War on terror: Pakistan reminds Americans of its sacrifices, with an ad

Published: September 12, 2011
The poster above is not the actual advertisement. DESIGN: ESSA MALIK

The poster above is not the actual advertisement. DESIGN: ESSA MALIK

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON: As newspapers in the United States mark the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the government of Pakistan has tried to remind Americans of the sacrifices made by Pakistanis in the war against terrorism, by purchasing a half-page advertisement in The Wall Street Journal, the largest newspaper in the US by circulation.

The advertisement, which includes a photograph of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and President Asif Ali Zardari lists several statistics which highlight the impact of the 9/11 attacks – and the subsequent war in Afghanistan – on Pakistan. It was timed to coincide with the tenth anniversary of the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

“Since 2001 a nation of 180 million has been fighting for the future of world’s 7 billion,” said the advertisement. It then went on to ask: “Which country can do more for your peace?”

The ad lists several statistics and then asks “Can any other country do so? Only Pakistan … The promise of our martyrs lives on.”

According to the ad, since September 11, 2001, 21,672 Pakistani civilians have lost their lives or have been seriously injured in an ongoing fight against terrorism. The Pakistan Army has lost 2,795 soldiers in the war and 8,671 have been injured.

There have been 3,486 bomb blasts in the country, including 283 major suicide attacks. More than 3.5 million have been displaced. The damage to the Pakistani economy is estimated at $68 billion over the last ten years.

Over 200,000 Pakistani troops were deployed at the frontline and 90,000 soldiers are fighting against militants on the Afghan border.

Foreign Office statement

The Foreign Office released a statement paying tribute to the victims of the attacks on their 10th anniversary Sunday, saying that Pakistan too was a target of terrorism.

“Pakistan joins the people of the United States and of the world in honouring the memory of all those who lost their lives on 11 September, as well as those who have been victims of terrorism around the world,” the foreign ministry said.

The cataclysmic events of September 11 dragged the nuclear power into a decade of fighting and violence that the government in Islamabad says has killed 35,000 people.

The foreign ministry statement said: “As a country that has been severely affected by terrorism, we reaffirm our national resolve to strengthening international cooperation for the elimination of terrorism. It is also appropriate that today the global community renew its commitment to uphold the noble ideals of tolerance, humanity, brotherhood and friendship amongst all peoples and its determination to work for creating a better world.”

The United States government appeared to acknowledge Pakistan’s support in the war on terrorism on Saturday, with White House Press Secretary Jay Carney saying that Pakistan’s action had helped keep Americans safe in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (34)

  • Sep 12, 2011 - 11:28AM

    Great move – think it should be advertised in as many places as possible to let the world know how much we’ve sacrificed.


  • Jahangir
    Sep 12, 2011 - 12:25PM

    Certianly an effective way of highlighting the scarifices by Pakistanis. The Wall Street Journal is read by most of Wall Street and Washington. Recommend

  • Sep 12, 2011 - 1:00PM

    @Salman Qureshi:Let it be known to all keen readers/observers that on this special occasion of tenth anniversary of 9/11,Pakistan did try to reach out to the maximum numbers of Americans and for that they at first contacted The New York Times for the publication of its Ad. but it refused to print it for reasons known to itself and this un-ethical act, forced our PR officials in Washington to contact The Wall Street Journal, which is not a generally/ papular type of newspaper,because it is a specialised business newspaper, but it has its influential readership, no doubt.`But the main point is why Pakistan, despite being a front-line state in its war against terrorism and extremism, was totally ignored and side-lined on this occasion and it had to purchase half page of the newspaper for its ad. to let Americans know What Paklistan has done for the safety and security of the 7 billion people of the globe.


  • S.Ramkumar
    Sep 12, 2011 - 2:36PM

    Do you know that the New York Times refused to carry this ad?
    Wonder why?


  • S.Ramkumar
    Sep 12, 2011 - 2:41PM

    Do you know that the International Herald Tribune is just the global edition of NYT and
    The Express Tribune is affiliated to the International Herald Tribune?


  • Azharuddin Masood
    Sep 12, 2011 - 3:50PM

    @Salman Qureshi & Anwar Sheikh… Respect cannot be purchased nor can it be demanded but it has to be commanded. There is no need to spend lavishly to publish your sufferings in American News Papers as every one round the globe knows this so called front – Line fake state in War against Terrorism – Pakistan. The chickens have come home to roost – what you have given to the world is being paidback. Pakistan’s evil deeds are now hounting Pakistan.


