Pakistan and the Challenge of Islamist Terror: Where to Next?
On August 18, 2008, Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan’s beleaguered president, resigned from office, allowing the Speaker of Senate, Muhammad Mian Sumroo to assume the position of interim president. What was surprising was not so much Musharraf’s decision to step down, but rather how smooth the transition from military to civilian rule was: there was no violence or commotion. This was largely due to the fact that both Musharraf and the army had accepted that it was time for a change and that Musharraf’s position had become untenable. Within weeks, Asif Ali Zardari was elected president by the Pakistani parliament and Sumroo stepped down. Just a year earlier, Zardari, much maligned as “Mr. Ten Percent,” had been a convicted felon. Now he was head of the Pakistani state and was hobnobbing with world leaders.
Ultimately, it seems that Musharraf’s resignation and the election of a civilian as president of Pakistan indicates that the country is back on the democratic track. However, terrorist activity is still on the rise and continues to undermine Pakistan. According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal, between January and November 2008, 4908 civilians and 1775 security forces personnel have lost their lives to acts of terrorism. The figure for 2007 was 1660 and 588 respectively. Further, political divisions have become more evident as some Pakistani politicians have called for negotiation with the Taliban and other insurgents.
This article will open with an overview of the different types of terrorist groups operating in Pakistan, with the key contention being that Pakistan (politicians and members of the security forces) has largely failed – consciously or not – to distinguish between the different types of terrorist organizations and as a result the campaign for the eradication of Islamic terrorism has to date failed. In the second part, the article turns to Musharraf and his counterterrorism campaign to suggest that the program failed because the focus was more on the military rather than addressing the root causes of why Pakistanis turned to Islamism. The final section reviews the key challenges facing the new president, focusing mainly on the terror challenge (both domestic and foreign) as well as on the economic situation in Pakistan.
PAKISTAN’S TERRORISM CHALLENGE
Pakistan has come to embody the “global war on terror” for a number of reasons, beginning with the well-accepted belief that the al-Qa’ida leadership (bin Ladin, Zawahiri, et al.) is located somewhere along the Pakistani tribal belt (either in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP)), and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which include South and North Waziristan). It was, after all, from Pakistan that Usama bin Laden began his active involvement in aggressive jihad. In the early 1980s, he travelled to Peshawar where he and Abdallah Azzam set up Maktab Khadamat al-Mujahidin al-Arab (the Afghan Service Bureau) whose purpose was to assist foreign mujahidin (holy warriors) wishing to participate in the Afghan jihad. Although bin Ladin’s initial involvement centered on providing financial assistance, over the years and especially following his return to the region, the former Saudi national established training camps along the Afghan-Pakistan border, which seem to have reappeared over the last few years.
Two types of Islamist terrorists can be discerned in respect to Pakistan: domestic and the foreign. However, by the time of Musharraf’s resigned from office, the two had formed a symbiotic relationship. That is, when the “global war on terror” began, Pakistan had its own homegrown terrorists who committed acts of terrorism within Pakistan (this was largely sectarian acts of terrorism) as well foreign-born terrorists who used Pakistan to carry out acts of terror overseas (mainly in Kashmir and India).
Pakistan’s Domestic Terrorists
Pakistan’s domestic-based terrorist organizations fall into a number of categories. In the first category are the Sunni (predominately Deobandi-Wahhabi) and the Shi’i groups whose initial purpose was to eliminate one another. The principal Sunni group within this area is the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (Corp of the Prophet’s Companions, SSP), which has been renamed Millet-e-Islami, while within the Shi’i community; Sipahe Muhammad Pakistan (The Army of Muhammad, SMP) is the major group. These groups have been responsible for the deaths of thousands of people through various acts of terror. The second type of domestic terror group is the Pakistani Taliban. This group was initially fragmented (it was based on different ethnic groups and allocated in different areas along the Pakistan-Afghan border). Their members were graduates of Pakistani militant madaris who fought as mujahidin in the Afghan jihad. A prime example of such a group is the Tehreek-e-Nifaze-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law, TNSM), formed in 1989 by Sufi Muhammad following his return from the Afghan campaign. The group’s purpose was the enforcement of Shari’a (Islamic law) in the Malakand district and Bajaur (in 1970, the Pakistani government revised the laws of the province, reducing the supremacy of the Shari’a). The third type of terror group is much more heterogeneous and difficult to define because it is made up of tribal nationalists or ethno-nationalists. This group is not uniform or united and is located along the Pakistan-Afghan border. These are motivated by a desire to maintain the status quo and defend their tribal identity and a strict tribal code (Pashtunwalli). These groups vary from province to province–there is a major difference for example between Baluch and Waziri groups–and they largely reject any form of outside influence. The most visible example of this type of group is that led by Maulvi Nazir, an Islamist (a former associate of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who is aligned with Maulana Fazlur Rahman) from the Kakakhel tribe, which is a sub-clan of the Ahmedzai Waziris (located in South Waziristan). Nazir’s agenda centers on the removal of the Uzbeks from the region. Nazir and many others see the Uzbeks as foreigners, though the Uzbeks had lived in the region for many years and purchased homes and land in the region.
Pakistan’s Foreign Terrorists
The second type of terrorist group located or that operates in Pakistan is foreign terrorist organizations. These organizations fall into two main categories. First are the Islamist terror groups that are Afghani in nature but operate along the porous Afghan-Pakistan border. The Afghan Taliban groups emerged in the mid-1990s and despite setbacks following the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan, they have reemerged as a powerful force in Afghanistan. Within this category, one can identify such individuals as Jalaluddin Haqqani, a former mujahidin and a close aide of Mullah Omar. He is currently the head of the “Haqqani network.” Haqqani is an Afghan but he and his “network” are located near Miramshah, North Waziristan. Another notable example is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, founder and leader of Hezb-e Islami Afghanistan (The Islamic Party of Afghanistan, HIA), who for years relied on the support of the Pakistani Inter-Service Intelligence Bureau (ISI). These groups claim to be fighting for the establishment of an Islamic state. In other words, they have not given up on the Taliban dream. The second type of foreign terrorist organization is al-Qa’ida, which is composed of Muslims subscribing to the al-Qa’ida ideology. There seems to be a rise in the growing appeal of al-Qa’ida, as evidenced in the increasing number of Chechens, Uzbeks, and other Central Asian Muslims in the country (from less than 1,000 in 2001 to about 5,000 in late 2007).
The decision by President Musharraf in 2001 to support the US-led ‘global war or terror’ which saw him dispatching 80,000 regular troops to Waziristan has compelled the insurgents to improve their relations and eventually led to the establishment of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (Taliban Movement of Pakistan, TTP) in December 2007. The TTP is an amalgamation of 27 different Taliban groups that came together to provide a stronger and more effective challenge to the Pakistani military which is operating in the tribal belt. The movement is led by Baitullah Mehsud, a young man (he is in his thirties) who rose to prominence following the death of Nek Muhammad, a commander of a pro-Taliban group in South Waziristan. It is important to note that Mehsud is not a religious scholar but a committed jihadist who follows the Taliban (there are reports that he has pledged himself to Mullah Omar). As the Taliban unites, there is increasing evidence of greater cooperation between al-Qa’ida and the indigenous Taliban groups (Pakistani and Afghani) with both al-Qa’ida and the Taliban taking the view that only through cooperation could they achieve their agenda.
Pakistan and the “Global War on Terror”
In 1999, Pervez Musharraf, while serving as the army’s chief-of-staff, removed the unpopular Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan’s elected prime minister, in a bloodless coup. Pakistanis backed Musharraf, as Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif had governed their country with little success: Pakistan’s economy was in a crisis, and the decisions to detonate a nuclear device as well as undertake an ill thought-out military operation against India in Kashmir led to international sanctions and condemnation. Thus, people wanted a change, and Musharraf, on the face of it, offered them that change. Within 18 months of being sworn in, Musharraf faced his first major challenge: He had to decide whether Pakistan would support America “global war on terror.” By opting to take America’s side, Musharraf ensured that the United States identify Pakistan as a frontline state, which carried major implications for the
Pakistani people, economy, and society.
