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পাকিস্তান পরিস্থিতি ৮

May 23, 2013

১০ অক্টোবর ২০১২, বুধবার

Pakistan child rights activist shot in head: Doctor

A teenage Pakistani children’s rights activist was shot in the head on Tuesday in an assassination attempt as she boarded a school bus in the former Taliban stronghold of Swat, officials said.

Malala Yousafzai, 14, won international prominence for highlighting Taliban atrocities in Swat by blogging for the BBC.

She received the first ever national peace award from the Pakistani government last year and was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by advocacy group KidsRights Foundation in 2011.

The shocking incident in broad daylight in Mingora, the main town of the once much-loved northwestern valley, raised serious questions about security more than three years after the army claimed to have crushed a Taliban insurgency.

Doctors at the Saidu Sharif Medical Complex in Mingora said that Malala was out of danger after the bullet penetrated her skull but missed her brain.

“A bullet struck her head, but the brain is safe,” said Doctor Taj Mohammed. “She is out of danger,” he added. Doctor Lal Noor, from the same hospital, confirmed that the bullet broke her skull but missed her brain.

“The bullet struck her skull and came out on the other side and hit her shoulder,” he told AFP. Police said one of Malala’s friends, another schoolgirl, was also hurt.

“Malala was getting into her school bus after school when two gunmen opened fire on her, injuring her and one of her friends,” police official Rasool Shah said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting.

Provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain blamed the attack on terrorists and said Malala would be flown by helicopter to the northwestern city of Peshawar for further treatment.

The Pakistan army in 2009 effectively crushed a two-year Taliban insurgency in Swat where cleric Maulana Fazlullah presided over a brutal campaign of beheadings, violence and multiple attacks on girls’ schools.

After fierce fighting displaced around two million people, the army declared the region back under control in July 2009.

Despite sporadic outbreaks of violence, the government has since tried to encourage tourism in Swat. It had been popular with Pakistani and Western holidaymakers for its stunning mountains, balmy summer weather and winter skiing.


১৪ অক্টোবর ২০১২, রবিবার

Malala still on ventilator, condition satisfactory: ISPR

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Saturday said that the condition of Malala Yousufzai, the child activist who was shot by the Taliban in Mingora on Tuesday, was satisfactory, DawnNews reported.

The ISPR said Malala was still on a ventilator at the Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC) and her vital organs were intact and functioning normally. Although, according to the report of the second CT scan, there was slight swelling on her brain’s membrane.

“(The) health condition of Malala continues to remain satisfactory. Her vitals are okay and she is still on ventilator,” the ISPR said in an update.

“A board of doctors is continuously monitoring her condition,” it added.

A panel of doctors was monitoring the girl’s condition.

Earlier on Friday, Director General ISPR, Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa, had said that “the next 36 to 48 hours” were critical.

General Bajwa had at the time said that a panel of doctors taking care of the injured Malala had described her condition as satisfactory.

“The neurosurgical and intensive care specialists are satisfied with the current condition of Malala Yousufzai, but still the next 36 to 48 hours are critical,” the chief of ISPR had said.

Also on Friday, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf visited Malala, paying tribute to her and her two friends who were also wounded when a gunman boarded their school bus on Tuesday and opened fire.

“It was not a crime against an individual but a crime against humanity and an attack on our national and social values,” he told reporters, pledging renewed vigour in Pakistan’s struggle with militancy.

The attack has sickened Pakistan, where Malala won international prominence with a blog for the BBC that highlighted atrocities under the Taliban who terrorised the Swat valley from 2007 until a 2009 army offensive.

Activists say the shooting should be a wake-up call to whose who advocate appeasement with the Taliban.

Girls in an Islamabad school display a poster to show their support to Malala Yousufzai, who was shot on Tuesday by a Taliban gunman for her role in promoting girls’ education in the Swat Valley, Pakistan.

