Dynamics of Jehadi Organizations and Militant Landscape in Pakistan
This article digs deep into the Jehadi organizations that are operating in Pakistan since Soviet Intervention in Afghanistan. It explains how a rigid and strong approach is needed to reverse this tide.
The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in 1979 was the turning point in spreading extremism in the country. The religious groups easily found a foothold in the politics and the “Holy war” began in Afghanistan against communism. It was not religiously motivated in the beginning, but to attract more people, the element of “Jihad” was incorporated. Gradually after 9/11 and US intervention in Afghanistan, the Taliban started infiltrating in tribal areas of Pakistan. There has been no stop ever since and till date number of Jehadi organizations are operating in Pakistan under different names. Attitudes towards militant groups vary vividly across different groups. Different groups hold different opinions. The force which was once created to support USA against Soviet Union is impacting entire Pakistan today, directly or indirectly. Insecurity of people, militancy, extremism, discrimination, minority trial, division in the society, and lawlessness are all the result of the Talibanization and emergence of Jehadi organizations. The jihadist and fanatic groups are exploited by some political parties to their advantage which is impacting the internal security adversely. Influx of arms/ammunition and Saudi support to these organizations has accentuated the disorder.
Pakistani Taliban is an umbrella organization of several Islamist groups based in FATA. In October 2007, around thirteen groups unified under the leadership of Baithullah Mehsud, to form Tehreek-i-Talibaan Pakistan. The establishment of TTP was a turning point in the growth of ferocity as a new wave of violence started in the country. There are numerous other militant organizations operating in Pakistan, capable of destabilizing Pakistan. Pakistan, over a period of time, has become the center of fundamentalists, which poses a huge threat, fraught with horrendous consequences. Army has undertaken many joint operations to fight terrorism including, Operation Al-Mizan, Operation Rah-e-Haq, Operation Sher-e-Dil, Operation Zalzala, Operation Sirat-e-Mustaqeem, Operation Rah-e-Raast, Operation Rah-e-Nijaat, Operation Koh-e-Sufaid, and Operation Zarb-e-Azb. But, they have not been able to eradicate terrorism from the roots of our country, sadly.
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), Sipah-i-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Lashkre-e-Taayba (LeT), Lashker-I-Jhangvi (LJ), Sipah-i-Mohamad Pakistan (SMP), Tehreek-e-Jafriya Pakistan (TJP), and Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM) are some of the Jihadi organizations operating in Pakistan. The threat of militancy and extremism is pestering the security and future of Pakistan. One of the main reasons behind the increasing political and religious influence of Jihadi and extremist groups is complex mixture of internal and external pressure. Government sponsored education system has allowed Jihadi organizations to educate the interpretation which suits them the best. The indoctrination of society through Islamization was Zia-ul-Haq’s strategy to pursue legitimacy through such means. The madrassa culture mainly became common during his tenure. He used Islam as a tool to legitimize his power. There are some lessons in textbooks which actually tell students that jihad is enjoined upon all Muslims and it can even be supported by providing money and other help. They are conveying the wrong meaning and interpretation of Jihad which is why extremism is rising and has become deep-rooted in the society, especially in tribal areas of Pakistan. Thus, at the external front, this has tinted a picture of Pakistan as a country which is not only supporting terrorism at home, but also promoting it all around the globe.
The risks of joining the militant and jihadist groups have come down and the potential advantages are far greater including, status, monetary/non-monetary rewards, and a sense of purpose for the people who have been brain washed and think in a particular direction. Religious intolerance, sectarian violence, and rise of militant groups and extremism, are major factors responsible for law and order problems in Pakistan. The rise of Jihadi organizations is alarmingly toxic for the jinxed citizens of Pakistan. Poor education system and Political isolation along with instability is providing an endless source of recruits. A rigid and strong approach is needed to reverse this tide or else another generation of Pakistanis could effortlessly be lured into a vicious future.
Roughly 62574 people including civilians, security force personnel, and insurgents have died since 2003 because of terrorist violence.
© 2017 Zainab Mujtaba