Musharraf dealt with the new state of affairs in a number of ways. On the issue of domestic terrorism, the Pakistani government responded in two ways. First, it dispatched tens of thousands of troops to the tribal belt, specifically South Waziristan to combat the Islamist terrorists in the province to show that it was reacting. Second, the government allowed the military and more importantly the militia (Frontier Corps) a free hand in dealing with the insurgents while retaining many of the facets of the British colonial system–using political agents and the Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR), and tribal elders (malik). However, instead of reducing the level of violence, this policy only exacerbated tensions between Islamabad and the tribes. In terms of strategy, because of poor coordination/relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, the terrorists were able to cross over to Afghanistan, where the Pakistani soldiers could not pursue them (and the terrorists could find sanctuary especially as NATO forces were not operating in the area, specifically the Helmand province). Alternatively, if they terrorists choose not to go to Afghanistan, they simply headed to North Waziristan, where the Pakistani military had (and still does not) have widespread control. The mistake of entrusting this campaign to the military and security services meant that it galvanized the already rising opposition against Islamabad. This was most visible in Baluchistan where there was very limited opposition. However, with Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti’s mysterious death in August 2006, the insurgency grew extensively. By 2008, the province had become a major problem to such an extent that Taliban and al-Qa’ida elements now control sections of the province and use it for terrorist activity. There is no doubt that there is a religious affinity between the Baluchs and al-Qa’ida and the Taliban.
On the issue of the Islamist political movements and education, Musharraf’s response was half-hearted, largely because the Islamists hold tremendous power in Pakistan. Consequently, the reforms that Musharraf began in 2002 did not go deep enough nor were they effective. For example, Musharraf sought to ban the most virulent Islamist movements and terrorist organizations and to that end he banned Lashkar-e Jhangvi (the Army of Jhang), Sipah-e-Muhammad (the Army of Muhammad), and the two pre-eminent Kashmiri-based terrorist groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba (Soldiers of the Pure) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (Army of Muhammad). The reality, however, was that these groups did not remain banned for very long either because they adopted different names or because they went underground for a period (2002-2006) before they reappeared – post-2006) as they felt that the conditions within Pakistan had changed so that they could operate in the open. This has been the case with Lashkar-e-Taiba, which allegedly operates as Jama’at al-Da’wa (JD), whilst Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan operates under the name of Ahle Sunnat wal-Jama’at Pakistan (ASWJP). In respect to the campaign against known terrorists, the campaign has been convoluted problematic. It began with the arrests of known terrorists and radical, as seen with the arrest of Mullah Abdul Latif Hakim (a close aide of Mullah Omar) who was arrested in 2005; Mullah Obeidullah Akhund (the Taliban’s Defense Minister), was arrested in 2007), whilst al-Qa’ida’s number three man, Khalid Shaykh Muhammad was arrested in 2003 and handed over to the Americans. However, over time, some of these militants have also been released, as seen with Sufi Muhammad and former leader of the Red Mosque, Muhammad Abdul Aziz.
Concerning the education challenge, the government adopted the Deeni Madaris (Voluntary Registration and Regulation) Ordinance in 2002. The purpose of the Ordinance was to register madaris in Pakistan. The idea was that once madaris were registered, their funding and curriculum could be monitored, which would reduce the presence of jihadi madaris – although the government under the Ordinance is prevented from intervening in the system. The importance of the madaris system has is that these religious schools provide free education and some even offer free room and board which is a major benefit to poor Pakistani families. In respect to the Islamist parties, Musharraf was reliant on them for many years in order to remain in power. Therefore, political organizations using the minaret as a megaphone to preach an intolerant brand of Islam continued to operate.
The election of Asif Ali Zardari as president of Pakistan has–at least theoretically–ushered in a new era in Pakistan’s development. This is because Asif Ali lacks a strong backer: Asif Ali is president because of Benazir’s assassination and the ineligibility of their son Bilal to assume de facto control over the PPP (Bilwal is a student at Oxford University and is under-age to run for public office: one has to be over 25). Significantly, Zardari lacks the following and reverence that Bhutto carried (the daughter of a slain prime minister and a major landowner). In addition, Zardari does not have the political connections, which his major opponent Nawaz Sharif has (Zardari comes from a minor landowning family whereas Sharif comes from a powerful Punjabi family). Moreover, and most importantly, he has no meaningful ties to the military, (he was not a high-ranking officer and lacks ties to high-ranking military personnel). The military at least for the moment appears willing to sit back and allow the new president and prime minister to conduct the state’s affairs without its public interference. However, history has shown that the military is only willing to remain on the sidelines to a point and the danger is that should the new administration fail to deal with the escalation level of insecurity or seek to examine the military, it will find the generals very upset, and historically that has meant coups.
Pakistan’s main challenge is stemming the rising tide of Islamist terrorism, which has reached unparallel levels since the beginning of 2008. Weekly, if not daily, attacks have claimed hundreds of lives. Yet, despite the mounting death toll of civilians, soldiers, and terrorists, the Pakistani State appears unable to counter the Islamists. This may explain the increase in the number of U.S. aerial incursions into Pakistan and growing U.S. criticism of Pakistan. At the same time, there have been increasing calls by Pakistani politicians, most notably Nawaz Sharif, for Pakistan to speak with the Taliban. Sharif is in many ways following public opinion. A survey conducted in June 2008 by the US think-tank Terror Free Tomorrow in collaboration with the New America Foundation and the Pakistan Institute for Public Opinion indicated that Pakistanis were more amenable to not only negotiate with the Taliban (with the Pakistani Taliban the figure was 58 percent, while with the Afghan Taliban it was 48 percent), but also with al-Qa’ida (50 percent). This is a matter of concern; history has shown that cooperation with the Islamist terrorists is futile due to the commitment to their agenda. For example, the Islamist terrorists used the 2006 Waziristan Accord to cement their presence in the tribal belt. In order to deal with the terror threat, the Zardari administration needs to adopt a number of policies, first of which is dealing with those within the security/military establishment that support–both practically and ideologically–the efforts of the Islamists. The main culprits of this appear to be members of the infamous ISI, which recently welcomed a Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha to replace General Nadeem Taj as its new head. Pasha had previously served as director-general of military operations, which meant that he was in charge of for the military’s campaign against the Taliban and al-Qa’ida. Pasha was, for example, responsible for the recent military operation in Bajaur (August-September 2008) in which the Pakistani military claimed to have killed more than 1,000 militants. However, one wonders how effective Pasha will be against those well-established ISI members whose allegiance lies with a different vision of Pakistan. This may explain his call for greater cooperation between the military efforts and politicians. His job has become much harder with the shift in public opinion indicating that Pakistanis are willing to negotiate with the same terrorists that have caused so much havoc in the country.
A second challenge faced by the new government involves the actual removal of Taliban influence from the tribal belt. The process began eight years ago, but the strategy proved faulty and instead of reducing Taliban influence, it appears to have achieved the opposite. This is best seen with the rise in Taliban activity along the tribal belt and with the willingness of the Taliban and their cohorts to venture out of the tribal belt and attack NATO and Pakistan military targets. Fundamentally, the problem lies with the way the military is conducting its operation, in a manner that does not seem to differentiate between tribal insurgents wishing to maintain their way of life and Islamists, especially of the al-Qa’ida model. The challenge of conducting a “war on terror” in the tribal belt emphasizes the need to understand the role of history and culture in the region. This explains why President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani have stressed the need to win the “hearts and minds” of the local population. Apparently, the Pakistani government has finally realized the need to distinguish between the tribal insurgents and the Islamist terrorists (both domestic and foreign). To that end, the government appears willing to invest more heavily in the economic and social development of the tribal belt and for that they would need assistance from the international community.
The third key challenge is the global economic downturn that has affected Pakistan. During the February 2008 elections, Pakistanis expressed anger at the rise in the price of food. Some commentators, such as the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam) (PML-Q)), Secretary-General Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed actually suggested that the state of the economy was the main reason for the PML-Q’s defeat. He said, “We admit that we made mistakes. The flour and electricity crises have damaged us politically. But at least we have the courage of accepting our mistakes.”Zardari and Gilani have sought to tackle the economic crisis through loans–they recently secured a $500 million loan from the Asian Development Bank, and Zardari called on the international community to provide Pakistan $100 billion in grants. Zardari justified his request by arguing that without substantial restructuring, the country and his government would fail, which could lead to an Islamist takeover of a nuclear-capable country. It is noteworthy that since the beginning of 2008, Pakistan’s stock exchange has lost more than half its value; the rupee is at an all time low despite interventions by the state bank. The country’s foreign-exchange reserves are depleted, and the deficit is at a 10-year high (inflation stands at about 24 percent annually). However, the major problem is that the regions that are in need of financial assistance are the ones that are not receiving aid due to corruption or the unavailability of funds in light of deteriorating global economic conditions. The Americans, who have provided much aid to Pakistan especially over the last seven years, will not be as forthcoming as previously due to the major economic downturn the United States is facing, which will be the main focus of the Obama administration. Finally, Pakistan’s dire economic situation has allowed Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), (PML-N), to rise in the polls, making Sharif Pakistan’s most popular politician (Sharif’s popularity rose from 57 percent in August 2007 to 86 percent in June 2008; Zardari’s approval rating stands at 13 percent), while the PNL-N saw increased support (from 15 percent in August 2007 to 42 percent in June 2008).
