Reconstituting local order in Pakistan: Emergent ISIS and locally constituted Shariah courts in Pakistan (Manzar Zaidi, Brookings)

Many believe that the present disorder in the international system is greatly amplified by the collapse of local order across a number of key states. In this paper, Manzar Zaidi investigates how in Pakistan, the state has partially failed to establish local order in its region because of poor governance, the lack of a coherent counterterrorism policy, and a disconnect between state organs. Additionally, unresolved questions around Islam’s relationship to the state and attendant implications for state legitimacy and power relations between state institutions and Islamist groups have complicated the scenario. This has allowed non-state actors like Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP), and emerging Islamic State (also known as ISIS) elements to undermine domestic order and participate in dispensing justice through the establishment of their own shariah adjudication bodies. This occurs most often where the state’s institutions have failed to protect human rights and provide justice.

South and Southeast Asia—The Islamic State’s New Front? (Joshua Kurlantzick, CFR)

Over the past year, as the Islamic State (ISIS) has suffered multiple losses in Syria and Iraq, the group has clearly been looking to widen its impact, taking the fight to countries outside of the Middle East. Increasingly, ISIS leaders have used social media to call on Islamic radicals to stage attacks in countries in the West like France and the United States, where the Orlando gunman, the San Bernardino gunmen, and the Nice attacker, among others, have publicly identified themselves with ISIS. In most of these cases, the attackers were lone wolves (or duos) who had not received any training or funding from ISIS, and often had not even traveled to Islamic State-controlled territory to train and fight. (To be sure, some recent attackers in Western nations had traveled to ISIS-controlled territory and fought with the group.)