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Old 07-13-2016   #1
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Default Pakistan and militants: collaboration, benign neglect, belligerence plus

Hat tip to WoTR for the superb SME Stephen Tankel's article 'Pakistani Militants and the State: friends, foes and frenemies'. A topic that is in several threads.

The donor journal's Abstract:
States commonly take one of three approaches to militant groups on their soil: collaboration; benign neglect; or belligerence. All three approaches are present in Pakistan, where some groups also move back and forth among these categories. I employ the term “coopetition” to capture this fluidity. The dynamic nature of militancy in Pakistan makes the country an excellent laboratory for exploring a state’s assessment of the utility an Islamist militant group offers, and the threat it poses relative to other threats informs the state’s treatment of that group. In this article, I put forward a typology that situates Islamist militants in Pakistan in one of the above four categories. I also illustrate how a group’s identity, objectives, and alliances inform assessments of its utility and threat relative to other threats. In addition to enhancing our understanding of militant–state dynamics, this taxonomy builds on and helps to unify earlier typologies of Pakistani militancy.

Given his work on LeT I'd missed this in his book, but it sums up the relationship complex well:
In terms of collaboration, LeT remains Pakistan’s most reliable state-allied organization. The group is not only the military’s most useful proxy against India, but has also has carried out a propaganda campaign against al-Qaeda and the TTP, demonizing them for attacks in Pakistan. The Pakistani security services used LeT to gather intelligence on anti-state militants and, at times, to neutralize them. LeT has provided similar services against separatists in Balochistan.
There is a thread on LeT:
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afghanistan, counter terrorism, insurgency, internal security, isi, pakistan, pakistan army, terrorism

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