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Treading on Hallowed GroundCounterinsurgency Operations in Sacred Spaces$
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C. Christine Fair and Sumit Ganguly

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195342048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342048.001.0001

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The Battle for the Soul of Pakistan at Islamabad's Red Mosque

The Battle for the Soul of Pakistan at Islamabad's Red Mosque

Chapter:
(p.88) 4 The Battle for the Soul of Pakistan at Islamabad's Red Mosque
Source:
Treading on Hallowed Ground
Author(s):

Manjeet S. Pardesi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195342048.003.0005

This chapter discusses the July 2007 Pakistan military operation against the Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan. It begins by briefly describing the role of Islam in contemporary Pakistan, focusing on the rise of Islamist militant groups, especially those affiliated with the Deobandi school of thought and the nexus between the Establishment and the Islamists in Pakistan. The chapter then discusses the growing Islamization of the Pakistani state and society, within which the occupation of the Red Mosque by armed insurgents took place; and the conduct of Operation Sunrise and the recapture of the mosque complex by Pakistani security forces. It is argued that while Operation Sunrise was a success in military terms, its political consequences have contributed to Pakistan's ever-deepening instability and to Islamist militancy in the tribal belt and beyond. Prospects are slim that Islamabad has the will or capability to address the structural context within which the events at the Red Mosque transpired.

Keywords:   counterinsurgency, insurgents, Red Mosque, Islamists, Islamization

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