The world remembers 9/11 attacks as America mourns 14th anniversary of terrorists attacks on World Trade Center occurred on September 11, 2001. On the fateful day of September 11, 2001, the world witnessed the most disturbing images ever aired live on camera. Two planes crashed into North and South tower of one of the world’s tallest building known as World Trade Center. The devastating impact of the planes left both the towers in fire and smoke. As it happened, the world saw both towers of the World Trade Center collapsing within two hours.
The deadly attacks on Twin Towers were part of a larger conspiracy that involved attacks on the Pentagon and White House. Though a plane did hit the western part of the Pentagon, the other plane could not hit the target and crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. This terrorist attack on American soil left approximately 3000 dead and more than 6,000 injured. This was a gruesome attack on superpower of the world and the deadliest in history of United States of America.
BiWi looks back on the fateful day and how it changed the world:
Cold War Between America and Soviet Union
It all began when Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. America had hostile relations with Communist government of Soviet Union and both were not in good terms after World War II. Their hostility reached boiling point after Cuban Missile Crisis that almost brought them on the verge of war. Thereafter, the Afghan War was the second most significant turn between strained relations of America and Soviet Union.
Russian Invasion of Afghanistan
Exploiting the Mujahidin sentiments of Jihad, American intelligence provided Taliban a shield of support with their funding for the war. This was a tradeoff for the Washington leadership who saw Moscow as a threat and Taliban as a patsy.
Osama Bin Laden Becomes a Menace For America
Osama Bin Laden was pivotal in providing Taliban with financial support for Russia-Afghan War and soon he became the blue-eyed boy of the Pentagon. He had a love and hate relationship with Saudi regime and their relation reached tipping point when he demanded withdrawal of American troops from Saudi Arabia forcing him to exile in Sudan in 1992.
Osama Bin Laden returned to Afghanistan following attacks on American Embassies in Tanzania and Nairobi. He felt safe under the shelter of nascent Taliban regime. Upon his arrival in the country, he continued to organize Al-Qaeda and started training campaigns for Jihad. He further reinforced the idea of Jihad by issuing a Fatwa in 1996 justifying the killing of American people.
The Fateful Day of September 11, 2001
On the early morning of September 11, 2001, 19 hijackers headed towards three landmark sites of the America including the White House, Pentagon building and World Trade Center. The American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 were rammed into North and South towers of the World Trade Center, while the American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon building. The United Airlines flight 93 was on his way towards the Washington D.C when it crashed into a field as passengers overpowered the attackers. In all this chaos, approximately 3000 people lost their lives, while more than 6000 suffered severe injuries.
Pakistan Becomes an Ally in America’s War on Terror
The horrific attacks on World Trade Center divided international fraternity into two groups: pro-Taliban and anti-Taliban. The love and hate relations between America and Pakistan took an important turn when Pakistan became a chief ally of America’s War on Terror.
American troops in cooperation with NATO and Pakistan Intelligence organizations cracked down on Al-Qaeda activists and hunted down many key members of the organization, including Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the alleged mastermind of 9/11 attacks. The unending chase of cat and mouse resulted in deaths of number of civilians as America launched drone attacks in Pakistan.
After America attacked on Afghanistan, Pakistan became a safe haven for Taliban and Al-Qaeda. However, it promoted terrorism in the country and Tehreek-e-Pakistan headed by Baitullah Mehsud emerged as a new offshoot of Taliban operating in Pakistan to protect Islamic Sharia and sabotage NATO-led invasion of Afghanistan.
Collateral Damage of Drone Attacks
America launched drone attacks in Pakistan in 2004. The collateral damage that the country suffered as a result of drones proved an irreparable damage to the country. Pakistan suffered more than 15,000 deaths of civilians and Armed forces. The country plunged into a chaos of nationwide terrorism as Taliban targeted innocent people. This caused a great deal of economical, emotional and financial loss to the country.
What Are the Lessons Learned?
America’s War on Terror has changed the canvas of international politics and the residual effects of the war are visible in the world as we saw two governments fell apart as a result of Afghan War and Iraq War. The aftermath of the wars caused over 35,000 casualties in 14 years. The period also saw the worst violation of human rights as a result of these wars.
Considering the massive collateral damage of War on Terror, it is high-time for leadership of East and West to find a way of reconciliation of the political, religious and ideological differences of the issues in order to avoid any such scenarios in future and they should play their roles to make this world a peaceful place.