Governance and Militancy in Pakistan’s Conflict Areas

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In March 2008, a widow in Pakistan’s Khyber Agency made a public appeal to Mangal Bagh Afridi, the leader of the Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) militant group operating in the area, to help arbitrate a land dispute. Several of her family members had been killed in the dispute, and the formal justice system was not responding to the crimes. Bagh took up her case, ruled in her favor and promptly sent armed militia members to punish the people he determined were responsible for the deaths. Soon afterward, wealthy families, often the targets of kidnapping and extortion, started appealing to Bagh for help […]

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