The Al-Qaeda Revival in Pakistan: Challenges and Prospects


  • Farhan Zahid



Pakistan remains a country of vital importance for Al-Qaeda. It is primarily because of Al-Qaeda’s advent, rise and shelter and not to mention the support the terrorist organization found at the landscape of Pakistan during the last two decades. The emergence of in Pakistan can be traced back to the Afghan War (1979-89), with a brief sabbatical in Sudan the Islamist terrorist group rose to gain prominence after shifting back to Afghanistan. It then became a global ‘Islamist’ terrorist entity while based in neighboring Afghanistan and found safe havens in the erstwhile tribal areas of Pakistan in the aftermath of the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. Prior to its formation in 1988 in Peshawar (Pakistan), it had worked as Maktab al-Khidmat (Services Bureau) during the Afghan War.2 It had its roots in Pakistan, which had become a transit point of extremists en route to Afghanistan during the War. All high profile Al-Qaeda leaders, later becoming high-value targets, and members of its central Shura had lived in Pakistan at one point in their lives. That is the very reason the Al-Qaeda in Pakistan is termed as Al-Qaeda Core or Central among law enforcement practitioners and intelligence communities. Without going into details of Al-Qaeda’s past in Pakistan the aim of this article is to focus on its current state of affairs and what future lies ahead of it in Pakistan.

Author Biography

Farhan Zahid

Farhan Zahid holds a PhD in Terrorism Studies from University Brussels, Brussels, Belgium. He writes on counter-terrorism, al-Qaeda, and Pakistani al- Qaeda- Linked Groups, ISIS, Islamist violent non-state actors in Pakistan, jihadi ideologies and the Afghan Taliban.




How to Cite

Zahid, F. (2020). The Al-Qaeda Revival in Pakistan: Challenges and Prospects. NUST Journal of International Peace & Stability, 3(1), 94–101.




Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.