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Has Pak Begun A Crack Down On Its Jihadi Assets?

Syed Saleem Shahzad reports in the Asia Times:

Intense United States efforts and assurances have put Pakistan and India on track to renew their dialogue process over key contentious issues, such as divided Kashmir.

An important upshot of this is that Islamabad has begun a crackdown on jihadi assets its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) raised in the 1990s for asymmetric warfare against India after losing three battles against its much bigger neighbor.

Asia Times Online has learned that a nascent crackdown on militants in Pakistan's largest province, Punjab, will turn into a major operation and the remnants of all defunct jihadi organizations, no matter how peacefully they operate inside Pakistan, will be dismantled. A showcase of this exercise took place Monday in Anti-Terrorist Court II in Rawalpindi, the garrison city twinned with the capital Islamabad.

...Whatever the backlash that might come from the militants, the point is Pakistan has made a significant shift and taken Washington's desires to heart.

Whether it has or not and whether it is just some more spin is a moot question, but as my friend Omar Ali from Pakistan, who forwarded this link, cautions, even if there is a change of heart, the going is not going to be very smooth:

According to Arif Jamal (author of Shadow war; the untold story of jihad in Kashmir*), the military and its subcontractors have trained about half a million jihadis. IF the army really goes against its former trainees, the  battle will be very long and very violent. Let's assume 400,000 will get the message and move on to civilian life and 90,000 will transfer their skills to various "tolerable" forms of armed action (bodyguards for feudal bullies, kidnappers for ransom, armed robber who give the appropriate cut to the police, MQM, SPSF and so on) that still leaves 10,000 ready to fight to the death. Even with 98% attrition, the remaining 2% can do a lot of damage.

Someday, we will also have to investigate whose brilliant idea it was to train so many armed men and turn them loose...

*Haven't read the book, but been meaning to, since I read a review here a few weeks back.

Syed Saleem Shahzad reports in the Asia Times:

Intense United States efforts and assurances have put Pakistan and India on track to renew their dialogue process over key contentious issues, such as divided Kashmir.

An important upshot of this is that Islamabad has begun a crackdown on jihadi assets its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) raised in the 1990s for asymmetric warfare against India after losing three battles against its much bigger neighbor.

Asia Times Online has learned that a nascent crackdown on militants in Pakistan's largest province, Punjab, will turn into a major operation and the remnants of all defunct jihadi organizations, no matter how peacefully they operate inside Pakistan, will be dismantled. A showcase of this exercise took place Monday in Anti-Terrorist Court II in Rawalpindi, the garrison city twinned with the capital Islamabad.

...Whatever the backlash that might come from the militants, the point is Pakistan has made a significant shift and taken Washington's desires to heart.

Whether it has or not and whether it is just some more spin is a moot question, but as my friend Omar Ali from Pakistan, who forwarded this link, cautions, even if there is a change of heart, the going is not going to be very smooth:

According to Arif Jamal (author of Shadow war; the untold story of jihad in Kashmir*), the military and its subcontractors have trained about half a million jihadis. IF the army really goes against its former trainees, the  battle will be very long and very violent. Let's assume 400,000 will get the message and move on to civilian life and 90,000 will transfer their skills to various "tolerable" forms of armed action (bodyguards for feudal bullies, kidnappers for ransom, armed robber who give the appropriate cut to the police, MQM, SPSF and so on) that still leaves 10,000 ready to fight to the death. Even with 98% attrition, the remaining 2% can do a lot of damage.

Someday, we will also have to investigate whose brilliant idea it was to train so many armed men and turn them loose...

*Haven't read the book, but been meaning to, since I read a review here a few weeks back.

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