communication equipment used by the militants, along with a steady influx of massive funds, point towards external aid at a massive scale. When the Pakistan army ultimately crushed the insurgency in Swat and South Waziristan, the do more mantra died down for a while. However, with the failure of the much touted US-led Operation Moshtarak in Marjah and impending operation at Kandahar, the US is once again pressing Pakistan to launch a massive attack on North Waziristan. Pakistans reluctance, owing to operational and logistic constraints, has brought upon it a fresh wave of terrorism. This multi-pronged double standard of terror apparently involves a macabre plan: the alleged conspiracy to blow up Time Square by Faisal Shahzad, a US citizen; the immediate threat of dire consequences by the US Secretary of State, even before the evidence of the failed attack was collected; the dispatch of National Security Advisor General James Jones and CIA Chief Leon Panetta to Islamabad handing over a dossier of the evidence to President Zardari and then deliberating leaking the story to Los Angeles Times quoting unnamed senior US officials that the duo have warned Pakistan that it has only weeks to show real progress in a crackdown against the Pakistani Taliban, are apparently all a part of the ghoulish drama being enacted. According to the US media, the American administration has put Pakistan on a clock to launch a new intelligence and counter terrorist offensive against the group, which the White House alleges was behind the Times Square bombing attempt. Washington Post has now revealed another deliberate leak that the US was studying options for unilateral strikes in Pakistan. Simultaneously, Lahore became a target of heinous attacks on two places of worship of a minority group and a hospital, in which more than a hundred people lost their lives and an equal number were critically injured. More sporadic attacks have erupted elsewhere in the country. This appears to be a macabre plot to browbeat Pakistan into submission. Lo and behold, the bloody drama of attacking the freedom flotilla bearing aid for the blockaded Palestinians, starving and deprived of food, medicine and supplies is enacted off the Gaza Coast to divert world focus from Afghanistan to the Israeli state terrorism. The writer is a political and defence analyst.