HomeResearch PaperIndia and the United States need each other to combat terror in...

India and the United States need each other to combat terror in south Asia

Author: Shambhavi Jaiswal
Research Coordinator, GCTC
Areas of interest: Diplomacy, international relations, geopolitics


If we think of a major event in the past 20 years that changed the world, there’s a particular moment that stands as a catalyst to so much that has defined our era and impacted millions of people. The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, changed much about the world as we know it and ushered in a new era of conflict and fear. from mass government surveillance, new immigration programs alongside growing anti-immigrant sentiments and Islamophobia to the wars in Af- Afghanistan, and Iraq, the conflict between Pakistan and India, the rise of Daesh. War on terror starts with Al Qaeda yet it doesn’t end there, it won’t end until each terrorist oppressor gathering of worldwide reach has been discovered, halted, and crushed.

US and Afghanistan Relation

Afghanistan and the US initially recorded contact was in 1830 when Josiah Har- plan, a political dissident, and adventurer headed out to south Asia in anticipation of turning into a prince of Afghanistan. within the first anglo-afghan war that broke out around 8 years after the fact, Harlan inspected the results and acknowledged Dost Mohammad’s was too solid to even think about being toppled, consequently he flew back to the US. Not long after the third anglo-afghan war, the deal was marked to end the contention. in 1921, The Afghan authorities at that point visited the US to set up diplomatic ties. at the point when the authorities got back to Afghanistan, they likewise brought back a letter from US President Warren G. Hard- ing, adjusting that the two presently have an official diplomatic relation. After the foundation of two-sided relations, the US started contributing and increasing the expectation of living in Afghanistan. Things were entirely stable within the two for some time, yet evidently, during world war two, the ties turned into a little un- steady when Afghanistan actually had ties with nazi Germany. Afghanistan did anyway figured out how to remain impartial in the war and kept its binds with the two sides of the contention.
Afghan-American relations turned out to be significant during the beginning of the cold war, between the US and the soviet union. In the principal half of the cold war, we see a solid connection between the two. with the US president Harry S. Truman, expressing that the relations between the two nations must be ‘strengthened and preserved’. we likewise observe the first official Afghanistan ambassador at the US Habibullah Khan Tarzi, who served from 1946-53. in the 50’s Af- Afghanistan likewise mentioned a mutual defense agreement with the US. despite the fact that the US declined the solicitation, they did anyway increased the eco-nomic aid developmental program with Afghanistan. during the start of the cold war, Afghanistan abided between both of the socialist forces to be reckoned with on the planet, that being the soviet union and china. Notwithstanding, during the 1960s we saw the establishment of the communist party within Afghanistan. this being exceptionally alarming due to the already cold war tensions within the region. inevitably, in 1978 we see the ‘ revolution also called the April revolution,’ a coup led by the Soviet-backed people’s democratic party of Afghanistan against the Afghan President Mohammed Daoud Khan. The US began Operation Cyclone which Centrally focused to provide Intelligence Agency’s program to arm & finance the Afghan Mujahideen. US assistance provided around $500 loans, grants, improved education systems, increased agricultural production, and im- proved government operation. this was mainly to counter the outspread of communism and the ‘soviet union’ into south Asia. After around 9 years of Af- Afghanistan-soviet warMujahideen was able to counteract the Soviets through the use of shoulder-fired antiaircraft missiles supplied by the united states. Then, the Mujahideen went into their own civil war subsequently.

Taliban- rise to power

After world war one, Afghanistan became independent and the monarchy came into force. Mohammed Zahir Shah was the last lord of Afghanistan who controlled for around a long time from 1933-73. He achieved different changes, c diplomatic re- relations with many countries, increased employment, provided women with their basic rights. notwithstanding, in 1973, Mohammed Daoud Khan ousted Mo-hammed Zahir Shah’s system with the assistance of PDPA (People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan). Be that as it may, in 1978, Afghanistan president Mo-hammed Daoud Khan was ousted and killed in a Coup by the PDPA which is famously known as the SAUR upheaval. Presently, PDPA assumed control over the control which was a communist party, which currently became Russia and the Soviet’s focal point. In any case, PDPA had its own inside common war going on between Khalq – Parcham. Despite the fact that PDPA attempted to build up the nation through different methods like land appropriation, changes for class, and society yet could just stand stable for about a year. Amidst the cold war, in December 1978, the Soviets attacked Afghanistan to stop the communist party PDPA (People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan) against a developing Sur- agency. After the soviet union intervened and occupied Afghanistan in 1979, Is- Islamic Mujahedeen contenders occupied a battle with the Soviet forces. Around 90,000 afghans, were prepared by Pakistan ISI during the 1980s which was totally supported by the US. From 1979-89, the Soviet-Afghan war proceeds- ed, and before the finish of 1989, Gorbachev had decided to seek a troops withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Afghan civil war 1992-96

