Violence & Misconstruction: Understanding Why CounterTerrorism Measures Are Failing - the Case of Pakistan
CitationKhalid, Zahra. 2016. Violence & Misconstruction: Understanding Why CounterTerrorism Measures Are Failing - the Case of Pakistan. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractFor the past ten years, Pakistan has been implementing counterterrorism strategies to eradicate terrorism, yet cessation of violence has not been achieved. In this thesis I explore the reasons for failure of counterterrorism strategies. Scholars suggest that violence persists in a region if there is active and passive support for it from the surrounding population. I set out to test this claim by designing and conducting a questionnaire survey that measured whether there is active and passive support for terrorism in Pakistan, whether this support is the reason for failure of counterterrorism measures, and, if there is support for violence, is it due to anti American sentiments, particular theological motives or of the corrupt local government. I find that counterterrorism measures are failing because Pakistan is not acknowledging and addressing the real factors that have promoted violence at the first place. There is active and passive support for militants in Pakistan but this support is not motivated by religion alone, nor is it due to discrete anti-American sentiments. Instead, I contend that there is active and passive support for militants because many view Islam as an alternative to secularism and as a means of achieving a just and equitable economic and social order.
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