New York, Aug 3 : A Pakistani-American historian and expert on South Asia has written in her new book that Al Qaeda has resurfaced in Pakistan's tribal areas in the form of Taliban.
"Pakistan's federally administered tribal areas (FATA) are wilder than the wild west because Al-Qaeda has resurfaced here in the form of a new breed of Taliban who are threatening both Afghanistan and Pakistan," says Tufts University Professor Ayesha Jalal, herself a native of Pakistan.
In her new book "Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia" providing cultural and historical context to jihadi ideals in South Asia, she adds: "It is imperative to understand how this has happened if we are to combat extremism."
She writes: "For more than a year, American intelligence reports have indicated that Al-Qaeda is rebuilding in the tribal areas of Pakistan. However, organizing counterterrorism programs has proven to be complicated for a variety of reasons, including anti-Pakistani government sentiments in the federally administered tribal areas (FATA) as well as growing jihadi ideals among the people."
She advises the Muslims involved in terror, by saying: "Only by retrieving the arrow and straightening its jagged edges and twisted feathers can Muslims aspire to attain those high ethical values which are the embodiment of faith (Iman) based on submission to God (Islam)."
In her book, Jalal examines the tumultuous history of South Asian Muslims and its critical contribution to the intellectual development of the key concept of jihad. Analyzing the complex interplay of ethics and politics in Muslim history, she demonstrates the pre-eminent role of jihad in the Muslim faith today.
She also explains the complications the US government currently faces, including the jihadi culture found in Pakistan's tribal areas, the Pakistan government's policy in FATA and US-Pakistan relations.
"US-Pakistan relations have been difficult in the best of times. They are today at a cross-roads with grave consequences for the future course of the 'war on terror'. If losing Afghanistan is out of the question for the USA and NATO, then it is vital to understand why losing Pakistan is simply not an option if peace is to prevail in the world," she says.