The current outpouring of terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India is connected to the neo-con policies following the 9/11 tragedy. Instead of conducting a genuine investigation, the US was led in to launching a war against the Taliban regime without even a clear endorsement from the UN. Though the whole world was sympathetic to the US yet a regime-change formula was looked upon with askance despite the unpopularity of the Taliban at home and abroad. Suspicion against OBL/Al Qaeda remained hypothetical and the world went along with the US due to shock it had experienced as the twin towers fell in NY. The then Secretary General, Kofi Annan, did diplomatically differ with the US about the likely consequences for her, the UN and the world if such unilateral action became a bad precedent. However, as George W' worldview was weird, he was misled by advisors to project American power on the basis of 'those who are not with us are against us'. Though the Taliban fought the US-Russia coalition etc bravely, they were very badly out-numbered and incredibly out-gunned. Naturally very few people cried even in Afghanistan over the demise of the regime. US' nave public opinion was relieved while the Administration made big wishlists for setting up a democracy and of the monumental reconstruction work to come. Karzai was installed as a US proxy and Bonn Conference ended as a media coup. While this was done with elaborate fanfare, people who know Afghan history thought that the celebration may be premature and could end up as stargazing from the gutter, as Oscar Wilde had said. As Olaf Caroe, the last British Governor of NWFP and a great authority on the region, had said that the Afghan wars seem to start once they have ended. The Afghans hate occupation due to history, geography and love of freedom. Hence even when defeated they never forget or, generally, forgive foreign incursions. US broke up the Soviet Union when it committed the sin of putting its forces to bolster the local socialistic regime in the late 70s with the help of her friends and the local groups of freedom-fighters. It is a fact that Muslims from all over the world were coaxed by the CIA to join the war 'against Godless Communism' and all such volunteers of 'Jihad' would enter Afghanistan via Pakistan. No wonder one of the fiercest fighters of this brand was OB; even Mullah Omar joined the Jihad at a young age. The retreat from Afghanistan led to the collapse of the Soviet Empire. Earlier on, the British had learnt their lesson by getting 16 thousand men killed after the second Afghan War. A dj vu occurred when the Taliban started to attack the 'occupation forces' and their local' accomplices. They also concentrated on soft targets. Gradually they started winning goodwill among their people as the regime in Kabul could not deliver on any promise so much so that security became a dream. This was aggravated by the awful unemployment among their ranks. As the Northern warlords had sided with the US, the Pashtun majority became, generally, the aggrieved party. Subsequently as the situation deteriorated on the ground, the warlord-ism, corruption, threat of famine etc bailed the Taliban out. The money made by the US allies through poppy cultivation etc in the North gave a cue to the Pashtuns how to hit out of the financial challenges. Having a much bigger cultivable area and manpower, they are now making considerable amounts for their survival. The Taliban had banned the drugs under their regime but now they use the same as one way to fight the 'occupation'. As the drugs are in great demand, particularly in the West/Russia, there are assured gains for the suppliers in the 'sellers market'. The US etc look the other way while Taliban provide security to such operations in the South/East which earns them public goodwill as well as hard cash. The current year has been the worst for the foreign forces in terms of loss of men, influence etc. Out of desperation, 'suspect' targets are heavily bombed by US drones etc in Afghanistan/ Pakistan without much regard to the 'co-lateral damage'. More often than not women/children get killed in such raids which incite the aggrieved families to seek revenge by joining the extremists. This is swelling their ranks and bringing NATO etc troops in the South-East under greater pressure progressively. Despite protests from the concerned leaders, such killings keep on happening which damages US' goodwill in a big way. Pakistan has deployed 100,000 troops to stem the rot. However, the Taliban surge in Afghanistan has emboldened their friends in Pakistan to block their supply-line by constantly attacking, looting and burning their goods in and around Peshawar/Khyber Pass. US is said to be exploring the Northern route as an alternative arrangement. Pakistan' predicament has been aggravated by the threats from India following the Mumbai mayhem last month. India seems to have used the blame-game against Pakistan and ensured US backing by exploiting its current appeal including China-complex. This stance appears to have been caused by electoral considerations etc. India is using rhetoric which smacks of power-complex. It has named certain 'usual suspects' and it wants them handed over even though there is no extradition treaty between the 2 countries. The Indian approach appears to be myopic as it ignores its own ground realities wherein Hindutva groups, Abhinav Bharat, etc are periodically killing all minorities including Dalits/ lowest castes. Why was ATS Chief Karkare killed with the start of the siege by the 'terrorists? Why can't justice be done to the deprived minorities including the Kashmiris? Few can disagree when Arundhati Roy writes in the Guardian, "The only way to contain (it would be nave to say end) terrorism is to look at the monster in the mirror. We're standing at a fork in the road. One sign says Justice, the other Civil War. There's no third sign and there's no going back. Choose." The writer is a former Interior Secretary E-mail: imnor@brain.net.pk