As a center of terrorist activity, Pakistan has become a major international problem. The lack of control over the tribal belt and the ability of Islamist terrorists (Pakistani, Afghani, and al-Qa’ida) to operate along the Afghani-Pakistani border both guarantee the survival of the global jihad movement and assist those Islamists that want to turn Pakistan and Afghanistan into “true” Islamic states. The root of Pakistan’s terrorism problem lies in the country’s history, culture, strategy of survival, as well as socioeconomic (poverty, lack of education, and lack of resources encouraging ignorance, abuse and close ties with criminal entities which help the locals survive). For decades Pakistan and especially the country’s security services, the ISI, has supported terrorists groups as part of their campaign to restore Kashmir (though in these situation the groups are referred to as freedom fighters or national liberation movements), fight the Soviets in Afghanistan or simply aid Pakistan in facing off to India. The affect of this was recently seen with the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, with several sources suggesting that it was led or organized by the Kashmiri-based Laskher-e-Toiba, a group that had received support from the ISI, this is a legacy of Zia-ul-Haq who promoted this agenda. There is evidence that within the ISI and possibly even within the military there are those that adhere to the Islamist mantra and thus it is vital that the military weed out those that support Islamist causes. The same must occur within the ISI, which began to grow in the 1970s. Finally, it is not only those within the ISI and the military that must be neutralized, but also those who have left these institutions and still wield influence in Pakistan. This demands a very diplomatic campaign so as not to make these individuals into martyrs. It is therefore imperative that the campaign be managed and run through the legal process, which involves proper investigations by law enforcement agencies, and if there is sufficient evidence they should face prosecution. The process must be transparent and if undertaken intelligently could have the added benefit of revitalizing the rule of law that had been undermined with Musharraf’s ill thought-out assault on the judiciary that brought about the campaign for his removal.
It is unfortunate that since the outbreak of “global war on terror,” the Pakistanis and the international community followed a policy under which the Pakistani military led the campaign to eradicate the Islamist influence in the tribal belts. The downside of this campaign was that it was fundamentally flawed and short-sighted because the there was no proper understanding of the enemy (al-Qa’ida, Taliban, tribal insurgents as well as criminal groups). By considering all those who opposed Islamabad or chose to work with al-Qa’ida as Islamic terrorists, the Pakistani government failed to appreciate the different grievances of the various groups, and thus Pakistan failed to resolve the problem. There is no doubt that a military campaign is necessary, but it must be supported by social, economic, and political change, with political reform being at the top of the agenda. One must acknowledge the writing of such veteran journalists as
Imtiaz Ali who attributes the rise of Islamism in the Mohmand Agency to the strong-arm tactics employed by the military, which have alienated the locals. Ali points out that once the Islamists entered the region and began to impose their values, agenda, and ideas, the locals had no one to turn to for protection. Thus, greater emphasis must be placed on studying the region and coming up with a multi-level strategy that combines military and non-military efforts. The ongoing crisis and the lawless nature of the Afghan-Pakistan border is a clear and present danger, not only to Pakistan and Afghanistan, but also to the international community, and it must be treated as such. The time has come for both Pakistan and Afghanistan to stop deluding themselves; they do not control the region, as they do not, and require assistance from the international community, which will involve investment. However, as neither country has shown it can be trusted to administer aid effectively, it is the responsibility of the international community to do so, with the complete and total cooperation of the two countries. Aid must go to those individuals that do not embrace the Taliban/al-Qa’ida branch of Islam.
*Isaac Kfir is assistant professor at the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy & Strategy, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC). He is author of “Pakistan on a Tightrope,” Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal, Vol. 12, No. 1 (March 2008), The Crisis of Pakistan: A Dangerously Weak State,” MERIA Journal, Vol. 11, No. 3 (September 2007); “The Paradox that is Pakistan: Both Ally and Enemy of Terrorism,” MERIA Journal, Vol. 10, No. 1 (March 2006); and “British Middle East Policy: The Counterterrorism Dimension,” MERIA Journal, Vol. 10, No. 4 (December 2006).
 The army is Pakistan’s traditional kingmaker; Pakistani history has shown that no one can remain in office if it displeases the military. Pakistan has experienced four official coups throughout its history and five of Pakistan’s 15 presidents were simultaneously served as generals, while several others were retired generals. See for example, “Presidents Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” http://www.na.gov.pk/President.htm (accessed October 8, 2008).
