While government policy changes within FATA such as greater attention to economic development and more consistent support of local anti-Taliban forces could improve state effectiveness against hostile elements in FATA, they will not be sufficient to break the effective military stalemate that has characterized recent government military campaigns within FATA. More importantly, many of FATA’s problems are symptomatic of nationwide issues that are far larger and much more destabilizing than terrorism. These problems relate to education, representation and environmental governance, which the national government has shown little sign of acknowledging, let alone planning to alleviate. Poor performance in education and economic development have stifl ed democratic government and reduced the chance of strong government with majority support being in touch with, and defending, the popular will against forces using non-democratic and extra-judicial means to force their objectives on the majority. While most Pakistanis might abhor the violent tactics of the Taliban, there are broad indications that a sizable percentage of the population is not unsympathetic to the publicly stated objectives of religious fundamentalists. The rise of religious fundamentalism in Pakistan began in the 1970s with state support, while the education system has been neglected for decades. Both phenomena will most likely also take decades to counteract, even if sufficient sustained political will and resources are directed into these areas.
|Title of host publication
|Diminishing Conflicts in Asia and the Pacific: Why some subside and others don't
|Edward Aspinall, Robin Jeffrey and Anthony J Regan
|Place of Publication
|Abingdon and New York
|Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
|Published - 2013