Pakistan’s Counterinsurgency: Military and Civilian Approach



Post 9/11 insurgency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) regions threatened the national security of Pakistan. This insurgency tested the ideological will of Pakistan and took a heavy toll on human life that includes civilian population and law enforcement personnel alike. In order to meet the challenges, Pakistan has launched different counterinsurgency operations which involved the combined efforts of military and civilian government. Pakistan Military conducted kinetic operations against the militants whereas the political government and civilians were expected to take on the non-kinetic aspects (Countering Violent Extremism) of counterinsurgency, which are de-radicalisation, legal aspects, governance and economic development initiatives. The Pakistan Military’s operational concepts of ‘Clear, Hold, Build and Transfer’ have been practiced, however, further progress can be achieved through civilian and military cooperation. This paper examines how Pakistan Army and civilian government have played their roles in handling the insurgency, followed by identifying the loopholes in the strategic orientation of both the military and civilian leadership. It further analyses whether the military has shifted its conventional role of fighting to the counterinsurgency mode or not.

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