Islamabad: Ten years since 9/11, Pakistan finds itself "back to square one", a leading daily said, adding that with Osama bin Laden dead, the country needs to reset its strategic priorities.
Osama bin Laden was killed in a daring raid carried out by heavily armed US commandos who stormed his Abbottabad mansion on May 02.
An editorial in the Dawn on Saturday said: "In some ways, a decade since 9/11 Pakistan has found itself back to square one."
"In September 2001, Pakistan was a pariah state, shunned by the outside world, one of the few countries to recognise the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and on the verge of economic collapse.”
"Then 9/11 occurred and Pakistan had a choice to make: hitch its wagon to the American war on terror or risk being trampled underfoot. But while circumstances forced Pakistan to make that choice quickly, the country`s own strategic interests demanded decoupling from the `non-state actors` and pushing the outside world to embrace it."
It went on to say that now, with 9/11 mastermind Osama dead, "there is a second chance for Pakistan: look inwards, tackle the internal security threat with resolve, reset the strategic priorities of the state and engage the outside world as a responsible member of the international community. Anything less than that, and it is hard to see anything but further pain for Pakistan".
On Pakistan`s neighbours, the editorial said: "Pakistan does need a stable Afghanistan. Pakistan will feel threatened by an increasingly powerful India that is courted and wooed by the international powers.”
"But a less anxious Pakistan may be willing to engage the outside world more positively."