Hundreds rally in capital to slam attack on Malala

Hundreds of women, men and children from different walks of life on Saturday joined a peaceful rally to protest against the brutal armed attack on the education activist from Mingora.
The rally, under the banner of Aurat Foundation, was taken out from College Road and it ended at Ralwalpindi Press Club. The participants paid their tribute to Malala Yousufzai.
The protesters, mostly local citizens, were carrying placards and shouting slogans against the wave of terrorism in the country. They strongly condemned the cowardly acts of terrorism, especially attack on Malala. Addressing the crowd at one point during the rally’s march, Aurat Foundation Chief Operating Officer Naeem Mirza described Mala Yousafzai as a symbol of girl education and peace in Pakistan.
He said that attack on Malala had shaken the conscience of Pakistani nation. “Now, they will not rest until they uproot and defeat all monsters of ignorance, extremism and poverty.” The Citizens Action Committee (CAC) coordinator Chaudhry Ilyas said that the heinous crime against an innocent girl who only wanted to be educated has exposed nefarious designs of the terrorists.
The participants of the rally prayed for the health, early recovery and long life of Malala Yousufzai. They said that such incident was a conspiracy against peace in Pakistan. The protester also led candles. The rally demanded that the government urgently investigate the attack and bring the perpetrators to justice. They also demanded that the government should take serious notice of such attacks on peace activists in the areas already bleeding from terrorism and extremism, as such attack discourage all efforts for peace and stability in the region.
Meanwhile, the District Bar Association (DBA), Islamabad, observed strike on the call of Pakistan and Punjab Bar Council against the brutal attack on International award winner Malala Yousufzai. District Bar Association President Syed Javed Iqbal Shah while talking to APP said, “The lawyer community strongly condemns the attack on peace activist Malala Yousufzai. Islam disseminates message of love, affection and peace and this brutal and coward act could not be associated with our sacred religion.”
DBA spokesman Chaudhry Khalid Hussain told APP that earlier Punjab Bar Council announced strike against the attitude of Punjab police for not registering an FIR and arresting the culprits involved in the murder of Safdar advocate. But later, he added, the Pakistan Bar Council announced a countrywide strike to condemn the attack on young and brave activist Mala Yousufzai and the fellow students.
Activities in lower court remained suspended and Judges were sitting at their chambers due to the strike.


৯ ডিসেম্বর ২০১২, রবিবার

আইএসআই কত কিছু যে করে! পাকিস্তানের চলচ্চিত্র শিল্পের উজ্জীবনের বিতর্কেও আইএসআই! তাদের উদ্দেশ্য, not even a single scene or dialogue against the national interest could be allowed to be shown to the public.

Debate on revival of Pakistani film industry ends with promises

An intense debate held at the Central Board of Film Censors in a meeting among the government officials, filmmakers and importers and representatives of Inter-Services Intelligence and ISPR to revive the dead film industry of Pakistan and again ended with promises and assurances.

Federal Minister for National Regulations and Services Firdous Ashiq Awan chairing the meeting said: “We do not need rented culture therefore we have to revive our film industry”. ISI’s Brigadier Shuja Hassan and ISPR’s Brigadier Mujtaba Termizi told the filmmakers and film importers that not even a single scene or dialogue against the national interest could be allowed to be shown to the public.

A dialogue was held between CBFC and importers of foreign films as well as local film producers on the way forward for revival of Pakistani film industry in Islamabad this week after a period of more than four years.

Federal Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan told the participants that she would fight the case of film industry and will take the issue to the president and prime minister. She said that tens of thousands of people, linked with film making business, have been unemployed mainly because this sector could not get the attention of the governments. “We need to promote our culture through revival of Pakistan film industry by improving the plot of films”, said Firdous Ashiq Awan.

She heard the problems and issues from all the stakeholders and assured the participants of her full cooperation for revival of the local film industry. Pakistan Film Producers Association Chairman Syed Noor was also present on the occasion and shared his views with the participants. He said that the cinemas should not be closed in Pakistan therefore the import of Indian films shall not stop, however he suggested that there shall be a quota for Indian films.

The chairman Higher Education Commission was also present in the meeting who told the participants that HEC through the support of various universities and colleges was playing its role in the revival of the film industry.

The CBFC also unanimously approved to recommend a new and more vibrant rating system for films and their prominent display in all publicity of motion picture/advertisements as proposed by the Chairman CBFC, Dr Raja Mustafa Hyder once the film stands approved by the CBFC.


১৮ ডিসেম্বর ২০১২, মঙ্গলবার

পাকিস্তানের জঙ্গিরা তাদের পোলিও টীকাকর্মীদেরও গুলি করে মেরে ফেলছে।

Karachi polio killings: Vaccination workers shot

The fifth woman was killed in Peshawar, while a male health worker was killed in Karachi on Monday.

