The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan insurgency seriously challenged the Pakistani government’s writ of state in FATA from 2004 to 2008. However, by 2017, the insurgency collapsed. This paper argues that Pakistan’s counterinsurgency campaign after 2009 caused the decline of the Taliban insurgency by targeting the TTP through a true counterinsurgency operation, rather than the conventional warfare tactics used earlier. This counterinsurgency shift involved a more judicious use of force, rather than simply more force, and deployed both enemy-centric and population-centric approaches, but with a marked emphasis on the former over the latter.
Decline of Insurgency in Pakistan’s FATA: A Counterinsurgency Perspective
Shahzad Akhtar is Assistant Professor in the School of Integrated Social Sciences at the University of Lahore and a Research Fellow at the Centre for Security, Strategy and Policy Research, Lahore, Pakistan. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics and International Relations from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. He is the co-author (with Chris Wilson) of “Repression, Co-optation and Insurgency: Pakistan’s FATA, Southern Thailand and Papua, Indonesia,” Third World Quarterly 40:4 (2019). Email: <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
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Shahzad Akhtar; Decline of Insurgency in Pakistan’s FATA: A Counterinsurgency Perspective. Asian Survey 1 August 2019; 59 (4): 693–716. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2019.59.4.693
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