Skip to main content

Kashars against Mashars : Jihad and Social change in the FATA

Causes of radicalisationGroupsRadicalisation

Mariam Abou Zahab has researched and written on Islamist networks in Pakistan, and on the militant Pakistani movement, Lashkar-e Taiba, and its recruitment of young men for suicidal jihad in Kashmir. This chapter focuses in particular on developments in South Waziristan. She argues that there the Taliban is a movement of the kashars (‘the young, the poor, and those belonging to minor lineages or powerless tribes’) against the mashars (the tribal elders), and the Political Agent appointed by the Government of Pakistan, and also against ‘the so-called “mafia of maliks, transporters and traffickers” … the emergent under-class of the new rich’ (p.52). So like Lindisfarne (2013, ‘Exceptional Pashtuns?’), she draws attention to the importance of class as an influence on contemporary developments, though she also suggests that we should not ignore tribally-based rivalry between Mahsuds and Wazirs if we want to understand recent developments there.

You might also like: