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History of Religious Militancy in Pakistan

Muhammad Irfan Mahsud1 and Dr. Shahida Aman2

The paper attempts to detail the historical context of religious militancy in
Pakistan. The recent radical activities in Pakistan are in one way an outgrowth of
the reformist/revivalist movements of the 17th and 18th centuries. Ideology was
proved to be instrumental in the creation of Pakistan. In the post-independence
period, various regimes incorporated religious injunctions in the legal and
constitutional system of the state which has transformed socio-political outlooks
of the society and nurtured militant mindset. The paper argues, involvement of
Pakistan in the Afghanistan war in 1980s and the Zia‟s Islamization policies
played primary role in the intensification of Islamist violence in Pakistan and
ensured the establishment of religious militant organizations on the Pak-Afghan

Keywords: Religious violence, Jihad, Islamization, Madrassas, Militant Groups,