after the fall of the soviet-upheld system of Mohammad Najibullah in 1992, numerous afghan ideological groups April concurred on harmony and force-sharing arrangement, ‘The Peshawar accord’ which made the Islamic State of Af- Afghanistan and selected an interim government for a momentary period. However, the Islamic State and its governing body were incapacitated right from the earliest starting point, due to equaling bunches fighting for full oversight over Kabul and Afghanistan. Hekmatyar’s Hezb-e Islamic Gulbuddin party refused to recognize the interim government and in April penetrated Kabul to assume control over the force for itself, along these lines beginning this civil war.

Taliban 1994-96

The Taliban are a development of strict understudies (Talib) from the Pashtun territories of eastern and southern Afghanistan who were taught in conventional Is- Islamic schools in Pakistan. Mullah Mohammad Omar in September 1994 in his old neighborhood of Kandahar with 50 understudies established the group. Omar was baffled that the Islamic law had not been introduced in Afghanistan in the wake of outcasting the communist rule, and now with his gathering promised to free Afghanistan of warlords and lawbreakers. inside months, 15000 understudies, frequently Afghan exiles, from strict schools or madrasas joined the gathering.

Rise to Power

on 3rd November 1994, the Taliban in a surprising attack conquered Kandahar city. within a year, until 1995 the Taliban had established control over 12 afghan territories. militias controlling the different often surrendered without a fight. During this phase, the Taliban was favored as they were responsible got stamping out corruption, bringing lawlessness, and constructing roads.  in an offer to set up their standard all over Afghanistan, the Taliban began shelling Kabul in mid-1995. on 26 September 1996, as the Taliban arranged for another significant hostile, the Taliban entered Kabul on September 27, 1996, and set up the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda

 Al Qaeda is a broad-based militant Islamist organization founded by deadly terrorist Osama bin Laden in the late 1980s. he engaged in various conflicts and wars, particularly the Afghanistan conflict and 9/11. in 1991 bin Laden was ex- pulled from Saudi Arabia by its regime after repeatedly criticizing the Saudi al- license with the US. After Osama bin laden’s return to Afghanistan, he became in-tent on attacking the united states.Bin laden announced war on the united states in the following year 1996. he issued a fatwa against the united states. the 1998 African embassy bombings and bin laden’s February 1998 fatwa marked a turning point for Al-Qaeda’s terrorist organization. However, the US could be blamed for establishing the Taliban and mujahideen right from the Afghan war in 1979.

Attack 9/11

There were different motives behind this attack, such as the Israeli-Palestine conflict, The US actions against Russia, and Russia intervention in the middle east. The 9/11 attack, were a progression of 4 facilitated fear-based oppressor assaults by the Islamist terrorist group Al-Qaeda against the US on the morning of Tues- day, 9/11, 2001. A total of 2996 people were killed in the 9/11 attack including the 19 terrorist hijackers abroad the four airplanes.

The US- Intervention 2001

On 20 September 2001, US President George W. Bush, speaking to a joint session of congress, tentatively blames al-Qaeda for the 9/11 attack. in the response to the attack, the united states launched the war of terror to depose the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and capture Al-Qaeda operatives. Soon after the 11 September attack, within a month, the united states was majorly supported by countries like the united kingdom, Canada, and other countries including several from the NATO alliance. They altogether commenced military actions, bombing Taliban and Al-Qaeda-related camps. the stated intent of the military operation was to remove the Taliban from power and prevent the use of Afghanistan as a terrorist base of operation. However, Pakistan has been accused of continuing to support the Taliban, which disrupted the US-Pakistan relations.

Operation Neptune spear

Osama bin Laden, founder of the Islamist group Al-Qaeda was killed in Abbot- bad, Pakistan on May 2, 2011, by the united states navy SEALs of the U.S. naval special warfare development group. He was the man behind the September 11 attack, and his demise ended 10 years of search for Osama bin laden. Oba- ma, before addressing Operation Neptune spear first thought of considering a joint operation with Pakistan forces and military. later, however, he decided that Pakistani authorities could not be trusted for the operation Neptune spear. The activity, code-named Operation Neptune spear, was requested by us president, Barak Obama. bin laden was executed within the fortified of the building and his body was taken by U.S. forces.