  • Chengez Kengez K
    Sep 12, 2011 - 4:37PM


    Oh my God!!!!

    Here we again……..


  • Furqan Khattak
    Sep 12, 2011 - 4:53PM

    Awesome, this is called the diplomacy and a right move at the right time…


  • John B
    Sep 12, 2011 - 5:30PM

    Bad timing and wrong choice of words in the ad. Whoever advised for the ad is ill-informed about PR.


  • Pundit
    Sep 12, 2011 - 5:50PM

    Seems to be a desperate move…and clearly lacks sincerity…

    No Pakistani leader has been seen in Washington now for a long time …

    A live TV statement carries far more impact than a mere half page ad.Recommend

  • malik
    Sep 12, 2011 - 6:14PM

    This is shameful. Pak with every ill-advised action is alienating the western world further and further. MY US FRIEND IS ASKING ME:

    Why the Govt can’t carry out similar campaign in Pak media to dispel the conspiracy theories?

    Why the Govt can’t tell its people that they are fighting their own war and NOT US’ WAR?

    Why the Govt can’t put out an ad in all news papers that OSAMA was indeed killed by US in Abbottabad? That Osama’s wives are still in Pakistan?

    Why the Govt can’t release an ad saying ‘Don’t carry on anti-Americanism too far’ since they are our largest benefactors?


  • dr jalal
    Sep 12, 2011 - 9:01PM

    Pakistan is disparately trying to convince the world that they are fighting the terror.However their action don`match their words.Pakistani society has become intolerant and apathetic to the world peace.The other day i asked an educated health professional about killing of an unarmed youth by Karachi rangers in broad day light and I was disgusted with his answer that (quote) “our rangers thought that the man committed a robbery and women teasing in the park so they were right in shooting the person but they must ensure there are no camera around,,.This is the level of tolerance in Pakistani society.No amount of advertisements and no further fooling of world shall change the opinion of world now.They are exposed fully.There are no takers.Recommend

  • Ram
    Sep 12, 2011 - 9:45PM

    Read the following link


    the advt has gone waste. Probably it answers why NYT refused to carry the advt!


  • rana
    Sep 13, 2011 - 1:21AM

    great work by pakistan love for pak and love for usa


  • Sundar
    Sep 13, 2011 - 2:28AM

    Good deeds are known not by advertising. Stop the double game and be sincere in fighting terrorists the whole world automatically will start respecting. If you want to keep part of the bad guys to wage proxy wars with neighbours, no amount of advertising will help.


  • Adil
    Sep 13, 2011 - 9:38AM

    @Azharuddin Masood:

    People like you can only spit venom…have you ever met any Pakistani in your real life. We are also human beings, we too have loved ones. I myself live in Canada and personally have friends hailing from other nations including India. I don’t deny that we have a problem in our society but why don’t people like you don’t look at individuals such as Ansar Burney,Abdul Sattar Edhi and Aisam ul Haq among us?


  • Proud Pakistani
    Sep 13, 2011 - 11:15AM

    Who are we trying to fool. Lets not forget that most terrorists are our own citizens getting educated in our Madresas’, being trained at camps located located within our territories and that our country harbors most of the Taliban and Al Qaeda leaders who enjoys wider public support. We can not bring peace to our own country and we think that we are contributing towards the world peace, come on who are we kidding. Clean your own house first, that would be a good start.


  • Azharuddin Masood
    Sep 13, 2011 - 2:00PM

    @Adil: We lead by image. Image of a person or a country is very vital and it immediately flashes in our minds. Image of a country is what we perceive and not what the jingoists of that country claim. You can purchase a Million Dollar advertisement to imporve the cosmetic image of your country with the dole money but you can’t change the perception which is deep embedded in our minds. The reality is your nation is not a victim of terrorism but merchandiser of terrorism. You sell terrorism to the world and the world pays heavily for your commodity in hope of peace. Now that the value of your countrys patent product “Terrorism” is diminishing so it is being advertised in news papers to keep it floating in the world market.


  • sunny
    Sep 13, 2011 - 3:08PM

    As one of our friends said that first clean your own house then think about others, when you have creatures placed and you are providing the security to the creatures then I don’t find a meaning saying the world that we are sacrificing. The big joke of the decade/year.


  • Barkha Saxena
    Sep 13, 2011 - 3:13PM

    @Salman Qureshi:
    I am kind to forgive you once but not that dumb to trust you again.


