Joining the US led Coalition in the War against Terrorism has Many Short and Long Term Repercussions for Pakistan. Discuss.


CSS Solved Pakistan Affairs Past Papers | Joining the US led Coalition in the War against Terrorism has Many Short and Long Term Repercussions for Pakistan. Discuss.

The following question of CSS Pakistan Affairs 2023 is solved by Ali Imran under the supervision of Miss Nirmal Hasni. She learnt how to attempt 20 marks question and essay writing from Sir Syed Kazim Ali, Pakistan’s best CSS and PMS English essay and precis teacher with the highest success rate of his students. This solved past paper question is attempted on the pattern taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory and optional subjects for years, and uploaded to help aspirants understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

Question Breakdown:

The examiner has demanded to elaborate on the Short and long-term repercussions for Pakistan of joining the US-led coalition in the war against terrorism. Before hitting the exact demand, we will first take a bird’s eye view of the war on terrorism, when and in which way Pakistan has contributed to the US-led war against terrorism. Then, the short and long-term grave consequences of this joining in the war on terrorism in Pakistan in socio-political and economic dimensions will be discussed.


1- Introduction

2- A furtive glance at War on terrorism

  • Rise of AL-QAEDA, DAESH
  • 9/11 incident
  • US-led coalition for war against terrorism

3- Pakistan as part of US-led coalition of war on terror

  • Providence of air, naval and military bases
  • An entryway to NATO and USA Forces

4- Short and long term repercussions of the war on terror for Pakistan

  • Social Repercussions
  • Economic Repercussions
  • Diplomatic Repercussions
  • Political Repercussions

5-Critical analysis


Answer to the Question


The 21st century has witnessed a rise in terrorism, and two-decade-long episodes of the war on terror to combat this rising menace of terrorism led coalition war against terrorism was actually in response to the 9/11 terrorist attack. On November 9 2011, a terrorist attack on the Pentagon and World Trade Center was conducted by terrorist organizations. In order to prevent any such thing from happening again in the USA, it was decided by the USA to start a war against terrorism in Afghanistan, where the terrorist organizations are being operated. Pakistan also became part of that coalition to combat terrorist organizations in its West neighbouring state. By becoming part of this military campaign, Pakistan has provided military and Air bases to USA and NATO forces by also providing land, water and air routes to these forces. Unfortunately, Pakistan has to pay for this joining by witnessing many short and long-term repercussions in socio-economic, political and diplomatic aspects.

A Bird’s Eye View of War on Terrorism:

The War on Terror, officially the Global War on Terrorism, is a global counterterrorism military campaign initiated by the United States following the 9/11 attacks in the USA on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. In its modern history, the US had never experienced such a massive attack on its land. This attack created a lot of challenges for the American government, such as protection of the global interests of the US and assuring internal and external security. Consequently, in 2001, a new war was launched against the new enemy, and it was termed the “War on Terror”. The campaign was against the Taliban regime and al Qaeda network in Afghanistan, both of which were held responsible for that vicious terrorist incident. The US entered this war along with several ally states involving Pakistan as a frontline state.

Pakistan: An Important Part of War Against Terrorism

There is no denying the fact that Pakistan has played an important role as a “frontline state” in the Global War on Terrorism. Dating back to 2001, soon after assuming power, the Musharraf regime faced the question regarding Pakistan’s stance on the War on Terror. In this regard, the statement of Richard Lee Armitage, then US deputy secretary of state, was

 “You are either 100 % with us or 100 % against us. There is no grey area.” 

Pakistan played a very important role by offering logistic and intelligence support and providing land, air, and water access to USA, NATO and ISAF forces in Afghanistan. The USA also demanded the restriction of Al-Qaeda’s Transborder movement from Afghanistan to Pakistan, stoppage of arms transport through Pakistan, halting all logistic assistance to Osama bin Laden, and providing full-scale access to the US to Pakistani air and naval bases. Moreover, there was also demand for the Pak-Afghan border closure, intelligence findings and immigration information to the USA, no volunteer support of Pakistan to the Afghan Taliban, and to take action against anti-American and pro-terrorist elements in Pakistan.

