Militancy in Pakistan A Schizophrenic Problem
Lowe, Carl M.
Mabry, Tristan James
Khan, Feroz Hassan
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Since 2001, the West has focused on the insurgency along the Afghan-Pakistani border. The minimal achievements of Pakistans counterinsurgency operations drew U.S. scrutiny. Skeptics accused Pakistan of not being serious about eliminating Islamic militants. Pakistan has opposed, supported, or ignored Islamic militant groups. Both domestic and transnational issues complicate Islamabads decision-making ability. This thesis evaluates to what extent India, Islamic affinity, and Pashtun nationalism shaped Pakistans counterinsurgency strategy. The perceived existential Indian threat creates a security dilemma for the Pakistani military. Pakistan lacks the capacity to fight a two-front war without international assistance. Islamabads instrumental use of Islamic groups to achieve political and strategic objectives allows Islamist to become intertwined with the state. Strategic successes of the military-militant nexus created deep-rooted sympathies toward Islamic militants that make implementing counterinsurgency policies problematic. Fearing Pashtun nationalism, the Pakistan armys deployment in the region was minimal, and instead, Pashtun tribal leaders were unprotected against radical elements. The Mullahs growing strength upset the balance of authority within the tribal governance system. The spread of radical fundamentalism outside the FATA region forced Islamabad to react.
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