In Their Own Words: Understanding Lashkar-e-Tayyaba

In Their Own Words: Understanding Lashkar-e-Tayyaba

by C. Christine Fair


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This pathbreaking volume reveals a little-known aspect of how Lashkar-e-Tayyaba functions in Pakistan and beyond. Only a fraction of LeT's cadres ever see battle: most of them are despatched on nation-wide 'proselytising' (dawa) missions to convert Pakistanis to their particular interpretation of Islam, in support of which LeT has developed a sophisticated propagandist literature. This canon of Islamist texts is the most popular and potent weapon in LeT's arsenal, and its scrutiny affords insights into how and who the group recruits; LeT's justification for jihad; its vision of itself in global and regional politics; the enemies LeT identifies and the allies it cultivates; and how and where it conducts its operations. Particular attention is paid to the role that LeT assigns to women by examining those writings which heap extravagant praise upon the mothers of aspirant jihadis, who bless their operations and martyrdom. It is only by understanding LeT's domestic functions as set out in these texts that one can begin to appreciate why Pakistan so fiercely supports it, despite mounting international pressure to disband the group.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190909482
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 01/15/2019
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 754,239
Product dimensions: 8.60(w) x 5.80(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

C. Christine Fair, Professor, Provost's Distinguished Associate Professor, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University

C. Christine Fair is a Provost''s Distinguished Associate Professor in the Security Studies Program within Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, USA.

Table of Contents

Dedication vii

Acknowledgements ix

1 Introduction 1

What's in a Name? 4

Overview of Pakistan's Contemporary Militant Landscape 10

Data and Methods 16

Plan of the Book 17

2 The Genesis of the Indo-Pakistan Security Competition 21

Summoning A Muslim Zion in South Asia 24

The Origins of Pakistan's Kashmir Obsession 27

Three Obdurate Princes 28

Rending the Punjab 31

Military, Mullah, Militant Nexus: The Army and the Ideology of Pakistan 32

Pakistan Repeatedly Tries to Change Maps through War 37

Implications of this History 42

3 Pakistan's Creeping Jihad and Expanding Nuclear Umbrella 45

Twinned Histories of Proxy Warfare and Nuclear Coercion 47

Jihad in Afghanistan and India Under Expanding Nuclear Umbrella 55

Pakistan's Jihad in Afghanistan 56

Pakistan's Jihad in India 60

Conclusions and Implications 65

4 What is the LeT? A Critical Examination 67

Situating LeT within South Asia's Salafis 67

Early History of MDI, JuD and LeT 74

Organizational Structure 82

Key Leadership 89

Financing the Army of the Pure 94

Training Soldiers in the Army of the Pure 98

The Nascence of the Milli Muslim League 102

Conclusions and Implications 106

5 Who Are the Soldiers in the Army of the Pure? 111

Introduction to the Dataset on Slain LeT Activists 112

Characteristics of the Soldiers in the Army of the Pure 115

Why They Fight: Motivating the Fighters in the Army of the Pure 127

Recruiting the Families of the Fighters: Mothers May Matter Most 130

Conclusions and Implications 147

6 The Domestic Policies of LeT 149

Key Sources for this Chapter 152

Why Wage Jihad and Under What Circumstances? 158

Defending Jihad against the Myriad Excuses against Jihad 168

Why Not Wage Jihad in Pakistan? 172

Muslims among Non-Muslims in Pakistan 185

Christians Among Muslims 188

Friends with Benefits: Symbiosis with the Deep State 189

Conclusions and Implications 193

7 Dealing with LeT and Escaping Pakistan's Nuclear Coercion 197

Option 1 Maintain the Status Quo: American Cupidity and Indian "Strategic Restraint" 198

Option 2 Leadership Decapitation: What Happens if LeT Heads Roll? 204

Option 3 Escaping Pakistan's Coercion Strategy 207

There Are No Good Options. Just "Less Bad" Options 213

Appendix 1 Notes on Transliteration and Translation 215

Appendix 2 List of Acronyms 219

Appendix 3 Glossary of Non-English Words 221

Notes 227

Select Bibliography 291

Index 301

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