«THESIS MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN: A SCHIZOPHRENIC PROBLEM by Carl M. Lowe September 2012 Thesis Advisor: Tristan James Mabry Second Reader: Feroz Hassan ...»
MILITANCY IN PAKISTAN:
A SCHIZOPHRENIC PROBLEM
Carl M. Lowe
Thesis Advisor: Tristan James Mabry Second Reader: Feroz Hassan Khan Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited
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4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERSMilitancy in Pakistan: A Schizophrenic Problem
6. AUTHOR(S) Carl M. Lowe
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(maximum 200 words) Since 2001, the West has focused on the insurgency along the Afghan-Pakistani border. The minimal achievements of Pakistan’s counterinsurgency operations drew U.S. scrutiny. Skeptics accused Pakistan of not being serious about eliminating Islamic militants. Pakistan has opposed, supported, or ignored Islamic militant groups. Both domestic and transnational issues complicate Islamabad’s decision-making ability. This thesis evaluates to what extent India, Islamic affinity, and Pashtun nationalism shaped Pakistan’s counterinsurgency strategy. The perceived existential Indian threat creates a security dilemma for the Pakistani military. Pakistan lacks the capacity to fight a two-front war without international assistance. Islamabad’s instrumental use of Islamic groups to achieve political and strategic objectives allows Islamist to become intertwined with the state. Strategic successes of the military-militant nexus created deep-rooted sympathies toward Islamic militants that make implementing counterinsurgency policies problematic. Fearing Pashtun nationalism, the Pakistan army’s deployment in the region was minimal, and instead, Pashtun tribal leaders were unprotected against radical elements. The Mullahs’ growing strength upset the balance of authority within the tribal governance system. The spread of radical fundamentalism outside the FATA region forced Islamabad to react.
Since 2001, the West has focused on the insurgency along the Afghan-Pakistani border.
The minimal achievements of Pakistan’s counterinsurgency operations drew U.S.
scrutiny. Skeptics accused Pakistan of not being serious about eliminating Islamic militants. Pakistan has opposed, supported, or ignored Islamic militant groups. Both domestic and transnational issues complicate Islamabad’s decision-making ability. This thesis evaluates to what extent India, Islamic affinity, and Pashtun nationalism shaped Pakistan’s counterinsurgency strategy. The perceived existential Indian threat creates a security dilemma for the Pakistani military. Pakistan lacks the capacity to fight a twofront war without international assistance. Islamabad’s instrumental use of Islamic groups to achieve political and strategic objectives allows Islamist to become intertwined with the state. Strategic successes of the military-militant nexus created deep-rooted sympathies toward Islamic militants that make implementing counterinsurgency policies problematic. Fearing Pashtun nationalism, the Pakistan army’s deployment in the region was minimal, and instead, Pashtun tribal leaders were unprotected against radical elements. The Mullahs’ growing strength upset the balance of authority within the tribal governance system. The spread of radical fundamentalism outside the FATA region forced Islamabad to react.
A. MAJOR RESEARCH QUESTION
C. PROBLEMS AND HYPOTHESES
D. LITERATURE REVIEW
E. METHODS AND SOURCES
F. THESIS OVERVIEW
II. IS INDIA A CREDIBLE THREAT?
B. OPPOSING ARMIES
1. Conventional Forces in Comparison
2. Marginalized Paramilitary Force
3. Pakistani Armies Conventional Training
C. MILITARY EXPENDITURES.
D. HONORING THE CONVENTIONAL THREAT
E. WILL WASHINGTON ABANDON PAKISTAN?
III. A SELECTIVE ISLAMIC AFFINITY
B. JIHADI RHETORIC
C. PROSCRIBING MILITANT GROUPS
D. POLITICAL COLLUSION
E. THE MILITARY IS NOT MONOLITHIC
F. ISLAMIC GROUPS CHALLENGE THE STATE
IV. PASHTUN NATIONALISM POST-9/11
B. WHO ARE THE PASHTUNS?
C. WHAT IT IS PASHTUN NATIONALISM?
1. Durand Line
3. Afghan Factor
D. FAILED GOVERNANCE
E. CONTAINING THE THREAT
A. AN INDIAN NEIGHBOR
B. ISLAMIC AFFINITY
C. PASHTUN NATIONALISM
vii LIST OF REFERENCES
INITIAL DISTRIBUTION LIST
Figure 1. Pakistan Army’s Corps Peacetime Positions.
Figure 2. Indian Army’s Corps Peacetime Positions.
Figure 3. Afghanistan-Pakistan Border Regions
Table 1. Indian and Pakistan Military Expenditure
Table 2. Indian and Pakistan Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
CAR Central Asian Republics CFL Cease Fire Line CI Counterinsurgency CIA Central Intelligence Agency CSF Coalition Support Funds FATA Federally Administered Tribal Areas FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation FCR Frontier Crime Regulations GDP Gross National Product IJI Islami Jamhoori Itihad ISAF International Security Assistance Force ISI Inter-Service Intelligence JAH Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith JI Jamiat e-Islami JKLF Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front JUI Jamiat Ulema e-Islam JUP Jamiat Ulema-I-Pakistan KKM Khudia Khidmatgar Movement LOC Line of Control LEJ Lashkar-e-Jhangvi LET Lashkar-e-Taiba MMA Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization NPT Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty PATA Provincially Administered Tribal Areas PML Pakistani Muslim League OIF Operation Iraqi Freedom SIPRI Stockholm International Peace Research Institute TTP Tehrik-I-Taliban Pakistan
I would like to thank my father, Charles Lowe, for his support, dialogue, and guidance throughout my studies at Naval Postgraduate School. A special thanks to Dr. S.
