War of Terror in Praetorian Pakistan

Aasim Sajjad Akhtar of the National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University , Islamabad, Pakistan, has a new Commentary with JCA. It is “The War of Terror in Praetorian Pakistan: The Emergence and Struggle of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2020.1809008).

The abstract states:

In January 2018, a spontaneous march of young men from the region of Waziristan descended upon the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, dramatically exploding the myths about the so-called war on terror in the “tribal” border zone with Afghanistan. This organic mobilisation became the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), a civil rights uprising embodying the repressed rage of a generation of Pashtun youth that had come of age in the shadow of violence propagated by the unholy nexus of US drones, the Taliban and Pakistan’ s security establishment. In this c ommentary, the PTM’ s emergence as a response to the brutalisation of Pashtun society on what remains a colonial frontier hundreds of years since the British conquest is counterposed to a right-wing populist upsurge led by current Pakistani P rime M inister Imran Khan, whose primary constituency of support is a myopic middle-class strata in metropolitan areas. This confrontation between left and right populisms reveals growing social polarisation under the backdrop of rapid demographic change in a rentier state dominated by an all-powerful military establishment.

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