  • Aasim
    Sep 13, 2011 - 3:47PM

    If anyone wish to see the advertisement http://twitpic.com/6ka09v – It fails to answer one big question; ‘how was Osama living in Abbottabad?’


  • rk
    Sep 13, 2011 - 7:44PM

    You guys are victims of terror ?? really??? and where does this terror come from??? any other country??? NO its from your own terror camps that you have grown!!! so stop putting ads. No one believes your terrorist beggar country any more. Who are you trying to kid by saying you are victims??? Recommend

  • Umer
    Sep 14, 2011 - 9:31PM

    I don’t understand why people have to give negative comments on every topic. Its perhaps in our nature as pakistanis to automatically criticise anything.
    The fact is Pakistani civilians and military have suffered the most in this war and this ad was long overdue as not many people in the US and around the world ignore this aspect. So appreciate it Instaead of finding negatives.


  • Umer
    Sep 14, 2011 - 9:35PM

    Well the facts do speak for themselves. Maybe next time you could refrain from spreading hate on our news websites, if we are terrorists and beggars why are u reading our news sites with such interest? Hate speech is not welcome here


  • Sep 14, 2011 - 11:31PM

    I read the ad and think, “Sure, Pakistan made sacrifices. And they are all to keep incompetent generals in power.”

    After all, it was the generals who started the Afghan insurgency in the early 1970s; it was the generals who convinced America to agree to and support it; it was the generals who pushed the nuclear bomb project to completion that makes such a juicy target for religious radicals; and it is the generals who bray that protecting the populace against an India stirred up by ISI-supported terrorism is more important than protecting their homes from criminals and providing justice to the citizen or education to the young or disaster relief.

    Enjoy your shahids, Pakistan. Remember both what they died for and why they died.


  • Zoheb
    Sep 15, 2011 - 3:06AM

    @Solomon2: Are you that odd fellow from defence.pk who pretends to be a Jewish American but is actually another Indian obsessed about Pakistan. How many times you got banned from defence.pk? Get a life.


  • rehmat
    Sep 15, 2011 - 3:15AM

    Pakistan government has clearly decided to not confront the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani group that are attacking NATO groups. This has emboldened the Afhan Taliban who have a safe haven in North Waziristan – so NATO has not benefitted by your soldiers being in FATA
    2.. Pak government freely allows LeT Hafeez Saeed and JeM to rais funds and run terror camps. These 2 organizations are known to have attacked India – so definitely the 1.2 billion people of India have not in any way benefitted by Pak soldiers on FATA frontlines.

    The people who are being confronted by Pak army are the Tehreek-e-Taliban-Pakistan who was attacking Pak civilians. That fight is similar to India’s fight against its Naxals and Sri Lanka’s fight against LTTE. IT is for the safety and security of its own citizens. It does nothing to help the world be more secured.

    The displacement from Swat and South Waziristan also occurred due to fighting TTP – not Afghan Taliban. So it is incorrect to attribute that displacement to the War on Terror.

    One area where Pakistan has supported NATO is by providing supply lines for NATO trucks in return for which they are compensated by the US.

    The $68 billion cost is a fictitious number made up by Zardari and gang as to what the economy and investment would have been if there had been no security problems. When Pakistanis don’t trust any other numbers given by Zardari – I wonder why they buy this number alone? Anyway, any country with insurgency India, Sri Lanka, Ireland and Lebanon in the past will suffer an economic fallout. It is incorrect to attribute it to the Global War on Terror.

    I am not trying to minimize the pian and suffering of Pakistani people and I sincerely hope that these terror attacks stop. I am just trying to bring you perspective of other parts of the world and why they do not see Pak contribution in the same way as Pakistan does.


  • WhoBeleivesYou
    Sep 15, 2011 - 3:49AM

    I think talebans should also put out ad in US newspaper that they have suffered the most from the WOT!!.


  • islooboy
    Sep 15, 2011 - 9:13AM

    we wuoldnt be in this mess if bush didnt threatened to bomb pakistan to stone age


  • Sep 15, 2011 - 10:54AM

    The one comment that has given the main factor in it all is the one from John B stating “Bad timing and wrong choice of words in the ad. Whoever advised for the ad is ill-informed about PR.”
    It seems ignored among the trash talk. We’re talking about a very touchy public topic. If you don’t do it right, it’s best not to do it at all. It’s not like it would have helped much. Personally, if I saw an ad like that, I’d probably raise an eyebrow and think “well that was a little half hearted and lazy.” Someone from Pakistan actually speaking it is something I would acknowledge positively as long as they kept it real and free of subtle blame game shots. Also there’s often a sense of such things being said to receive attention for themselves and not the people who actually died which is rather off-putting.


