It is true it that counterterrorism is impossible without the support of the masses, which the government has not so far gained, or sincerely endeavoured to gain. With no guidance from the government about what agenda they have, the public does not comprehend what is wrong with their country so that, now, everyone has developed a scenario of his/her own. Take, for instance, the fact that the majority of the Pakistani population is either illiterate or poorly educated. How can they then comprehend the menace of terrorism precisely? The people, having only a vague idea of terrorism, believe that al-Qaeda and the Taliban are simply fundamentalists who are fighting the US and its allies. In fact, to many people, drone strikes and counterterrorism seem synonymous to terrorism! As per the results of the recent PEW global survey, 74 percent of Pakistanis consider the US an enemy. No doubt, such people think that the US wants to overcome the Islamic countries of the world and is hence attacking them directly or through drones in the name of terrorism.

Pakistan — A Hard Country by Anatol Lieven is a fantastic book that allows one to gauge the overall chaotic condition of Pakistanis. From the very inception of the US’s counterterrorism policies, people opposed and believed that 9/11 was a plot organised by the Jews to jeopardise Muslims even though bin Ladin took full responsibility for the disaster. Well then, I would like to ask: was Osama bin Laden really a Muslim or was he a Jew as he openly admitted being the mastermind of 9/11? Are the people of Pakistan, especially those who support him, sure that he was not a Jew hired by the US? Are people sure that al Qaeda and the Taliban are true Muslims and not hired by the US to disorient Muslim nations? I leave the readers to ponder how much we can blame the US for whatever is happening in our homeland.

SAANWAL KARAMAT BARLAAS

Azad Kashmir