Syed Wasif Arshad According to the media reports, the most feared terrorist Baitullah Mehsud has been killed. The government is being extra careful and wants a DNA test conducted before confirming his demise. The Pakistani authorities also believe that he is no more and the foreign minister and the political agent both have stated so. Most of the independent sources confirm his killing. It is also being reported that there are signs of fissures in the Tehrik-i-Taliban camp. No one should now give them any opportunity to regroup and no group of this organisation be termed as siding with the pro-Pakistani forces. Baitullah Mehsud was not only involved in attacking the security forces but also had admitted carrying out and masterminding most of the suicide attacks in Pakistan. Reportedly, he started his terrorist activities in 2004 and soon became one of the biggest threats for Pakistan and its innocent people. Pakistan has been engulfed in religious bigotry since the dictator, General Zia, threw Pakistan in a war which culminated in giving us Kalashnikov, drugs and religious hatred. The Afghan war has left such a big heap of social and religious waste in Pakistan that it will take lots of effort and time to clean up. The previous dictator who was forced out of office by the political wisdom used to repeatedly boast that he is fighting a war against terrorism. The question is that was he really? What does history tell us about our own weaknesses and strengths and involvement in the events culminating to this current situation? Just after the 9/11 attacks, General (retd) Musharraf was sucked into a situation where he had to lie constantly to keep him in power. In the 80s, Pakistan was in the forefront of the war against former USSR and the mujahideen were helped in every way through Pakistan. The American funds were also distributed to the militant organisations later to become Taliban that were busy in hunting out the Soviet forces from Afghanistan. The war which America had started against terrorism had reached Pakistan long ago and had become its own war. America had formed an alliance against these terrorist elements and most of the developed world had joined hands. Now, Pakistan is among those countries which are fighting this menace of terrorism but in the past Pakistan was one of those three countries that had recognised the Taliban government in Afghanistan. After the 9/11 incident General (retd) Musharraf apparently joined this war but Pakistan did not display that its stance is clear and it seemed that something was brewing up. The Pakistani ruler had pledged support to the USA but there were contradictions in the statements by the government functionaries. It seemed that Pakistan was simultaneously playing to the domestic and international galleries but differently. To test the Pakistani commitment during Musharraf regime against terrorism, one has to follow the events and actions of the general's regime in Pakistan. Pakistan was very quick to condemn the attack on US targets on September 11, 2001 but so was everyone except the Iraqi leader late Saddam Hussain and his government. Pakistan was given a list of demands by the US government which was denied by the then spokesman of the Pakistan Army and ruling junta, General (retd) Rashid Qureshi, however, later acknowledged that the list of demands had been handed over to Pakistan. This was the first act when the people who knew and followed the Pakistani ever-changing stances during the Musharraf regime were alarmed. The contradictions kept emerging and the suspicions were materialised one after the other until proved by the address of General (retd) Musharraf to the Pakistani nation on September 19, 2001. The Pakistani ruler had said in his speech that "USA wanted three pronged actions against terrorism." Firstly to arrest Osama bin Ladin, secondly to go after the Taliban and thirdly to wage war against terrorism. The general had pledged support to America in its efforts. However, in the second part of his speech he clearly had said that "he and his government is all for Taliban and want their wellbeing." He even had claimed that he always advocated Taliban to the world leaders. In his speech, he had also said that "he wants to help Taliban." This is the contradiction that the general and his regime were harbouring and thus the war in Afghanistan was imported into Pakistan. Another hard fact which supports the duality of Pakistan during Musharraf's era is that the first few demonstrations after 9/11 held in Islamabad by the fundamentalists against US and in support of Osama were taken out with the help of Pakistani law enforcing authorities and by the organisations which were later banned because of their terrorist activities. Such demonstrations were held in Islamabad at Abpara on and in the Super Market on September 15 and 17, 2001 respectively. The demonstration of September 15 was so well organised that the police officials together with the organisers of the demonstration had toured the area in the morning and chalked out the details of the demonstration in the evening. Therefore, this shows the duality of the Musharraf's government policies. The fact is that he was playing a double game with not only the West but also with his own people. In contrast, the current government, its leadership and the security heads have a clear and transparent strategy to fight the war against terrorism which is undoubtedly bearing fruits. The vision with which the war is now being fought was non-existent in Musharraf's regime. The eradication of terrorist elements from Swat, the management of the displacement of thousands of people the from war-torn region, providing them temporary abode with food and other necessities and then their safe return to their homes was a mammoth task which could have not been done without a leadership which was unthinkable during Musharraf's regime. The guidance of the political leadership, the resolve of military management and the peoples' courage to fight this war provides an opportunity to weed out even the shrubbery of terrorism from not only the country but the entire region. President Asif Ali Zardari has displayed leadership qualities which is a good omen for Pakistan. He is following the footsteps of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who had taken tours of all friendly countries in difficult times for Pakistan. The incumbent president has also toured several countries to muster support for the country and "friends of democratic Pakistan" is his brainchild which is helping Pakistan even in this recession that has engulfed the whole world. The credit goes to him and his commitment to fulfil the dreams of our forefathers of a progressive, secular and liberal Pakistan and to make Pakistan, a peaceful country for our future generations to come. The writer is a retired captain of the Pakistan Army.