Short and Long-Term Repercussions for Pakistan of Counterterrorism Campaign of War against Terror:

The last decades have seen the escalation of instability, insecurity and political violence in the country as a result of Pakistan’s role as a “frontline state” in the war on terror. As a matter of fact, it would not be wrong to announce that Pakistan is paying a huge price in this war on terrorism at the cost of its sovereignty and survival. Because of Pakistan‘s geographical proximity to Afghanistan, which was the theatre of this war on terrorism for the NATO, ISAF and USA forces, Pakistan had to play its role. This has posed many short and long-term grave impacts of a socio-political, economic and diplomatic nature.

A-     Social Repercussions:

The war on terror has posed many short and long-term grave consequences to Pakistan at the societal level, causing a threat to the right to life of people. The social repercussions involve the following.

  • Refugee crisis: Pakistan’s overly burdened shoulders

Pakistan is already a developing state with its economy as an Achilles heel since its inception, and the weak shoulders of Pakistan became overburdened by the inflow of Afghan refugees into Pakistan. Three million refugees have already been in Pakistan since the time of the Cold War of the 1980s. Approximately 1.4 million refugees have shifted to Pakistan during the war on terror time. If we consider it in the long run, then 6,000-20,000 Afghan refugees are still crossing the Baluchistan border on a daily basis (UNHCR Report)   

  • Revival Of Terrorist Attacks

Over the years, Tehrik e Taliban (TTP) has been involved in a number of suicide bombings, rocket attacks, remote-controlled bombs, and abductions. It has widened its area of operations beyond Pakistan’s tribal areas and targeted a number of government installations and organizations in the mainland, including the Federal Investigation Agency‘s Lahore office, the Naval War College in Lahore, the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, the Wah Ordnance.

Factory, Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore, to mention a few. Similarly, it has become a long-term repercussion for Pakistan that even after the end of the war on terror and the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, the menace of terrorism is still haunting Pakistan. In the year 2021-22, there has been a 56% increase in terrorist attacks in Pakistan, including the Dasu incident, the Karachi University attack, the Anarkali Lahore blast, the Pakistan embassy attack in Kabul, the TTP attack on CTD Police station Bannu and an attack in north Waziristan on a police station, to mention only a few. From January -July 2022, more than 500 terrorist attacks have been committed in Pakistan.  

  • Ideological implications: Rise of sectarianism

The war against terrorism has given a gift of sectarianism rise in Pakistan. The joining of Pakistan to the US-led coalition in the war against terrorism has many ideological implications for Pakistan in the short and long run. The suicidal attacks on Shia mosques have added fuel to the fire. Peshawar and Quetta mosque attacks during Friday prayers in 2022 are the case studies in this regard.

  • Human and drug trafficking

Human and drug trafficking to and from Afghanistan is also an outcome of the war on terror episode, and Pakistan is an important player in that counterterrorism episode. The instability in Afghanistan means instability in Pakistan, as Pakistan has a porous western border with Afghanistan.          

  • Human Cost of War on Terrorism for Pakistan

The War on Terror has exacted a very high human cost for Pakistan in the last twenty years. On March 27, 2020, intelligence agencies, in a report to the Pakistani Supreme Court, said that Pakistan has lost approximately  80,000 lives since 2001. The Army, Frontier Corps, Police Levies, Paramilitary Forces and Rangers have been the most affected group – apart from the civilians in terms of casualties, injuries and disabilities caused by the terrorist attacks. Militants are also part of this death toll, and most of them have been killed due to military operations as well as drone strikes.

 “There are fears that American espionage has increased in Pakistan, and American drones are killing many innocent citizens on suspicion of terrorists.”

