Author Biography

Dr. Nazya Fiaz, assistant professor of international relations, joined the Department of Defence & Strategic Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University (Islamabad, Pakistan) in September 2010, following completion of her doctoral thesis at the University of Bradford (UK). Dr. Fiaz teaches postgraduate courses on strategy studies, security studies, and international relations. She holds a master's degree in research methodology and trains civil servants at the Kashmir Institute of Management in the area of research methods and philosophy. Dr. Fiaz's current research interest focuses on critical approaches to international relations and security, specifically vis-à-vis Pakistan. The author may be reached for comment at: nazyafiaz@hotmail.com.



Subject Area Keywords

Conflict studies, Counterterrorism, Pakistan, Peace studies, Political violence


Despite years of wide-scale counterterrorism measures in Pakistan's FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas), the injection of substantial funds, and the "close" collaboration between the United States and Pakistan, the ugly truth is that the extremism and militancy in FATA continues to recruit members. Moreover, there is little indication that the killing of Usama bin Ladin will have any significant effect on reducing support for militancy. While taking stock of these realities, this article will not seek to rehash the many successes and failures of the counterterrorist operations in FATA. Instead, its purpose will be to argue that while the causes of, and recruitment into, militant organizations are complex, the literature has paid too little attention to the relationship between discourse, social consensus, and terrorism. Arguably, the accommodation of, and sympathy for, terrorist violence emerges from specific discourses that legitimize and normalize these actions. Consequently, part of the solution requires that policies consider the substance of popular perceptions, representations, and discourses. In short, the article is concerned with directing attention away from a crisis-driven and short-term vision in FATA and moving toward acknowledging the value of long-term and sustainable peace.