US could invade FATA if Qaeda strikes again: UK expert

Karachi, Apr.19: The United States may have shunned plans to deploy troops on Pakistan soil for the time being, but any future terror attack on US or its interests anywhere in the world by Al-Qaeda would certainly see an invasion of Pakistans Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) by the Obama administration, a British expert has warned.

Addressing a seminar Changing Nature of War and War Studies here, Professor in the Department of War Studies at Kings College, London, Anatol Lieven said that if Al-Qaeda further targets America, the US would be then forced to send its security forces inside Pakistans geographical area which could ultimately result in the disintegration of the country.

Lieven said that apart from the US led drone strikes, any on-ground operation of the US Army could create serious problems for the Pakistan military.

He said a majority of the people in western countries and also in Pakistan consider militancy a major threat to the countrys existence .

Extremism, however, can only damage the country. Pakistans fundamental problem, which has the potential to destroy it, is the scarcity of water, its wastage, incompetence (in water resources management) and too much population, Lieven added.

Lieven said he does not agree with the western medias portrayal of Pakistan as a failed state.

Pakistan is a troubled state, which has only failed in FATA and Swat as its law, political parties and institutions like the police do not work as they should do, The News quoted Lieven, as saying.

Referring to the presence of allied forces in Afghanistan, he said it will help increase radicalisation in Pakistan, however, he added that the withdrawal of the forces can result in greater difficulties for both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Commenting on the Pakistan Governments decision to allow the Taliban to implement Islamic law in Swat Valley, Lieven emphasized that making a deal with the Taliban would result in giving them an upper hand as the insurgents would consider it as their appeasement.

They will start regulating society, and they will start attacking Americans, which is unacceptable to the US, he said.

Terming the war on terror as an absurd and damaging phrase, Lieven said that a complete victory in the fight was never possible.

Only a tactical victory could be achieved, he said.
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