 Zardari gave a speech at the General Assembly and also held meetings with President Bush and Governor Sarah Palin.
 Data taken from “Casualties of Terrorist Violence in Pakistan.” South Asia Terrorism Portal, http://satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/database/casualties.htm
 The Pakistan Parliament held a debate in October 2008 with the aim of devising a national strategy as to how best to fight the Taliban and al-Qa’ida, with several parliamentarians calling for talks with the militants. Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) has even sent a letter to Prime Minister Gilani calling for a dialogue with the militants. Jane Perlez. “Pakistani Legislators Show Little Appetite for a Fight.” The New York Times. October 20, 2008.
 Seth G. Jones, “Pakistan’s Dangerous Game,” Survival, Vol. 49, No. 1 (Spring 2007), pp. 15-32; Seth G. Jones, “The Rise of Afghanistan’s Insurgency: State Failure and Jihad,” International Security, Vol. 32, No. 4 (Spring 2008), pp. 7–40; Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (New York: Knopf, 2006).
 Jones, “Pakistan’s Dangerous Game,” pp. 15-32; Jones. “The Rise of Afghanistan’s Insurgency,”pp. 7–40; Ashok K. Behuria, “The Rise of Pakistani Taliban and the Response of the State,” Strategic Analysis, Vol. 31, No. 5 (September 2007), pp. 699-724.
 International Crisis Group, “The State of Sectarianism in Pakistan,” Asia Report, No. 95, (April 15, 2005); Animesh Roul, “Sipah-e-Sahaba: Fomenting Sectarian Violence in Pakistan.” Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 3, No. 2 (January 27, 2005), pp. 6-8.
 Moniza Khokhar notes the difference between a regular madrasa and a militant/militarized one, with the latter’s sole purpose being to produce mujahidin. In these madaris (religious schools) the students are conditioned in fighting tactics and narrow interpretations of religious ideology in order to legitimize the cause. See Moniza Khokhar, “Reforming Militant Madaris in Pakistan,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Vol. 30, Vol. 4 (April 2007), pp. 353-67; Behuria, “The Rise of Pakistani Taliban,” pp. 699-724.
 Hassan Abbas, “Profile of Pakistan’s Seven Tribal Agencies,” Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 4, No. 20 (October 19, 2006), pp. 1-5; Andrew McGregor, “South Waziri Tribesmen Organize Counterinsurgency Lashkar,” Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 6, No. 1 (January 11, 2008), pp. 7-9; International Crisis Group, “Pakistan: The Worsening Conflict in Balochistan,” Asia Report, No. 119, (September 14, 2006); International Crisis Group, “Pakistan: The Forgotten Conflict in Balochistan,” Update Briefing, Asia Briefing, No. 69 (October 22, 2007).
 Hassan Abbas, “South Waziristan’s Maulvi Nazir: The New Face of the Taliban,” Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 5, No. 9 (May 10, 2007), pp. 8-10; D. Suba Chandran, “Attacks on Uzbek Militants in South Waziristan: Issues and Implications of an Internal Jihad,” Pakistan Security Research Unit, April 17, 2006, http://spaces.brad.ac.uk:8080/download/attachments/748/Attacks+on+Uzbek+Militants+in+South+Waziristan.pdf.
 International Crisis Group, “Taliban Propaganda: Winning the War of Words?” Asia Report, No. 158 (July 24, 2008); Jones, “The Rise of Afghanistan’s Insurgency,” pp. 7–40; Daniel P. Sullivan. “Tinder, Spark, Oxygen, and Fuel: The Mysterious Rise of the Taliban,” Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 44, No. 1 (2007), pp. 93-108.
 Imtiaz Ali, “The Haqqani Network and Cross-Border Terrorism in Afghanistan,” Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 6, No. 6 (March 24, 2008), pp. 1-3; Waliullah Rahmani, “Jalauddin Haqqani Challenges Mullah Omar’s Leadership of the Taliban,” Terrorism Focus, Vol. 5, No. 25 (July 1, 2008), pp. 3-4.
 Omid Marzban claims that Hekmatyar is driven more by power than Islam. See Omid Marzban, “Gulbuddin Hekmatyar: From Holy Warrior to Wanted Terrorist,” Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 4, No. 18 (September 21, 2006), pp. 7-9.
 Michael Scheuer, “Al-Qaeda’s Military Chief in Afghanistan Views the Ongoing Insurgency with Optimism,” Terrorism Focus, Vol. 5, No. 28 (July 29, 2008), pp. 7-9. See also Christina Hellmich, “Creating the Ideology of Al Qaeda: From Hypocrites to Salafi-Jihadists,” Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, Vol. 31, No. 2 (February 2008), pp. 111-24; Christina Hellmich, “Al-Qaeda–terrorists, hypocrites, fundamentalists? The View from Within,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 1 (2005), pp. 39-54; Jones. “Pakistan’s Dangerous Game,” pp. 15-32; Jones. “The Rise of Afghanistan’s Insurgency,” pp. 7–40; Bruce Hoffman, “Terrorism in the West: Al-Qaeda’s Role in ‘Homegrown Terror’,” Brown Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 13, No. 2 (Spring-Summer 2007), pp. 91-99.
 Hassan Abbas, “The Black-Turbaned Brigade: The Rise of TNSM in Pakistan,” Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 4, No. 23 (November 30, 2006), pp. 1-4; Sohail Abdul Nasir, “Baitullah Mehsud: South Waziristan’s Unofficial Amir,” Terrorism Focus, Vol. 3, No. 26 (July 5, 2006), pp. 4-5; Imtiaz Ali, “Baitullah Mehsud–The Taliban’s New Leader in Pakistan,” Terrorism Focus, Vol. 5, No. 1 (January 8, 2-0087), pp. 3-4; Sadia Sulaiman, “Empowering ‘Soft’ Taliban Over ‘Hard’ Taliban: Pakistan’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy,” Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 6, No. 15 (July 25, 2008), pp. 4-6.
 Jones, “The Rise of Afghanistan’s Insurgency,” pp. 7–40; Bruce Riedel, “Al Qaeda Strikes Back,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 86, No. 3 (May-June 2007), pp. 24-70; Daniel Markey, “A False Choice in Pakistan,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 86, No. 4 (July-August 2007), pp. 85-102; Bruce Hoffman, “Al Qaeda on the Run–Or On the March?” Journal of Homeland Defense, Vol. 5, No. 4 (April 2007), pp. 70, 72-74; Bruce Hoffman and Seth G. Jones, “Cellphones in the Hindu Kush,” The National Interest, No. 96 (July-August 2008), pp. 42-51.
 Erik Eckholm, “Leader Plans Open Election for Pakistan in October,” The New York Times, January 25, 2002.
 “Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People,” September 20, 2001, http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html.
 For a start, it ensured vast sums of American aid. Craig Cohen and Derek Chollet, “When $10 Billion Is Not Enough: Rethinking U.S. Strategy toward Pakistan,” The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 2, (Spring 2007), pp. 7-20.
 The FCR is a legacy of British colonial rule that allows for collective punishment among other anachronisms (in 2004, the Ahmadzai were fined $95,000 for failing to stop a rocket attack on the federal security services). See Abbas, “Profile of Pakistan’s Seven Tribal Agencies,” pp. 1-5; McGregor. “South Waziri Tribesmen Organize Counterinsurgency Lashkar,” pp. 7-9.
 According to at least one commentator, once the Taliban had realized they could not defeat the 70,000 Pakistani troops operating in South Waziristan, moved to the more inaccessible Shawal Mountains in North Waziristan, from where they were able to fend off the military and establish a “mini-Taliban state..” See Imtiaz Ali, “The Emerging Militancy in Pakistan’s Mohmand Agency,” Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 6, No. 2 (January 24, 2008), pp. 1-4.
 International Crisis Group, “Pakistan: The Forgotten Conflict in Balochistan”; Tarique Niazi, “Baluchistan in the Shadow of Al-Qaeda,” Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 4, No. 4 (February 23, 2006), pp. 3-6.
 Fareed Farooqui, “Banned Outfits Rear Their Heads in Karachi Post-Resignation,” Daily Times (Pakistan), August 21, 2008, http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008?821story_21-8-2008_pg12_3.
 Carlotta Gall, “Top Taliban Leader is Arrested in Pakistan,” The New York Times, March 1, 2007; Afzal Khan, “The War on Terror and the Politics of Violence in Pakistan,” Terrorism Monitor, Vol. 2, No. 13 (July 1, 2004), pp. 6-8. Obeidullah Akhund was released in 2007. See Sami Yousafzai and Ron Moreau, “While Pakistan Burns,” Newsweek, November 9, 2007, http://www.newsweek.com/id/69494; Candance Rondeaux and Imtiaz Ali, “Pro-Taliban Leader Released by Pakistan,” The Washington Post, April 22, 2008; Bruce Riedel, “Pakistan and Terror: The Eye of the Storm,” The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Vol. 618, No. 1 (2008), pp. 31-45.