  • Marc
    Sep 15, 2011 - 1:04PM

    Okay, we agree that Pak too has lost many lives due to the acts of terrorists. Now what do you want the Americans do about it? What are you trying to convey to the American public that many are getting killed due to the bomb blasts that are taking place every day in Pakistan? You want our sympathy and money, is that it?

    If you know that many are getting ‘martyred’ in Pak due to terror, what prevents you people from going after them? The terrorists did not drop out of sky. They are living somewhere close to you, geographically. Why you can’t go after them and finish them once and for all? Don’t you have a mighty army with you? What are your missiles for?

    Another important thing: there is no such thing called WAR ON TERROR. It is WAR ON TERRORISTS. Americans are shy to say this out of political correctness, but you can say this. This is WAR ON TERRORISTS. Identify the terrorists and then fight them, and kill them.

    Your ad is addressed to us. But you should also tell us, Have you identified the enemy? Unless you identify the enemy, how will you prevent further loss of lives?

    If you think, America is the enemy, say so clearly. We will stop giving you another penny, right this moment ! And we will watch quietly the events similar to the one that happened in Yugoslavia in 1990. And you won’t have any money left even to pay for newspaper advertisements next time !


  • Faisel Hafeez
    Sep 15, 2011 - 3:44PM

    This is ‘Apologetic Appeasement’ at its best. We are already paying the price for committing more than we could deliver.


  • ayesha
    Sep 16, 2011 - 5:53AM

    Before saving 7 billion people in the world, perhaps Pakistan should try to protect the 180 milion Pakistanis living in Pakistan who are getting cruelly blown up in school buses, sports grounds, markets and even mosques.


  • Tony C.
    Sep 16, 2011 - 8:19AM

    Dear Marc, My apologies for picking on you. There are several more comments above with similar miss-guided statements.

    `What you forgot to mention is the undisputed fact that America via the CIA, all on its own, created the so called terrorist problem which exists today, and in fact your leaders openly boasted about it when it was to their advantage.

    “Now that it has gone the other way they never tire of castigating their creation, forget to mention that they created it, and pretend that they are being noble in defending their staunch citizens from some evil fate.

    Further, the U.S. Government has used its terrorist creation as an excuse to send their military machine all around the world bombing, killing millions of people, and plundering resources.

    Now, just to rub salt into the wound, America never tires of blaming Pakistan for the terrorist problem.

    You may recall that the U.S. wanted to create Russia’s Vietnam so they invented and supported the Mujahadine ( Taliban ). The Taliban turned out to be superb hit-and-run warriors with the result that Russia eventually went home with it tails between-its-legs. Now of course a few thousand Taliban are teaching a U.S. military machine of several hundred thousand how to fight a war.

    Subsequently, The Taliban went over the border into Pakistan and taught other groups how to stand up to a Government that, for a few miserable dollars was allowing American crazies to bomb its citizens in huge numbers, most of whom have been women and children, on the pretext that they were terrorists. The crazies, are of course, continuing to kill women and children to this day with drone bombers. They fly at high altitudes to avoid being shot down with the result that their so-called pin-point accuracy is equivalent to a blind man driving a car.

    The bottom line to this Marc is that you can continue being noble and allow your American Government to explore your private body parts every time you go through an airline checkout station, you can accept your loss of freedoms, you can go to prison whenever you disagree with American authorities. Just do not expect people from other countries to meekly bow down and accept U.S. draconian security measures such as torture and complete loss of freedoms.

    Oh, and by the way, your country is going broke so you would be better off if you kept your printed, fiat, currency; do try and stop imposing your very questionable democracy on other countries, and most of all please accept my impassioned plea, in fact I beg you, do not ever rescue my country. The hundreds of thousands of deaths and total destruction of infrastructure just would not be worth it.

    I feel sorry for the Pakistan Government, I think they thought that cooperating with the Americans would provide advantages for Pakistan. It obviously did not turn out the way they thought. I would not have followed the Pakistani Government’s policy in this matter, but like them I could not have foreseen that American policy, and subsequent actions, could possible have turned out to be as bad as they did.


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