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Islamism and Intelligence in South Asia: Militancy, Politics and Security

Islamism and Intelligence in South Asia: Militancy, Politics and Security
Prem Mahadevan

  • Hardback | In Stock | £72.00


State sponsorship of terrorism is a complex and important topic in today's international affairs - and especially pertinent in the regional politics of the Middle East and South Asia, where Pakistan has long been a flashpoint of Islamist politics and terrorism. In Islamism and Intelligence in South Asia, Prem Mahadevan demonstrates how over several decades, radical Islamists, sometimes with the tacit support of parts of the military establishment, have weakened democratic governance in Pakistan and acquired progressively larger influence over policy-making.

Mahadevan traces this history back to the anti-colonial Deobandi movement, which was born out of the post-partition political atmosphere and a rediscovery of the thinking of Ibn Taymiyyah, and partially ennobled the idea of `jihad' in South Asia as a righteous war against foreign oppression. Using Pakistani media and academic sources for the bulk of its raw data, and reinforcing this with scholarly analysis from Western commentators, the book tracks Pakistan's trajectory towards a `soft' Islamic revolution. Envisioned by the country's intelligence community as a solution to chronic governance failures, these narratives called for a re-orientation away from South Asia and towards the Middle East. In the process, Pakistan has become a sanctuary for Arab jihadist groups, such as Al-Qaeda, who had no previous ethnic or linguistic connection with South Asia. Most alarmingly, official discourse on terrorism has been partly silenced by the military-intelligence complex. The result is a slow drift towards extremism and possible legitimation of internationally proscribed terrorist organizations in Pakistan's electoral politics.

Author Info

Prem Mahadevan is a senior researcher with the Global Security Team at the Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich. He specializes in the study of intelligence and sub-state conflict, and is responsible at the CSS for tracking jihadist terrorism and geopolitical trends in the Indo-Pacific and Western-Central Europe.

Mahadevan completed his undergraduate degree in War Studies from King's College London, followed by postgraduate and doctoral degrees in Intelligence Studies. He has advised Indian government agencies on counter-terrorist operational management, provided political risk assessments to the private sector, and been consulted by the Czech government, EUROPOL and NATO Headquarters on emerging security challenges.

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781784534646
Publication Date: 29 Apr 2018
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 1 map

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