 Moniza Khokhar, “Reforming Militant Madaris in Pakistan,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Vol. 30, (2007), pp. 353-67; International Crisis Group, “Unfulfilled Promises: Pakistan’s Failure to Tackle Extremism,” Asia Report, No. 73 (January 16, 2004); International Crisis Group, “Pakistan: Madrasas, Extremism and the Military.” Asia Report, No. 36 (July 29, 2002).
 Bruce Riedel writes that despite assuring Washington that it would combat the Taliban, Islamabad failed to do so. He also notes that by 2004, Taliban officials were openly fundraising again in Quetta. Moreover, the al-Qa’ida operatives that were captured in Pakistan were often arrested in safe houses belonging to radical Islamist groups with ties to the ISI and the military, such as those belonging to Pakistani supported groups like Lashkar-e Tayyiba (LeT). See Riedel, “Pakistan and Terror,” pp. 31-45.
 The military has made it clear that it will remain outside of the political sphere, but at the same time, it will not allow the civilians into its realm. This was seen most clearly in the manner in which General Kayani has shuffled the general staff, replacing the head of the ISI and others with his generals that arguably are loyal to him, which is the Pakistani way of doing things.
 Terror Free Tomorrow and New America Foundation, “Results of a New Nationwide Public Opinion Survey of Pakistan Before the June 2008 Pakistani By-Elections” (Washington, DC: 2008), http://www.newamerica.net/files/TFT-Pakistan2008.pdf.
 Farhan Bokhari, “Islamabad Replaces Spy Agency Chief,” Financial Times (UK), October 1, 2008, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/37aa9466-8f50-11dd-946c-0000779fd18c.html; Zahid Hussain, “8,000 Pakistani Soldiers Take on al-Qaeda in Volatile Tribal Region,” The Times, September 27, 2008, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article4834396.ece.
 Ahmed Hassan, “Military Seeks Politicians’ Support to Fight Militants: Nawaz, Shujaat, CMs and Kayani Attend Briefing, Opposition Dissatisfied,” Pakistan Dawn, October 9, 2008, http://www.dawn.com/2008/10/09/top1.htm.
 The December 2008 attack by Taliban forces on a NATO depot on the outskirts of Peshawar shows that they have become bolder and more confident.
 Christian Tripodi, “Peacemaking Through Bribes or Cultural Empathy? The Political Officer and Britain’s Strategy Towards the North-West Frontier, 1901-1945,” Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 31, No. 1 (February 2008), pp. 123-51.
 Farhan Bokhari. “Pakistan Ponders IMF Support Package,” Financial Times, October 20, 2008.
 Laura King, “Pakistanis Worry They’re at Risk in Global Crisis,” The Los Angeles Times, October 12, 2008.
 Farhan Zafar, “Pakistan Up from 42nd Most Corrupt to 46th,” Daily Times (Pakistan), September 24, 2008, http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008?924story_24-9-2008_pg12_8.
 Charles Allen, God’s Terrorists: The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad (Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2006); Tripodi, “Peacemaking Through Bribes or Cultural Empathy?,” pp. 123-51.
 One such man is Hamid Gul, the former director general of the ISI and a Zia-ul-Haq protégé. For a closer look at Hamid Gul’s view see his telephone interview with Harinder Baweja, “‘If It Suits America Tomorrow, They Would Start a Jihaad Inside India’,”September 14, 2001, http://www.robert-fisk.com/hamid_gul_interview_sept14_2001.htm#top.
 For more information on the ISI and the war on terrorism, see Shaun Gregory, “The ISI and the War on Terrorism,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Vol. 30, No. 12 (2007), pp. 1013-1031.
 A cabinet committee headed by Law Minister Farooq H. Naek recently provided recommendations in respect to the FCR. The recommendations, which were given to the prime minister, do not call to abolish the FCR but merely to reform it. For example, under the recommendations, only the immediate male relatives of a tribal member involved in subversive activities against the state could be arrested, whereas before there had been no limitation. Greater judicial oversight of affairs in the FATA was also recommended. See Nasir Iqbal, “Cabinet Panel Suggests Drastic Changes in FCR,” Dawn (Pakistan), October 14, 2008