The beast is by no means dead
They are down. But as Dan Darling correctly points out, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and its ancillaries will be back before long. He argues that American aid must be create alternative organisations that deliver social services, freeing many Pakistani people from their dependency on jihadi organisations.
This loss, however, is only going to be a temporary one, at least on the part of the LeT and I suspect several of the other Pakistani terrorist groups as well. The LeT, however, is the one I’m most worried about because it’s now the de facto trainer for al-Qaeda operatives, including likely several of the 7/7 London bombers. Moreover, they also act as a secret police for al-Qaeda inside Pakistan. When al-Qaeda operations chief Abu Zubaydah was captured, he was staying at an LeT safehouse.
So basically I think that the LeT has more than the financial endurance necessary to weather whatever hard assets they lost during the storm and provide support and relief services to God knows how many Pakistanis lost their home during this latest event. That is going to take some time for them to mobilize, however, which is one of the reasons why I’m more than confident that the US can beat them off at the pass on this one if we act quickly and decisively. [Winds of Change]
Gen Musharraf and his army are being perceived by the Pakistani people as having bungled on this one. And the Army’s loss is being seen as the Islamists’ gain. While Dan and Rohan Gunaratna are correct in pointing out that it is importance to challenge the ‘social service’ infrastructure of the Islamic partisans in general and the jihadi outfits in particular, it is unclear whether this can be achieved by creating and funding a non-governmental organisation. Funding the government itself is not likely to yield any better results than now — as long as the government implies the Pakistani army. Like so many of Pakistan’s problems (which are also problems for India, the United States and the rest of the world), the approach towards a fundamental solution begins with getting the Army back into the barracks. That’s the lesson here too.
Related Link: B Raman writes that while the jihadi infrastructure in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir may have suffered damage, it is largely intact in Balochistan and the tribal areas.