The victims were reportedly working with a UN-backed programme to eradicate polio, which is endemic in Pakistan.

No group has said it carried out the shootings, but the Taliban have issued threats against the polio drive.

Pakistani health officials said the latest three-day nationwide anti-polio drive – during which an estimated 5.2 million polio drops were to be administered – had been suspended in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city with a population of 18m.

“These were pre-planned and coordinated attacks in various localities which took place within a span of 20 minutes,” Imran Javed, a police spokesman told the BBC of Tuesday’s attacks in Karachi.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has condemned the attacks and praised the work of the polio vaccination teams, calling on regional authorities to guarantee their safety, Pakistan’s APP news agency reported.

Key polio battleground

There has been opposition to such immunisation drives in parts of Pakistan, particularly after a fake CIA hepatitis vaccination campaign helped to locate Osama Bin Laden in 2011.

Militants have kidnapped and killed foreign NGO workers in the past in an attempt to halt the immunisation drives which they say are part of efforts to spy on them.

Along with Afghanistan and Nigeria, Pakistan is one of only three countries where polio is still endemic.

Pakistan is considered the key battleground in the global fight against the disease, which attacks the nervous system and can cause permanent paralysis within hours of infection.

Earlier this year, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative warned that tackling the disease had entered “emergency mode” after “explosive” outbreaks in countries previously free of polio.

The World Health Organization said polio was at a tipping point, with experts fearing it could “come back with a vengeance” after large outbreaks in Africa and Tajikistan and China’s first recorded cases for more than a decade.

Declaring polio a national emergency, the Pakistani government is targeting 33m children for vaccination with some 88,000 health workers delivering vaccination drops.


২৩ ডিসেম্বর ২০১২, রবিবার

আবারো রাজনৈতিক সমাবেশে বোমা হামলা, এবার পেশোয়ারে, আওয়ামী ন্যাশনাল পার্টির সমাবেশে, এই হামলায় রাজ্যের এক মন্ত্রী ও তার সচিবসহ নয় জন নিহত ও ১৭ জন আহত হয়েছেন।

Bashir Bilour assassinated: Secretary, 7 others die in blast

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Senior Minister Bashir Ahmed Bilour and at least eight other people were killed and 17 injured in a suicide bomb explosion in Qissa Khwani Bazaar on Saturday evening.

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack on the Awami National Party leader whose outspokenness had made him a lot of enemies among the militants.

The victims included the minister’s personal secretary, Noor Mohammad Khan, and Abdul Sattar Khan, an SHO who had escorted him from the venue of a corner meeting held in the Dhaki Nalbandi street.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf announced one-day state mourning. The national flag will fly at half mast.

Federal Railway Minister Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, elder brother of the assassinated minister, made a statement about the death at Lady Reading Hospital (LRH).

Peshawar SSP Imran Shahid told Dawn that although stringent security arrangements had been made, the suicide bomber managed to sneak in from an adjacent street.

Bomb disposal unit officials said there were about six kilograms of explosives in the suicide vest and the attacker’s head and a foot had been found.

Doctors at the LRH said condition of five of the injured was critical because of head injuries.

The minister suffered pellet injuries on his chest and abdomen.

Dr Arshad Javed, the hospital’s chief executive officer, told reporters that Mr Bilour was in extreme shock when he was brought in and his blood pressure was very low.
“We immediately put him on ventilator and tried for over an hour to save his life. However, the injuries on his abdomen, chest and lower parts of the body turned out to fatal.”

An ANP worker, Imran Khan, recalled his horror: “As the corner meeting ended, the provincial minister came out of the venue, while his elder brother Ghulam Ahmed Bilour remained busy meeting party activists. All of a sudden the massive blast took place.”

He said the attack had taken place in a commercial-cum-residential area where the meeting had been arranged to welcome some elders who had joined the ANP. The ministers had assured them that their problems would be solved.

A daily wager, Ikram, who was desperately searching for his missing son, Fayaz Khan, at the scene of the tragedy said he was busy in his routine work when a loud bang shook the place

Another witness, Jafar Khan, said he too had attended the ANP meeting, but was standing at the corner of the street when the attack took place. He said the injured included some shopkeepers and workers of a nearby tea stall.

Mian Pervez, Abdul Mateen, Mohammadul Haq, Bakhtawar and an unknown elderly man were among the dead.

The explosion destroyed dozens of shops, houses, cars and motorcycles of belonging to shopkeepers and shoppers.

TTP CLAIM: The banned TTP’s spokesman for Dara Adamkhel and Khyber Agency, Mohammad Afridi, told Dawn by phone a suicide bomber belonging to his group had attacked the minister, our correspondent in Ladha adds.

He said the TTP had set up a new ‘revenge wing’ that had carried out the attack. Afridi warned that leaders of the ANP and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement were the prime targets of his group.

AFP adds: Another TTP spokesman said that the attack had been carried out to avenge the killing of an `elder’ of militants, Sheikh Naseeb Khan.

Police said around 100 people had gathered at the place when the bomber detonated his suicide vest.

“The bomber reached very close to the senior minister,” Asif Iqbal, a police official, said.

He said there were several ANP workers among the victims and four policemen were injured.

According to the authorities, about 35,000 people have been killed as a result of terrorism in the country since the 9/11 attacks in the United States and the 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.


১৫ জানুয়ারি ২০১৩, মঙ্গলবার

SC orders arrest of PM Ashraf in RPP case

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the authorities to arrest Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, television reports said.

The apex court ordered the prime minister’s arrest during a hearing of the rental power projects case.

The bench ordered the arrest of 16 persons, including the premier, and directed the authorities to present Prime Minister Ashraf in court tomorrow.

“The chief justice ordered that all concerned, regardless of their rank, who have been booked in the case be arrested and if someone leaves the country, then chairman of National Accountability Bureau will be held responsible along with his investigating team,” lawyer Aamir Abbas told AFP.

“The sixteen include Raja Ashraf,” said Abbas, referring to the prime minister.

The prime minister’s adviser, Fawad Chaudhry, condemned the court’s order, calling it unconstitutional, the Associated Press reported.

The bench directed the authorities to arrest the 16 accused and present a report on the matter on Wednesday.

The hearing was later adjourned to Jan 17.

The prime minister has been accused of receiving kickbacks and commission in the RPPs case as minister for water and power.

In the case, nine RPPs firms were accused of receiving more than Rs22 billion as a mobilisation advance from the government to commission the projects but most of them did not set up their plants and a few of them installed them but with inordinate delay.

In March 2012, the Supreme Court had held the RPP contracts non-transparent and ordered that these be rescinded.

The court had also ordered National Accountability Bureau chairman Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari to proceed with corruption references against those who were at the helm of affairs when the contracts were signed between 2006 and 2008 to overcome the energy shortfall through RPPs as a stopgap arrangement.

The unlucky ones who were expected to face criminal charges at the time of the apex court’s ruling included Liaquat Jatoi, Raja Pervez Ashraf as well as Naveed Qamar and Waqar Masood. During their tenures, down payment to different RPPs was increased from seven to 14 per cent.


২৪ মার্চ ২০১৩, রবিবার

মুশাররফ ফিরছেন আজ পাকিস্তানে।


Musharraf to reach Pakistan today

He had earlier reached Dubai airport accompanied by his wife Mrs Sehba Musharraf, who had arrived at the airport to see off the former president.

Talking to media persons before embarking on his flight Musharraf said that the was aware of the fact that the NOC, granted for his rally scheduled to be held in Karachi today, was cancelled and added that cancellation of the NOC was acceptable only in case of security reasons.

He further said that he was aware of the latest threat issued by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in a video released a day earlier.

At the press conference held earlier on Saturday, flanked by office-bearers of his party, the APML chief disclosed that he had been advised by the Saudi authorities not to return to Pakistan due to security concerns.

An entire Emirates flight was booked for Karachi, which will leave Dubai at 10.40am (PST) and reach Karachi at 12.40pm.

The foreign media at large has disregarded the even of Musharraf’s return to Pakistann. A number of Pakistani journalists will be accompanying the former president on his homecoming wheras the foreign media will be represented only by the BBC.

In contrast, many foreign journalists had accompanied former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on her journey from Dubai to Karachi that ended her exile.

Pervez Musharraf came into power in a bloodless coup as army chief of staff in 1999.

Following the elections in Feb 2008, he left the country after stepping down in August 2008, when Asif Ali Zardari was elected president after the murder of his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.


২৪ মার্চ ২০১৩, রবিবার

ECP selects Mir Hazar Khan Khoso as caretaker PM

The name for justice (retd) Khoso was finalised after four memeber of the ECP voted in favour of him whereas only one member had voted against him, Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ibrahim told media personnel.

The ECP came to the decision on the second day of deliberations between its members after the parliamentary committee formed over the issue failed to reach a consensus.

Sources had said that after the ECP’s first day of meeting , Justice Ebrahim and Justice Rahman found the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP)’s second nominee, retired Justice Mir Hazar Khoso, as the most suitable candidate, whereas Justice Kiani and Justice Khan wanted the office to go to the PML-N’s first nominee, retired Justice Nasir Aslam Zahid.

The PPP had forwarded the names of Justice (retd) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso and former State Bank Governor Dr Ishrat Hussain whereas the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) had put forward the names of Justice (retd) Nasir Aslam Zahid and Rasool Baksh Palijo., after consultations with the government and opposition parties respectively.

Justice (retd) Mir Hazar Khan Khoso was born on 30th September, 1929 in Village Azam Khan , District Jaffarabad , Balochistan and graduated from University of Sindh in 1954 and passed LLB in 1956 from University of Karachi.

He joined the legal profession in 1957 and enrolled as Advocate of High Court of West Pakistan Karachi Bench in 1959 and Advocate of Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1980.

He was elevated as Additional Judge of Balochistan High Court on 20th June 1977 to June 1979 and again elevated as Additional Judge on 31st March 1985.

He was appointed as Permanent Judge of the Balochistan High Court on 31st March 1987 and appointed as Chief Justice of Balcohistan High Court on 13th December 1989.

He also remained Acting Governor Balochistan from 25th June 1990 to 12th July 1990 and from 13th March, 1991 to 13th July, 1991.

Justice Mir Hazar Khan Khoso retired as Chief Justice High Court of Balochistan on 29th September, 1991.

He was appointed Judge of Federal Shariat Court on October 18 1991 and elevated as Chief Justice of the Federal Shariat Court on 17th November, 1992 and held his office upto July 8, 1994.


১০ এপ্রিল ২০১৩, বুধবার

পাকিস্তানি জঙ্গিদের মধ্যে সেই সমৃদ্ধিশালী পাঞ্জাবিরাই বেশি, সাধারণত মনে করা হত হতদরিদ্র প্রদেশগুলোর নিঃগৃহীত জনজাতিরাই তালেবানের সহজ রিক্রুট — ভুল, শহরের মধ্যবিত্ত উচ্চবিত্তের শিক্ষিত ছেলেদের দ্বারাই পাকিস্তানের ‘পবিত্র’ প্রক্সি সেনাবাহিনী অধ্যূষিত। কাজেই শুধুই দরিদ্র জনজাতি মাদ্রাসা এতিম সমীকরণে আবদ্ধ হয়ে থাকলে ভুল হবে। আয়েশা সিদ্দিকা তো এটাকে “social pop culture” বলে অভিহিত করেছেন। কাজেই ভাবনার পরিসর আরো বাড়াতে হবে, দারিদ্র দূরীকরণের কার্যক্রমের পাশাপাশি ‘বিশ্বাস’ নিয়ে আমাদের মধ্যবিত্তের উচ্চবিত্তের বাড়াবাড়িকেও নিয়ন্ত্রণ করতে হবে। ১৯৮৯ থেকে ২০০৮ পর্যন্ত নিহত ৯০০ লস্কর-ই-তৈবার কর্মীদের জীবনী বিশ্লেষণ করে পরিচালিত অনুসন্ধানের ফলাফল এমনই সিদ্ধান্ত দিচ্ছে যে, পাকিস্তানের শিক্ষিত তরুণেরাই বিপদজনক জঙ্গিত্বে আকর্ষিত হয়েছে সবচেয়ে বেশি।


Young, educated and dangerous
Anita Joshua

When Faisal Shahzad, the Pakistani-American upwardly mobile son of a retired senior Pakistan Air Force officer was picked up for the bombing attempt at New York City’s Times Square in the summer of 2010, it was seen as an aberration but it chipped at the comforting argument that youngsters take to terrorism out of poverty and deprivation.

Subsequent studies have driven home this disconcerting fact. The radicalisation of Pakistani society was pervasive enough for analyst Ayesha Siddiqa to call it a “social pop culture” in her study of the socio-political attitudes among students of elite educational institutions in 2010.

