Impact of Talibanisation
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Issue Courtesy: Aakrosh | Date : 10 Jul , 2014

Today, al-Qaeda is in a position to influence the TTP and all other radical organisations in Pakistan. Even in the most populous Pakistani state of Punjab, where many of these organisations were created and nurtured by the security establishment, they have switched their loyalty from the Pakistan army to al-Qaeda.14 Al-Qaeda is in the region because it believes that it was the Prophet’s prophesy that ‘Khurasan’ (presentday Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Central Asia) will be the initial theatre of ‘end of time’ battles for the establishment of a global Islamic Emirate. It also talks of Ghazwa-e-Hind (battle for India) before Imam Mahadi reveals himself to command the Muslim forces to defeat the Western forces led by Dajjal (antichrist). The Taliban, under al-Qaeda’s influence, is set to fulfil this prophecy.15

Although the usage of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by non-state actors in the classical sense is unlikely, the use of low-tech radiation bombs by such outfits cannot be ruled out.

With this sort of ideology, it is quite evident that Talibanisation will not stop at Pakistan’s frontiers and all its neighbours will have to face non-state actors based in Pakistan. Every single deal with the Taliban in Pakistan has seen their foot soldiers move to newer areas. Peace deals in Swat saw many of them moving to Kashmir and Afghanistan, sometimes even with the connivance of state actors.16 Besides India and Afghanistan, growing influence of the Taliban will give strength to Islamic militants fighting in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and even China. Its intolerance of Shias will soon bring it into conflict with the Iranian regime as well.

Pakistan’s security establishment has been obsessed with the idea of controlling Afghanistan. It realises that the only force on the Afghan political landscape that might be willing to do its bidding is the Taliban and hence has been supporting its inclusion in the Afghan government. At the same time, it wants to be the sole mediator between the Taliban and the West. Consequently, it will scuttle any approach made by the West or the Afghan government to reach out to the Taliban directly, as was done in the case of Mullah Biradar and Burhanuddin Rabbani.

The Strategic Plans Division (SPD), which looks after Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, is also manned and controlled by the Pakistan army and with the army getting Talibanised, the elements of the SPD getting influenced by its ideology cannot be ruled out. The TTP, through subverted elements in the SPD, could eventually gain access to Pakistan’s nuclear stockpile and may use it in pursuit of its nefarious agenda.

It must be appreciated that the concept of Taqiya in Islam allows an individual to disguise his ideological orientation till the opportune moment arrives. Although the usage of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) by non-state actors in the classical sense is unlikely, the use of low-tech radiation bombs by such outfits cannot be ruled out. The Afghan National Army (ANA) and Western military components could be at the receiving end of such dirty bombs. As the Taliban and other radical groups are being indirectly controlled by al-Qaeda, which ideologically aims to defeat the West in Khurasan, it may be more than willing to do so.

Pak armed forces are showing signs of Talibanisation and consequent erosion of their cohesion. This could lead to ‘Lebanonisation’ of the state, which could pose a grave threat not only to the countries in the region but to the entire globe…

The Taliban, therefore, may not allow foreign troops to easily pull out from Afghanistan and could keep them embroiled there so as to attain victory in the ‘end of time’ battle. It must be clear that a Talibanised Pakistan will aim to engulf Afghanistan ideologically to attain al-Qaeda’s perceived objectives.


The state policies of the Pakistani establishment since 1947 have contributed to the radicalisation of the society and consequent Talibanisation. Accommodation with the Taliban for short-term tactical gains has allowed the Pakistani Taliban to spread its influence from South Waziristan to North Waziristan and from there to all the Pakhtoon-dominated areas. Its influence now is spreading beyond the Pakhtoon belt, to Punjab and urban Sindh. Many academics try to make a distinction between the TTP and the Afghan Taliban, but they fail to understand that though they are different organisations, they are ideologically unified. The TTP and other radical groups, like Haqqani Network, consider Mullah Omar as Ameer-ul- Momin.