Paul Kapur and Anshu N. Chatterjee for their valuable insight. Without them, this project would have lacked the deep background needed to understand the regional dynamics. I would like to extend my gratitude to my thesis advisor, Dr. Tristan James Mabry, for his patience, guidance, and attention to detail throughout this project. Additionally, Brigadier Feroz Hassan Khan, my second reader, was extremely insightful throughout my studies.
His candid objective position toward Pakistan inspired this project.
A. MAJOR RESEARCH QUESTIONPakistan has been using Islamic militant groups as a foreign policy tool against Afghanistan and India over the past sixty years; however, the events of 9/11 created a paradigm shift on the way Pakistan dealt with such groups. The context in which militant groups operating within Pakistan has been affected by Islamabad’s enhanced friendship with Washington. With over 24 different domestic and transnational militant groups identified within Pakistan, the Pakistani government has supported, ignored, or opposed militant groups. With multiple militant groups with varying objectives operating within Pakistan, it would take considerable research to answer that problem in its entirety.
Isolating the problem to a particular region narrows the focus of the overall problem. The research is concentrated on the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which harbors the greatest population of Islamic militant groups oriented toward Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Although President Musharraf quickly joined the United States’ “War on Terror,” Pakistan has been reluctant to conduct counterinsurgency operations to stymie crossborder militant activity along the Afghan-Pakistani border, which has increased U.S.
skepticism toward Pakistan. Pakistan has been placed in a precarious position by garnering substantial aid from the United States in exchange for assistance in building Afghan security. Thus, Islamabad must appease Washington, but at the same time maintain domestic order and ensure state security. Pakistan has the seventh largest military in the world, but Pakistan has not eliminated militant groups. Instead, they have conducted minimal military operations from 2001–2008 against militants groups. In this thesis, I intended to demonstrate to what extend the state’s Islamic ideological affinities, India, and Pashtun nationalism have shaped Pakistan’s counterinsurgency strategy in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province from 2001–2008.
B. IMPORTANCE Washington’s policies regarding the “War on Terror” have direct consequences to Pakistan. The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan has exacerbated tensions along the Af-Pak 1 border particularly in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region. An antiquated governance system left in place from the British rule has permitted the territory to be a safe haven for Islamic militant groups that are interfering with U.S. statebuilding operations in Afghanistan and challenging the writ of the Pakistani government.
Washington’s increasing pressure on Islamabad to act against cross border attacks has had varying success; therefore, a greater understanding of the security calculations that Pakistan is facing will assist U.S. policy makers to understand Islamabad’s capacity and aspirations in regards to militant groups.
C. PROBLEMS AND HYPOTHESES
As India plays a dominating role in Pakistan’s strategic calculation, to what extent has Islamabad’s counterinsurgency strategy in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa been affected?
The existential threat of India toward Pakistan is a deep-rooted fear inscribed from partition. Both South Asian countries have troops deployed in close proximity to their shared borders, and although President Musharraf has sought to normalize relations with New Delhi, the closeness and cold start strategy ensures India remains a constant in Pakistan’s security calculation. New Delhi’s collaboration with Kabul has heightened Pakistani concerns. Although Pakistan would prosper from Afghan domestic stability, the threat of a pro-Indian regime in Kabul is troublesome as it could threaten Pakistan’s existence with a two-front dilemma. While Pakistan has always relied on the United States to intervene on Indo-Pakistan hostilities, the Bush administration’s pro-Indian foreign policy has alarmed Islamabad. Without minimizing India’s threatening stature either through normalization or assurance from the United States, Pakistan will continue to do the minimum toward counterinsurgency in along its western border.
To what extent have Islamic ideological affinities shaped counterinsurgency strategy in the western regions? Pakistani military has used jihad rhetoric to mobilize ‘freedom fighters’ in Afghanistan and India as a proxy force to assist in achieving strategic victories by maintaining minimal state association. The Islamic nature of the state creates natural assumptions that the state supports Islamic militant groups operating within the state. The Military and ISI’s ties with militant groups and the period of 2 Islamization by General Zia al-Huq contribute to this assumption. Although the Pakistani military is predominately Muslim, similar to the United States being primarily Christian, military leaders maintain secular views by weeding out leaders with radical affinities. President Musharraf’s proscribing of militant groups and assassination attempts against him positively argues that Islamic militant groups have become unpopularity within the military and state. Although the state and military has been linked to Islamic militant groups in the past, the state and military have made considerable efforts to disassociate themselves from sectarian ideologies, but maintain links as a security calculation against India.
To what extent has Pashtun nationalism shaped counterinsurgency strategy in the in the western regions? Throughout Pakistan’s past, Islamabad has been challenged with separatist movements and continues to endure an unresolved situation next door in Baluchistan. The FATA region is inhabited by the largest tribal society in the world.