The Fallacy of State Rhetoric: Pakistan, Haqqani Network and Terror in Afghanistan

10 May 2016

This article is based on the notion that terrorism is a political strategy and can be utilized by any actor whether they be individuals, organized groups or loose networks, domestic and international organizations, or even states. Subsequently, the article argues that states can be also terrorist actors and that state terror has to be included in the study of terrorism. Against this backdrop, the analysis sheds light on Pakistan’s role in supporting terrorism as an instrument to achieve its foreign policy goals, especially in Afghanistan. By elaborating on the latest 19 April 2016 terrorist attack in Kabul, it will be pointed out that Pakistan’s counter-terrorism campaign is aimed primarily at improving internal security and is conducted at the expense of the fight against cross-border terrorism. Furthermore, the anti-terror activities did not primarily eradicate terrorism but rather strengthened the formal role of the military in Pakistani politics. This article is not only questioning Pakistan’s earnestness and credibility in counter-terrorism but assumes its actions further stifle changes in the country’s foreign and security policy. In consequence, it appears that Pakistan still follows the old patterns of state support for terror/statesponsored terrorism.

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SADF FOCUS N.13 – The Fallacy of State Rhetoric: Pakistan, Haqqani Network and Terror in Afghanistan