Monday, July 22, 2024

The State’s Dilemma

Author: Mazhar Abbas

Affiliation: Geo News, former secretary general of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists

Organization /Publisher: The News on Sunday

Date/Place: October, 31 2021 /Pakistan

Type of Literature: Opinion

Word Count: 1610


Keywords: Pakistan, Militancy, Extremism, Taliban


The article discusses the mishandling of militants and extremist groups by the Pakistani state. The negotiation between the interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) leader Saad Rizvi, and acceptance of their demands are not hazard-free. Later, the government took a u-turn and decided to deal with the TLP as an outlawed and militant outfit after the group announced it was resuming its long march to Islamabad. The author is suspicious whether the government will make concessions to the TLP and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) because opposition party Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) has placed its support behind Saad Rizvi. The author mentions that TLP and TTP seem to have directly or indirectly benefited Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in the last two general elections. The TTP targeted the PPP, the ANP, and the MQM during the elections, killing some of their leaders and workers and making it difficult for them to run their campaigns.  The policy flaws in dealing with militant groups over the years have changed the political dynamics of Pakistan. As a result, the narrative of ‘non-state’ actors today is far more robust than that of the state itself. The author concludes that it is interesting to see where the politics of Pakistan are heading. The TLP factor, which in the past went in favor of Imran Khan and the PTI, could now go against them. A point to think about is: if the TLP is prevented from contesting the next election, who will its voters support in Punjab and Karachi?


By: Razia Wadood, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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