US security policy in South Asia since 9/11

Becoming Xenophobic- the 9/11 attack introduced another age of approaches that organized public security and defense frequently to the detriment of common freedoms and basic liberties. the attack characterized the organization of George. hedge and prompted the biggest government safeguard rebuilding since the formation of a department of defense. the inability to uncover the biggest terrorist attack on US soil and the absence of coordination and insight sharing among government offices prompted the making of the division of country security. a bureau level office that combined 22 government offices with the essential mission “to prevent terrorist attack within the US” and “to reduce the vulnerability of the united states to terrorism”. among the organizations that fell under the division of country security, various of them were combined into what is currently known as the US immigration and customs enforcement or ICE. ICE was allowed a special mix of common and criminal positions to capture, keep and expel unapproved settlers effectively inside the US. since its arrangement, the office has been liable for an enormous expansion in removals and increased a dubious standing, particularly when Donald Trump came into power and presented zero-tolerance strategy towards undocumented immigrants. In any case, presently numerous US legislators are calling to annul ICE contending that movement issues should be isolated from criminal implementation. Individuals raised cases, for example, “why migration attached to the battle against illegal intimidation?” Muslims suffered from increasing hate crimes after the 9/11 attack. as indicated by the FBI, the hate crimes reports against Muslims are around multiple times more incessant than they were before 2001. the dread of Muslims and reconnaissance of Muslim people groups have become the new reality for American Muslims.
The rise of the surveillance state- the U.S. intelligence state bloomed in the wake of 9/11. government oversight increased through a vast network of phone and web surveillance. the U.S. public security organization likewise took advantage of the workers of nine web firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to follow online correspondence n a reconnaissance program known as PRISM. Snowden’s revelation in 2013 made the American public aware of PRISM’s existence for the first time though it began in 2007 under the Bush administration. amid the furor over the revelations, the pew research center found that 47% of Americans were concerned that anti-terror programs had gone too far in restricting- ing civil liberties. the US involvement in the war of terror prompted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks resulted in a dramatic change in the country’s foreign and domestic policies. but most importantly, the country’s military intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan, and elsewhere in the world have left devastating impacts and far-reaching consequences the scope of which are yet to be known.

Pakistan-U.S. Counter-Terrorism co-operation

the U.S. Pakistan counter-terrorism co-operation relationship remains in distress post 9/11 period. Pakistan has been providing a suitable environment to various terrorist organizations like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and, hence it still stays on the FATF Grey list till February 2021. Some might argue that the level of stress has receded in the last few years. Watchdog might re-member that the bilateral relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan almost collapsed in 2017. At some point, both countries stopped sharing intelligence related to terrorism. However, there has been Recovery from a low point, yet a lot more conflict than cooperation. There are still three strategic verticles from the Ameri- can perspective that has dwelled upon. First capturing and killing of Al-Qaeda Islamic state and some of their allied actors in Pakistan and Afghanistan region. The second verticle has been, Kill and capture of Afghan-Taliban leadership. The
The U.S. continues to demand degradation of the infrastructure of the Afghan insurgency inside Pakistan that remains a sticking point and ways on the relationship. The third being, arrest prosecution, and targeting of Pakistani jihadists focused on India specifically who wants to engage in violence in Kashmir and other parts of India. moreover, indications are that Pakistan has used three counter-terrorism goals, especially under the Trump administration. Pakistan had also pushed the
The U.S. and continues to ask for sanctions against ballot separatists based in Af- Afghanistan and some parts of Europe. In 2019 we address some movements on that, the U.S. government sanctioned the below liberation army which fulfilled a key Pakistani demand, and finally Pakistani seeks U.S. to recognize in effect use of afghans terrorism as a problem for Pakistan.

Pakistani county insurgency was effective for a period of time, it did degrade the capabilities of a lot of such organizations but Pakistani insurgency violence did not try to settle the root causes of the militancy. there is enormous civilian suffering during which the population is really alienated. The threat remains in the tribal areas like civil rights abuses, Pashtun Tahafus movement. Pakistan has become politically more cohesive, it is marshaling more organizational capital. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan remains aligned with Al-Qaeda. this threat remains re- silent which should be of concern to U.S. policymakers.

Terrorism in Kashmir and India

 In 1935 British presented a law which was known as the government of India act of 1935, which separated the country into two sections those which were in a roundabout way managed by the British and those of kings, and how princely states were needed to sign Instrument of Accession before emergence. the segment of Hindu controlled India and Muslim administered Pakistan for a similar bill of Indian independence act which was passed in the house of commons in Lon- don. continuing ahead, the development of 565 princely states into the particular nations, and the consequenced looked by the administration of India during the rise with Hyderabad, Junagarh, Jammu, and Kashmir. Zeroing in principally on the integration of Kashmir, Which subsequent to marking the instrument of ac- cession states to be a necessary piece of India which anyway and still, after all, that prompted the greatest clash among India and Pakistan. We also address the battle of individuals of Kashmir and Kashmiri pandits and also how the Indian armed force battled on the forefront and blocked Pakistani armed forces to enter Jammu and Kashmir. besides, article 370 came into power and how the following 65 years it was nullified subsequent to winning a greater part of votes in both the houses. the issue of Jammu and Kashmir has been settled, the main issue that remains is the arrival of Kashmiri pandits, which can likewise be tackled by sending 10,00,000 ex-servicemen giving them security, land, and assurance. There have been remarks made by mehbooba mufti like India as involving power and j&k accession invalid and void and demands have been made, of Jammu and Kashmir’s own flag to be authorized.

