Monday, November 22, 2010

Islamisation in Pakistan army

The threat of Islamic militancy is very serious in Pakistan today. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism has radically altered the nature of Pashtun nationalism, bringing about a synthesis of old tribal conventions of ‘Pashtoonwali’ with Salafi-tainted tenets of Sharia. In the process, radical Islam has transformed into an instrument of global jihad.

The writ of the state does not run effectively in large swathes of territory, particularly in the North West Frontier Province (recently re-named Khyber Pakhtunkhwa — KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) despite the large army and Frontier Corps presence there of over 1,20,000 troops — one full corps plus excess of two infantry divisions. Uniformed personnel have not displayed either the courage or will to take on their ‘Islamised’ brethren in sustained ground combat since the beginning of Operation ‘Al Mizan’ in 2003-04.

Though ‘cleansing operations’ have been going on in these areas, prominent militant leaders often managed to escape the dragnet and have retreated to remote locations near the border or into neighboring Afghanistan. Many areas claimed to have been cleared in ‘successful’ operations have seen resurgence in militant reprisals in the absence of a ‘holding presence’ of troops. Desertions were common in the earlier phase of military operations. Entire villages turned hostile while receiving ‘body bags’ of ‘martyred’ soldiers. Reporting of such incidents was suppressed. In later phases of operations, the Pakistan Army has much preferred the aerial artillery bombardment or drone operations option despite the taint of bowing to American pressure.

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Islamization Watch

Islamization [Islamisation]: When a country or region adopts a series of laws and practices that reflect the Islamic sentiment.