In “The Silent Coup: A History of India’s Deep State,” Josy Joseph explains India’s democratic erosion and the role of India’s security agencies, politicians, and media in this decline. Through the case of Wahid Ali, he demonstrates how the three are intricately linked in the world’s largest democracy.
Despite several years of relative calm and stability, the spectre of terrorism is rearing its head in Pakistan again. With dozens killed and several more wounded in just the past few months, many fear that Pakistan is going down a dark path back to its past, a past riddled with too many bullet holes. The Declaration of the United States’ War on Terror in the aftermath of the 9/11 bombings has resulted in untold carnage and death, most particularly in the countries of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
For years, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) Police has remained the target of militant violence, targeted killings, suicide attacks, ambushes, and kidnappings by terrorist organizations like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). In the last two decades, more than 1,500 officers of the KPK Police have embraced martyrdom in the fight against terrorism in Pakistan. Among these martyrs are AIG Safwat Ghayur, SP Tahir Dawar, DIG Malik Saad, DSP Farid Hussain Bangash, and AIG Muhammad Ashraf Noor. Knowing the risks and challenges involved in this battle, the unsung heroes of the KPK Police have valiantly served their nation and sacrificed their lives.
Madiha Afzal’s “Pakistan under Siege” explores extremism, terrorism, and the narratives of the state in Pakistan. She notes how religious radicalism has strongly influenced the political actors in the country. The author also offers an incisive view of the actors’ deep-rooted relationships with terrorism.
While state-perpetrated terrorism can be traced back to the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution, terrorism itself is rooted deep into human history. The author notes that the phenomenon of terrorism has undergone significant development since its usage by the Sicarii in the 1st century. The author relies on David Rapoport’s model of the four waves of modern terrorism to explain how the aims, motivation, rationale, and methods of achieving the aims have changed from the 1870s till now. She argues that while states have adopted measures to counter the current wave of religious fundamentalism, terrorism itself cannot be completely eradicated.
When it comes to human rights and democracy, the United States of America tends to place itself on a high pedestal. The US’ false sense of righteousness and its tendency to ignore its own crimes while calling out other states has allowed it to remain on its high horse. The author, Sarmad Ishfaq, notes that the US has actively supported insurgencies and covert regime changes, initiated a nuclear arms race, and killed 22,000 civilians in airstrikes. No incident can better represent the US’ war crimes and hypocrisy than its bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Yet, despite it killing hundreds of thousands of people, the world turns a blind eye to America’s transgressions.
In the past decade, Syria’s stability and economy have plummeted to the ground. Terrorism is rampant in the failed state, with the regime of Bashar al-Assad itself perpetrating violence against the civilian population and destroying the state’s infrastructure. Asadullah Khan Wazir, a broadcast journalist, notes that through the use of state-sponsored terrorism, the Syrian regime aims to prevent the population from supporting the rebel groups and offering an alternative regime. As a result, 83,500 civilians have been killed by Bashar al-Assad’s regime and its allies since the Syrian war first started.
Palestinians and their supporters have realized that the most effective way of fighting against Israel is the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanction (BDS) movement. By boycotting Israeli products and pushing for divestment and sanctions on Israel, the movement aims to exert international pressure on Israel, the world governments, and international institutions to dismantle Israel’s apartheid wall, ensure the rights of the Palestinians, end the colonization of Arab lands, and impose the UN Resolution 194. The author, Muhammad Hamza Tanvir, explains that since the drive is a threat to Israel and its allies, the western media, has labelled the movement as “racist”. He further explains that supporting the movement will not only benefit the suffering Palestinians but also the people of the countries backing it.
In the last decade, Islamophobia has been on the rise in France. The situation worsened after the French president, Emmanuel Macron, called Islam a “religion in crisis”, defended blasphemous caricatures, and declared that he would make Islam “compatible” with French republican values and liberate it. The author notes that although the French government claims that it introduced policies like the hijab ban and the religious disassociation in schools, offices, and public areas, to curb radicalism, separatism, and Islamism, they marginalized the entire Muslim community in France. The author asserts that France witnessed a 53% increase in religious violence last year, and if the gap between the French Muslims and the rest of France continues to increase, the Muslim population will become easy targets for terrorist organizations.
Domestic violence consists of all the facets of terrorism. Hence, referring to it as “abuse” or “violence” undermines the severity of the terroristic acts. The author explains that the term “domestic terrorism” is well suited for these horrendous acts. She uses Pakistan as a case study, at the end, to highlight how the societal structure reinforces domestic terrorism.
Pakistan has once again failed to satisfy the Paris-based FATF with regards to the actions it is taking against terror financing and money laundering. The problem is the lack of international support. Even allies like China, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and the Gulf States refused to back Pakistan in the arena. The only supporter was Turkey.
The antipathy and insensitivity in non-Muslim societies have driven Muslim minorities to the brink of an identity crisis. This piece gives reference to China, India, and the United States.
Military force becomes mandatory when a deadly insurgent group, the likes of an ISIS or the LTTE, is present in a country. However, contemporary history reaffirms that the role of the military should be limited to defeating an insurgency militarily only. In other words, military force is one part of a larger counterinsurgency framework and is thus a means to an end. A true victory is achieved when the causes of an insurgency are addressed.
Since ISIS’s inception, it has devastated the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East and beyond. The UAE rose as an unlikely hero in the global war against ISIS. This paper highlights the country’s commitment against the Islamic State as well as the specific steps it has taken against the terror group.
To date, the concept of terrorism is without a universally accepted definition. This has severe practical repercussions in global politics. The paper analyzes various terrorism studies in order to highlight the definitional issues of terrorism.
The paper compares the ideology, emergence, rise, and demise of terror groups Boko Haram (in Nigeria) and the TTP (Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan).