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Pakistan's Counterterrorism Challenge

Moeed Yusuf

Publication Year: 2014

Pakistan, which since 9/11 has come to be seen as one of the world's most dangerous places and has been referred to as "the epicenter of international terrorism," faces an acute counterterrorism (CT) challenge. The book focuses on violence being perpetrated against the Pakistani state by Islamist groups and how Pakistan can address these challenges, concentrating not only on military aspects but on the often-ignored political, legal, law enforcement, financial, and technological facets of the challenge.

Edited by Moeed Yusuf of the US Institute of Peace, and featuring the contributions and insights of Pakistani policy practitioners and scholars as well as international specialists with deep expertise in the region, the volume explores the current debate surrounding Pakistan's ability -- and incentives -- to crack down on Islamist terrorism and provides an in-depth examination of the multiple facets of this existential threat confronting the Pakistani state and people.

The book pays special attention to the non-traditional functions of force that are central to Pakistan's ability to subdue militancy but which have not received the deserved attention from the Pakistani state nor from western experts. In particular, the path-breaking volume, the first to explore these various facets holistically, focuses on the weakness of political institutions, the role of policing, criminal justice systems, choking financing for militancy, and regulating the use of media and technology by militants. Military force alone, also examined in this volume, will not solve Pakistan's Islamist challenge. With original insights and attention to detail, the authors provide a roadmap for Western and Pakistani policymakers alike to address the weaknesses in Pakistan's CT strategy.

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Series: South Asia in World Affairs series

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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pp. xi-xii

This book marks the culmination of over three years of efforts by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Pakistan program to examine and analyze various aspects of the terrorism challenge the Pakistani state has been facing for the better part of a decade. The project would not have been possible...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. xiii-xviii

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Moeed Yusuf

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pp. 1-14

Pakistan has been in the global limelight since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The US invasion of Afghanistan and the subsequent movement of al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban militants into Pakistan’s border regions marked the area as the ‘‘epicenter of international...

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1. Pakistan’s Militancy Challenge: From Where, to What?

Moeed Yusuf with contributions from Megan Neville, Ayesha Chugh, and Stephanie Flamenbaum

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pp. 15-46

The Pakistani civilian and military authorities remain in a race against time to pacify Islamist militancy that is generating violent opposition to the state. However, the state is unlikely to succeed unless the military expands its operational capacity, the government addresses the many...

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2. Militancy and Extremism in Pakistan: A US Perspective

MArvin G. Weinbaum

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pp. 47-62

Pakistan and the Western world do not see eye to eye on the causes of Islamist militancy in Pakistan and the means to tackle it. As seen from the United States’ perspective, Pakistan is the epicenter of international terrorism. It hosts organizations that challenge the political stability...

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3. Counterinsurgency: The Myth of Sisyphus?

Ejaz Haider

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pp. 63-82

This chapter gives an overview of the major military operations conducted by the Pakistani state over the past decade in the country’s insurgency-hit northwest. The focus is on military campaigns that could be best described as counterterrorism military operations (CMO), but...

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4. Political Instability and Its Implications for an Effective National Counterterrorism Policy in Pakistan

Savail Meekal Hussain and Mehreen Zahra-Malik

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pp. 83-102

On May 25, 2011, the Defense Committee of the Cabinet, Pakistan’s highest forum for defense policymaking, met under Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani and decided to take ‘‘pre-emptive measures to eliminate terrorist hideouts across Pakistan through a coordinated...

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5. Counterterrorism Efforts of Law Enforcement Agencies in Pakistan

Suhail Habib Tajik

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pp. 103-126

Zaki Yamani, the famous oil minister of Saudi Arabia, once said that the Stone Age did not come to an end because it ran out of stones.1 In a similar sense, the ‘‘traditional policing era’’ has come to an end not because the police have stopped patrolling the streets or sacrificing in...

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6. Legal Challenges to Military Operations in Pakistan: The Case of the Federally and Provincially Administered Tribal Areas

Ahmer Balal Soofi

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pp. 127-148

This chapter highlights the deficiencies and shortcomings in Pakistan’s existing criminal justice system regarding the conduct of military operations by the Pakistan Army against insurgent nonstate actors in Pakistan’s northwestern Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and...

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7. Choking Financing for Militants in Pakistan

Muhammad Amir Rana

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pp. 149-168

The militant landscape of Pakistan is a complex one, with numerous groups from different backgrounds pursuing multiple agendas. The militants have diverse financial sources, both formal and informal. They receive public donations like other religious organizations, religious...

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8. Cyberia: A New War Zone for Pakistan’s Islamists

Zafarullah Khan

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pp. 169-186

Time and again, militants have demonstrated their expertise at catching people and their governments off guard. However, the policy responses to check these challenges have been lukewarm. The latest addition to the militants’ toolkit is the use of modern gadgets and technology...

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9. Pakistan’s Paradoxical Survival

Anatol Lieven

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pp. 187-202

This chapter addresses the puzzle of Pakistan’s survival in the face of the Islamist insurgency-cum-terrorism threat coupled with internal weakness and the possibility of domestic revolution. Discussing the central dilemmas of the United States and Pakistani governments, the chapter...

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Moeed Yusuf

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pp. 203-210

The authors of this volume were tasked to examine Pakistan’s Islamist militant challenge. The topics covered are not exhaustive; the focus was deliberately narrowed to counterterrorism (CT), defined strictly as actions intended to directly prevent or respond to outfits or individuals...


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pp. 211-232

List of Contributors

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pp. 233-236


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pp. 237-252

E-ISBN-13: 9781626160613
E-ISBN-10: 1626160619

Page Count: 208
Illustrations: 3 maps, 8 tables
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: South Asia in World Affairs series