THE recent surge in sectarian violence has done two things. First, it has highlighted the challenges and vulnerabilities the country’s security and law-enforcement forces face in countering terrorism. Second, it has brought to the fore some critical, long-standing questions about the state’s resolve and efforts to counter religiously inspired extremism, mainly violent sectarianism.
Violent sectarian organisations are apparently shifting their territorial focus while law-enforcement agencies struggle to chase and trace their networks. There is, however, something more worrisome: how are these groups able to restructure and revive themselves so soon after their networks are weakened and leaders eliminated? The question becomes more critical in the context of the recent rebirth of Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) as Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Alami (LJ-A).
Resurfacing with a new global outlook, LJ-A offers a new platform for smaller, struggling militant groups and individuals, including those with violent sectarian credentials. LJ-A has widened its ideological and strategic spectrums to develop compatibility with global terrorist groups, including the militant Islamic State (IS) group.