The rising number of terrorist plots in the US with links to Pakistan is partly a result of an unsuccessful strategy by Islamabad and Washington to weaken the range of militant groups operating there, a new study has said.
The study "Counterinsurgency in Pakistan" by the prestigious RAND Corporation, finds that militant groups
persist in the nation because Pakistani leaders continue to provide support to some groups and have not yet developed an effective counterinsurgency strategy that protects the local population.
Based in Washington, RAND is frequently hired by Pentagon.
The report is co-authored by Seth G Jones from the RAND and Christine Fair of Georgetown University.
"While Pakistan has had some success halting militant groups since 2001, these groups continue to present a
significant threat to not only Pakistan, but to the United States and a host of other countries as well," said Jones.
"A number of militant networks--including Al-Qaida, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad--remain entrenched in
Pakistan and pose a grave threat to the state and the region," Jones added.
In addition to Al-Qaida, numerous foreign and domestic militant groups have established networks in the
Federally Administered Tribal Area, the North West Frontier Province and other areas of Pakistan.
Faisal Shahzad, the suspect in the attempted Times Square car bombing, reportedly had ties to several groups,
such as Tehreek-E-Taliban Pakistan and the Haqqani Network, the report said.
The report notes that Pakistan's army and Frontier Corps have failed to demonstrate a consistent ability to clear
and hold territory for long periods.
While Pakistan has undertaken a number of operations against insurgent groups since 2001, the study finds the
successes are short-lived and do not address the long-term threat.
Though, the Pakistani military has been successful in some cases against extremist organizations, these efforts
are thwarted by Pakistan's decision to support some militant groups.
The country's acquisition of nuclear weapons emboldened its support to militant groups by dampening
concerns of retaliation by India, it said.
However, the policy of supporting militants backfired after September 11, 2001, when militant groups,
including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, conducted terrorist attacks in Pakistan, the report said.