9/11 attacks plotted in Pakistan: Afghan analysts
KABUL (PAN): Al Qaeda plotted the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York and the Pentagon in Pakistan, Afghan political analysts said on Sunday, the 10th anniversary of the devastating events.
About 3,000 people were killed in the attacks on the morning of September 11, 2001 when 19 hijackers took control of four commercial airliners en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Five hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into the World Trade Centre's North Tower and another five hit the South Tower with the United Airlines Flight 175. Following resistance from passengers, several hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, with a fourth plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan on October 17, 2001, blaming the Al Qaeda and Taliban for the assaults on the centres of its military and economic might after the Taliban refused to hand over Osama.
American troops toppled the Taliban reign and installed Hamid Karzai as head of the interim administration.
Political experts, however, believe the attacks were planned on Pakistani soil. The US should have invaded Pakistan instead of Afghanistan. Pakistan has since been sheltering Al Qaeda and Taliban, they alleged.
The Afghan government and analysts have time and again shared their viewpoints with the international community on Pakistan's policy of aiding militants, political commentator Haroon Mir said. The war concentrated on Afghanistan over the last decade, while insurgent networks worked out their plans in Pakistan.
"Only after the killing of Osama and other Al Qaeda leaders, the international community agreed with Afghanistan's view that the network had safe havens in the neighbouring country," he said, asking: "Why is an all-out offensive not conducted in terror hotbeds?"
Islamabad previously claimed that Osama was in Afghanistan, but a military operation by US troops in Abbottabad on June 2 proved Pakistani officials were wrong.
Pakistan cannot deceive the world anymore, he said. "Knowing well that Pakistan is not honest in the fight against terrorism, the US is mounting political, economic and military pressure on Pakistan." He thought such pressures were effective.
Muhamamd Younus Fakoor, another commentator, saw the US attack on Afghanistan as a mistake, whose victims were Afghans. The US, which could not achieve its goals, still had time to take serious measures against Pakistan.
"After the killing of Osama, US policy toward Pakistan has changed. When it will take serious action against Pakistan is a question that can be best answered by the US itself," he said.
Scores of Al Qaeda leaders and members have been killed during US airstrikes in the North Waziristan tribal region, where militants have safe heavens.
While opposing the US invasion in the wake of 9/11, the Taliban said no Afghans were involved in the attacks. They accused Americans of seeking pretexts to invade the Central Asian country and inflicting heavy casualties on Afghan civilians.
The insurgents also urged an impartial investigation into the event, a request ignored by the international community.
Ten years on, the war in Afghanistan is far from over, leaving thousands of people dead and injured in addition to causing huge financial losses.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.