In the post 9/11 era, the war on terror was sold to us in the name of pragmatism and national interest. We were told that if we do not support this war, we will be carpet bombed into oblivion and will return to the Stone Age. We were also told that Pakistan comes first and it is Afghanistan's war and Pakistan should save its own area rather then focusing on foreign lands. Eight years down the line, these arguments (although nave and stupid even at that time) have now become extinct due to several reasons. America's over hyped might has been clearly exposed by the rag-tag militias in Afghanistan and Iraq. Secondly the credit crunch has left the American economy reeling. Also due to the spillover effect of the war in Afghanistan into Pakistan, people now realize that it's not an isolated issue of either Pakistan or Afghanistan. It is now an Af-Pak problem. So the second premise on which the government supported America namely national interest has also gone down the drain. And the argument that we now hear for the legitimacy of our army fighting our citizens in our tribal belt is that it's our war and terrorism is the enemy. We must realize that only the arguments to justify killing of innocents have changed, the reality remains the same. And that is that the war on terror is a war on Islam. Under no pretext should the killing of our people be allowed. We have already suffered the consequence of siding with America in this war with a high number of civilian and military causalities. Unless our leadership stops taking dictation from the west and abandons this war, the humanitarian crisis in the country will intensify even further. -ABDUL NASIR KHAN, Islamabad, via e-mail, May 8.