An independent think-tank

Pakistan-based militant groups & prospects of their integration: a structural analysis


Different militant streams operating in Pakistan are characterized respectively by conventional jihadist groups – established to safeguard the state’s strategic interests in the region; independent militant groups – formed by the militants who grew in the folds of or parallel to conventional groups but gradually formed their separate groups such as tribal Taliban militant groups; violent sectarian groups and new militant groups/cells as well a self-radicalized individuals; and foreign militant groups such as Al-Qaeda, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and the Islamic State. Although all these four groups or categories have diverse primary, or priority agendas – ranging from liberating Kashmir to targeting Shias and establishing national and global Islamic state or caliphate – but almost all share similar secondary agendas which include cooperating with global militant groups. The conventional groups have developed expansive physical infrastructure and assets which some see as their weakness that does not allow them to go against state. Meanwhile, collaborations and nexus among groups play an important role in determining the operational strength of a group. Without breaking this operational nexus, preventing major guerrilla-style terrorist operations would be an uphill task. The reintegration prospects, though, can be explored within the conventional militant groups, who appear willing to be part of political mainstreaming.

By courtesy of, March 12, 2018

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