  • Dilemma of Internally Displaced People

After becoming a part of the war on terror, the Pakistani government conducted various military operations against the militants, namely Operation Rah-e-Raast, Operation Rah-e-Nijaat, Operation Dargahlam, and Operation Zarb-e-azb, to mention only a few. These counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency military operations resulted in mass displacement of people in FATA and KPK. A report published in June 2018 by the International Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC) claims that around 7 million people have become internally displaced as a result of conflict in the North West of Pakistan since 2001.  

  • Impact on the education system in Pakistan

Education is the key to progress for any nation across the globe. It, too, became a victim of the war on terror. Most of the Girls’ schools were destroyed and vandalized by the extremists for dispensing modern or Western-style education generally to children but particularly to girls. Militants attacked and destroyed a number of boys and girls schools in FATA and KPK as a strategy to instil the youth of the area with militant values. The Army public school attack in 2014 and Girls middle school set on fire in Diammer GB in 2022 are cases in point.

“We are targeting schools because they are part of an infidel system of education”    

(Sajjad Mohmand, Mohmand Agency spokesperson of TTP)
B-      Economic Repercussions:

Although Pakistan got economic assistance from the USA in the form of the Glenn, Brown and Pressler amendment and the Kerry Lugar bill for becoming an integral part of the war against terrorism, the short and long-term economic repercussions have surpassed this economic support from the USA. Pakistan’s economy has suffered more seismic economic shocks than its bearing calibre due to this war on terror.

 “Pakistan has faced an approximate loss of 100 billion dollars in this war on terror, which is a huge amount for a struggling nation like Pakistan, and USA economic assistance is less than this huge loss”

  • Low foreign direct investment inflows

Foreign direct investment is basically the inflow of capital or investment from outside countries, whether in the form of any kind of assistance or full operations like multinational companies. FDIs produce positive productivity effects in host countries. Since the start of the anti-terrorism campaign, the pervading sense of uncertainty has contributed to capital flight as well as slowing down domestic economic activity by making foreign investors jittery. Foreign Direct Investment was adversely affected by military operations in FATA and other areas of KP, in addition to an excessive increase in the country‘s credit risk.

  • The high cost of multiple military operations

In order to curb terrorists in Pakistan, Pakistan’s military has performed multiple military operations, which are very high for a developing state like Pakistan. These counterterrorism operations include Rah-e-Raast,  Zarb-e-aAzb, Rah-e-Nijaat, etc., in KPK, Waziristan region and FATA agencies.

C-      Diplomatic Repercussions:

By becoming an important player in the war against terrorism, Pakistan has to face many short and long-term grave effects in diplomatic aspects, which have raised many issues within Pakistan and with neighbouring states like Afghanistan.

  • Deterioration of Pak-Afghan Relations

As Pakistan became a partner of the war on terror campaign, it had to close the PAK-AFGHAN border and stop assistance to Afghanistan; the relations between Pakistan, Afghans and the Taliban deteriorated with every passing day.

  • Durand line issue: A perrenial saga

The issue of the Durand line is not a new thing to Pakistan, but it intensified as Pakistan became part of the war against terrorism. It posed short and long-term repercussions for Pakistan as cross-border attacks have increased in past decades. Even in 2022, there was a firing at Friendship Gate at the Chaman spin Bolder corridor, and the date was closed multiple times due to cross-border skirmishes at the Durand line.

  • Issue of pashtoonistan

By giving its services in the war against terrorism, Pakistan has to face the nasty attitude of Afghans by raising the issue of Pashtoonistan and adding fuel to the fire of separatist movements in KPK and Afghanistan to establish Pashtoonistan.

  • Pakistan’s national image crisis

Today, Pakistan’s identity is torn between the status of a frontline state in the war on terror and a safe haven for breeding and shielding a new generation of militants. Pakistan has been scapegoated by the USA and blamed as a terrorist-sponsored state. Irrespective of the ground realities of Pakistan, the projected negative of Pakistan has gained currency. Pakistan has also suffered a lot due to the “DO MORE” mantra of the USA and the ultimate divorce of the PAK-USA transactional marriage.    

