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Global War on Terror far from over even after killing of Al Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri

News Agencies | Updated on: 4 August 2022, 9:48 IST
Ayman al-Zawahiri

The Global War on Terror, which was launched by the United States government following the September 11 attacks in 2001, is far from over as the battle against multiple terror groups in and around Afghanistan and Pakistan continues even after the killing of Al Qaeda chief, Ayman al-Zawahiri in Kabul.

The Taliban leadership wanted to believe that it had cut ties with Al Qaeda as part of the Doha Agreement, which negotiated the withdrawal of US and NATO troops operating in Afghanistan for over 20 years. However, it is likely that its links to Al Qaeda were never severed, mentions a commentary published by Policy Research Group, a New Delhi-based think tank.

Earlier, Zawahiri's predecessor Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was assassinated in his bunker next to a Pakistani military academy in May 2011, shattering the country's persistent denial that he was there.

According to President Joe Biden, the US will keep looking for terrorists who seek to destroy the US and the rest of the world no matter where they are.

However, the US' determination to eliminate all terrorist organisations must include action against state-sponsored groups operating out of Pakistan including Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), which was responsible for the Mumbai attacks in 2008, notes the publication by the think tank.

Earlier, then-Prime Minister Imran Khan in 2019 had confirmed that around 30,000 and 40,000 armed terrorists were reportedly operating out of territories under Pakistani control, a fact which was hidden by the country claiming to be a part of the so-called war on terror.

Experts are also believing that the White House may have used pressure tactics and sought a trade-off, with Pakistan for an emergency loan amidst its economic mess while receiving the whereabouts of the Al Qaeda's terrorists in exchange.

It raises questions if the United States felt comfortable forcing Pakistan to hand over Zawahiri, while not holding Pakistan accountable for its involvement.

Thus, it is high time that the US government take action against Pakistan to make money off its ongoing support for terrorism, and for Pakistan to follow all FATF counterterrorism recommendations.


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First published: 4 August 2022, 9:48 IST