Pakistan and India Relations

Pakistan has a very different narrative of India universally. Pakistan has been a huge discussing UN resolution and instrument of accession in the UNSC. zeroing in on few narratives that had been brought by Pakistan they are-coercive Indian control of Jammu and Kashmir, the pressure of maharaja of Kashmir to sign the instrument of accession, Hindu ruler on Muslim greater part state, and subsequently, accession being illegal. huge numbers of the nations which uphold India in the annulment of article 370, anyway a considerable lot of the media of these nations don’t uphold India. Continuing further, how Pakistan assaulted with power Jammu and Kashmir and harmed a large portion of the residents and Indian officers. There have been a series of terrorist attacks on India, by various terrorist organizations funded by Pakistan like Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba.


Jaish-e-Mohammed is a terrorist group active in Kashmir. The group’s primary motive is to separate Kashmir from India and merge it with Pakistan. it has carried out several terrorist attacks primarily in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. it also maintained close relations with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and continues to be allied to them. in September 2016, the jihadi militant attacked the Indian brigade headquarter in Uri, close to the Loc, in Indian-held Kashmir. the attack resulted in 19 soldiers. In the following years, on 14 February 2019, Jaish-e-Mohammed carried out and claimed responsibility for the Pulwama Attack, which was a suicide bomb attack in Kashmir on a convoy of security forces that killed at least 44 Indian Jawans of the Central reserve police force (CRPF).

Indo-US Counter-Terrorism Cooperation

In both India and the US operate at different levels as far as the perception of terrorism and as far as counterterrorism is concerned. 2 decades ago, our relations and defense cooperation were not so strong as they are today. moreover 2 decades ago before the 9/11 attack happened, the US did not take India seriously regarding Pakistan sponsor terrorism or cross-border terrorism. it is only after the 9/11 attack when the US realized the potential of engagement with India and there has been a steady improvement of the relationship since then. a couple of months later after the 11 September attack, we addressed the parliament attack on India, it was then George W. Bush administration was reaching out to democracies, and then onwards the cooperation between the two countries started both in defense and counterterrorism. India now carries out various joint exercises with the United States such as joint working groups, India-US strategic dialogue, In- dia-US homeland security dialogue, Indo-US Counter-Terrorism Cooperation, to the extent that India does not have such joint exercises with any other countries. There have been several operations of Indo-US Cooperation, but while we have been having these initiatives we must address the difference between the US and India in regards to terrorism which now primarily focuses on the ongoing conflict in Kashmir and Pakistan sponsor terrorism. whereas the US is the global hegemony and India is a regional power, so there is a contrast in nature where India focuses on Lashkar- e-Taiba, Indian Mujahideen, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and the US counterterrorism operation is focused on transnational groups such as Haqqani network, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, so this also shapes how we combat terrorism. despite having various differences, we have addressed great cooperation between India and the US in the last decade.
In July, a US warship reached the strait of Malacca near Andaman and Nicobar islands to carry out the naval exercise (PASSEX) with the Indian navy. Followed by Malabar maritime exercise, which is a trilateral naval exercise, after a decade India invites Australia for the Malabar exercise with full support from the united states. Also, the US has authorized more than $20 billion in defense sales to In- dia. this shows the strong relationship between the US and India. but the most important of all is a 2+2 ministerial dialogue between India and the US to discuss bilateral defense issues. The two countries have already signed GSOMIA (2002), LEMOA (2016), and COMCASA (2018) to exchange ministry logistics and enable secure communications. BECA (basic exchange and cooperation agreement) is the fourth and final ‘foundational’ understanding between the US and In- dia. BECA focuses on geospatial intelligence and sharing information on maps and satellite images for defense. BEC has allowed India to use the US’s ad- advanced geospatial intelligence and enhance the accuracy of automated systems and weapons like missiles and armed drones. it will enhance topographical and aeronautical data and products that will aid navigation and targeting. in the case of Pakistan, if there is ever another airstrike similar to one like breakout, India will be able to access satellite and other data from the US to verify the success of its hits.



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