D-     Political Repercussions

Pakistan has also faced and is still facing grave results of becoming a part of a USA-led war against terrorism in a political dimension.

  • Threat to national sovereignty

During the last two decades of war against terrorism in Afghanistan, the USA posed threats to the sovereignty of Pakistan. The assassination of two Lahore residents by Raymond Davis (a former CIA agent), “Operation Neptune Spear” in Abbottabad, and NATO forces’ strike on Salala Airbase in 2011 are the case studies in this regard.

  • Rise in anti-state and anti-military sentiments.

The War on Terror (WOT) has spread animosity and hate among Pashtuns in Pakistan, who began to oppose Pakistan’s military. As per a poll conducted in 2016, 20 per cent of Pakistani Madrassas were suspected of being linked to Jihadi and sectarian groups. Eighty-one per cent of madrassa students were against military operations in tribal regions, 78 per cent disagreed with Pakistan’s position in the war, and 20 per cent believed the emergence of uprisings within the country was a product of Pakistan’s involvement in the War on Terror.

Critical Analysis

The critical analysis shows that Pakistan’s decision to join the war on terror was not very good in the long run, but Pakistan had no choice at that time. The statement of President Bush was that either you are with us or with terrorists. So, Pakistan was forced to join the war against terrorism. Pakistan has sincerely played its role by becoming a frontline state and also received the title of ‘NON-NATO ALLY’ from the USA, but still, the West has not appreciated Pakistan for its contribution but slammed Pakistan as a terrorist-sponsored state. Pakistan has had many short and long-term grave repercussions just because of joining the USA-led war against terrorism, but the USA always used the mantra of ‘DO MORE’ and blamed Pakistan for doing nothing but to provide assistance to the Afghan Taliban. Conclusively, Pakistan has numerous lessons to learn from her decision to indulge in the USA-led coalition in the war against terrorism.


The role of Pakistan as a front ally in the Global War against terrorism indicates that since the beginning, Pakistan has gone above and beyond to assist in the US-led war, apprehending and targeting Al Qaida and other foreign militants operating in the country and providing complete land, air, and seaport accessibility, as well as a slew of other security and logistical help. Despite Pakistan’s constant efforts to combat the threat of terrorism, she failed to receive enough appraisals from the world that she deserves. Pakistan had to pay a heavy price for indulging in the War on Terror. The decision caused significant issues of social, economic, and political nature for the country. Moreover, the US-Taliban conflict not only tarnished Pakistan’s image but also gave rise to xenophobic trends against Muslims in the Western world. These xenophobic trends are prevalent to date. This implies the dire need to rebuild the image of the Muslim community in general and Pakistan in particular.

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2- Write a detailed and systematic analysis of the charismatic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad All Jinnah. The leader of Indian Muslims during the crisis-ridden decade of 1937-47.
3-Having the largest irrigation system in the world, the land of the sub-continent served as the main food supply basket for the British power for more than a century, but now Pakistan has to import food commodities. Discuss in detail the causes of this agricultural decline.
4-Industrialization is the backbone of the modem economic system and uplifts the standard of living of the masses. Elaborate causes for the hindrance of industrial development in Pakistan.
5-The evolution of the democratic system has always remained a dilemma in Pakistan, even after passing more than seven decades of its existence democracy could not get its roots. Discuss in detail.
6-Joining the US led Coalition in the War against Terrorism has Many Short and Long Term Repercussions for Pakistan. Discuss.
7-Elaborate. Pakistan is located on the cross-road of South Asia. Explain its geo-strategic/political importance and challenges.
8-Pakistan is considered to be the fifth-largest youth bulge country in the world. Given this youth bulge. Deliberate on ways forward for Sustainable Economic Development in Pakistan.

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