The state has failed to take effective measures against Talibanisation, and the warped educational curriculum continues to inculcate a conservative mindset that is susceptible to jihadi ideology. Recent indicators show that Talibanisation is perpetuating effortlessly and a major correction in the established policies of the state coupled with sustained measures are required to check the Taliban onslaught. However, the state is still negotiating peace deals with the TTP. The last bastion of the Pakistani state, the armed forces are showing signs of Talibanisation and consequent erosion of their cohesion. This could lead to ‘Lebanonisation’ of the state, which could pose a grave threat not only to the countries in the region but to the entire globe, as Taliban today, despite its denials, has a global agenda.


  1. ‘Pak Jailbreak: Terrorist Had Access to Mobile, Facebook.’ 16 April 2012. < to-mobile-facebook/20120416.htm>.
  2. Zahid Hussain. ‘Deadly Dilemma.’ Newsline, November 2006. p. 23.
  3. Shaheen Sehbai. ‘Rumour Mills Go Rolling with Arrest of Eight Militants.’ News, 15 October 2006.
  4. News. ‘The Enemy Within? [editorial]. 26 June 2009. p. 6.
  5. Dawn. ‘Tackling the militants’ [editorial]. 2 September 2007.
  6. Syed Saleem Shahzad. Inside Al-Qaeda and the Taliban: Beyond Bin Laden and 9/11. London: Pluto Press, 2011. pp. 82–103.
  7. Syed Saleem Shahzad. ‘Pakistan’s Military Under al-Qaeda Attack.’ Asia Times Online, 24 May 2011.
  8. Syed Saleem Shahzad. ‘Trouble Ahead in Pakistan’s New US Phase.’ Asia Times Online, 18 May 2011.
  9. Ayesha Siddiqa. ‘Dealing with Deals.’ Herald, August 2008. p. 16d.
  10. Daily Times. ‘Brig Ali Planned Air Strike at GHQ: BBC.’ 2 March 2012.
  11. Alok Bansal. ‘Radicalisation of Pakistani Armed Forces.’ CLAWS, 28 June 2011. <>.
  12. ‘Lebanonisation’ has come to refer to a process of national disintegration, where central authority erodes to a level that different power groups start acting independent of the central authority as far as their interactions with not only one another are concerned but also with entities outside the geographical frontiers of the state. It is distinct from ‘Balkanisation’ because the process of disintegration does not create clear-cut smaller states as in the latter case. In recent times, the term has been used extensively for Somalia and Iraq before its recent stabilisation.
  13. Alok Bansal. ‘Implications of Peace Deals in Pakistan’s Wild West.’ IDSA. <>.
  14. Khaled Ahmed in Foreword to Mujahid Hussain. Pakistani Taliban: Driving Extremism in Pakistan. New Delhi: Pentagon Security International, 2012. p. vii.
  15. Op cit, n. 77, p. xvi.
  16. Op cit, n. 61.
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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Alok Bansal

Alok Bansal, is currently a senior fellow at the Centre for Lancer Warfare Studies (CLAWS). He has authored a book titled Balochistan in Turmoil: Pakistan at Cross Roads in 2009.

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One thought on “Impact of Talibanisation

  1. Scare tactics;

    Scare no one, just look at reality.

    What the author describes but does not say that a civil war in Pakistan is already in progress. I am sure that more westernized and civil society of Punjabi elite who control the army, airforce and navy are not likely to give up power to roughnecks lead by bearded Mullahs from FATA. They will fight and prevail and exterminate these Mullahs of FATA.

    For Indian point of view, if the cohesion in the Pakistani Army is wrecked by these petty internal religious fights, what more could be good. An internally weekened army on Indo-Pak border is no threat.

    Indian Muslim watching both sides of the divide in Pakistan will be more confused.

    China which in recent months have been wrecked by muslim violence, all by trained cadres who got their training in Pakistan, what could be more better.

    Amuse yourself with the view point of this author, but pay not much of an attention. There is a bigger Shia-Sunni fight in Middle east in progress today. Muslim world over are revitted to that. They have less time in the internal strife of Pakistani Army.

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