Amir Rana

Researcher and editor quarterly research journal Conflict and Peace Studies.

What is young Pakistan thinking?

It might come as a surprise to those concerned about a growing militancy problem in Pakistan that most of the people in the country believe that the Taliban and al Qaeda are not doing any service to Islam. According to the findings of a recent survey by the Pew Research Centre, support for terrorism among Pakistanis is much lower compared to other Muslim states. Militants have expanded their targeting of public places and intensified sectarian attacks in the last few years, actions that have fuelled public sentiments against them, and undermined the formerly tacit support for the Taliban in ...

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Where sufism stands

Sufism is a complex and cross-cutting belief system in Pakistan. Even Deobandis believe in Sufism. Naqshbandi, the major Sufi cult in Pakistan, is mainly comprised of the Deobandis. It is interesting that Maulana Masood Azhar, head of the major terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad, is also believer of Sufism and has restricted his followers to the practices of the Naqshbandi cult. To further complicate the intermingling of beliefs and practices, the Barelvis, who are considered representatives of Sufism in Pakistan, are not free from pro-militant jihadi tendencies. In the Kashmir insurgent movement during the 1990’s the Barelvis were quite prominent. Some Barelvi militant ...

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