Another concern that emerged in several attempts to understand terrorism in Pakistan was that it was not peripheral geographically — as in not just confined to the tribal areas adjoining Afghanistan — but flourishing right in the heart of the country, especially Punjab. The Pakistan Security Report of 2010, brought out by the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, dwelt on “growing urban terrorism.”

And, more recently, a pre-election survey conducted by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute had Central Punjab showing the strongest support for punishment for blasphemy laws, maximum opposition to non-Muslims in public office, and anti-Ahmadi sentiments.

The recent analysis of 900 biographies of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operatives killed between 1989 and 2008, thus, fits the pattern that has been established though the powers that be in Pakistan seemingly refuse to read the writing on the wall. The LeT cadres were found to be well-educated compared to Pakistani men, and the bulk of the recruitment was from Punjab.

Locations and recruitments

Billed as one of Pakistan’s most “lethal and potent militant proxy groups” essentially focused on “waging a low-level war of attrition in Indian Kashmir,” a vast majority of LeT fighters were Punjabi, not Kashmiri.

As much as 89 per cent of the recruits were from Punjab and within the province, while a greater number of militants seem to have originated from the areas that border India or are quite close to it. A majority of the militants under the scanner in this study came from densely populated and urbanised districts of the province with Gujranwala, Faislabad and Lahore producing more terrorists than any other district in the country. These are also the locations where the LeT is active and has a lot of infrastructure.

Links with army

Conducted with the support of Combating Terrorism Centre at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, the study does not subscribe to the official narrative that Pakistanis are not involved in acts of terrorism, and only “diplomatic and moral support” is rendered to indigenous mujahideens fighting in India. “There is considerable overlap among the districts that produce LeT militants and those that produce Pakistan army officers, a dynamic that raises a number of questions about potentially overlapping social networks between the army and LeT.’’ “While certainly not the norm, at least 18 biographies in our data set describe connections between LeT fighters and immediate family members (i.e. fathers or brothers) who are currently serving or had served in Pakistan’s army or air force. In several of these cases, the militant’s father had fought with the Pakistani Army in the 1965 war in Kashmir and/or during the conflict in 1971 over the status of then East Pakistan. In one case a militant’s father was described as a senior officer in the Pakistan army.”

As for LeT’s training capacity, the authors of the study, titled “The Fighters of Lashkar-e-Taiba: Recruitment, Training, Deployment and Death,” quote estimates suggesting that at least three lakh men have received some form of LeT training over the last two decades.

They are picked young with 90 per cent of the militants joining the LeT before they turned 22. The youngest recruit this study threw up was 11, the oldest, 30. The mean age when a recruit joins LeT is 16.95 years and the militants’ median age at the time of death is 21. Among the 900 biographies, the youngest age at which a militant died was 14. While this analysis shows that some of the best educated men of Pakistan were sent to Indian Kashmir to die, it challenges the perception that they are all products of religious education offered through the madrassas. Religious education in all likelihood supplemented non-religious education rather than the former serving as a substitute for the latter. The amount of time fighters spent at a madrassa was less than three years on average. Fewer than five per cent of fighters had attained a sanad (a formal certificate signifying completion of a defined religious curriculum).

Stating that the data at hand attests “to the enduring nature of LeT and its sustained ability to attract high-quality recruits from across the Punjab and through a variety of means for operations throughout South Asia,” the authors of the study conclude that the ongoing programmes to Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) will not diminish the LeT’s ability to recruit, retain and deploy militants.

“For CVE programming in Pakistan to be effective, it would have to undermine the trust that exists between LeT and members of Pakistani society, and counter the narrative that LeT is an instrument for positive change,” says the study. This task is rendered challenging by the range of LeT’s social service activities through its reincarnate, the Jamat-ud-Da’wah. Add to this the LeT’s linkages with elements in the security establishment. Referring to the expansive and overt presence of the LeT throughout the country and its ability to recruit from schools, mosques and madrassas besides circulate its publications, the authors say this reflects a “degree of tolerance if not outright assistance from the Pakistani state.”

Having said this, the concern articulated is that should elements of Pakistan’s security establishment view it in their interest to spoil peace or reignite conflict in the region (potentially to serve as a release valve for domestic challenges or to direct the actions of militants actively waging war against Islamabad), they will likely turn to trusted Pakistani militant groups like LeT to do their bidding.

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