A very interesting discussion with Stephen Tankel who has been looking and researching LeT for a long time now. The short answer to the questions is No, not in its current form. But for those who want a brief summary, here are some of the important points discussed. (1) LeT can be divided on the basis of two things. Its Secretarian view which is Salafi/Ahle-Hadees. In the overall schemes of things that doesn't play a major role in its operations. The other basis is its area of operations which is Kashmir and India and more recently extending to Afghanistan. This is important because its actions are decidedly anti-Indian and hence it has never attacked the Pakistani state unlike say TTP or other militant groups within Pakistan. Its front the JuD gets support and funding to keep a check on other anti-Pakistan militant groups like TTP, LeJ, JeM e.t.c. which are Deobandi in secretarian view and who have increasingly targeted the Pakistani state as it has tried to crack down on them. (2)A comparison between AQ and LeT was done as well * Both are salafist in their secretarian view * AQ's area of operation is western countries primarily the US/UK as well as "near enemies" like Arab govt. including the Pakistani govt. which is considered to be in alliance with the west. LeT on the other hand is focused primarily on Indian targets. * Hence, AQ priorities attacks or "Jihad" against near enemy govt.s like Pakistan / Arab monarchies e.t.c. while LeT prioritises attacks on India * And ofcourse, ISI pressure on LeT does work and because of that they are less likely to launch a global "Jihad" against the US/UK/Arab monarchies. And this also reduces respectability of LeT in the eyes of other militant groups as its relationship of PakMil is seen to be hypocritical (3) Ideological Competition between LeT and AQ An interesting section of the talks discusses an ideological competition and debate between LeT and AQ affiliate ideologues on different strategies they have adopted. * LeT says that militant groups should not attack Muslim regimes or govt. headed by Muslims i.e. Pakistan. - AQ responds that this is hypocrticial because LeT has been involved in killing Kashmiri muslims politicians and attacking the J&K govt. despite it being headed by a Muslim * LeT says that fighting the Pakistani govt. is distracting from the bigger "goal" of liberating Afghanistan and Kashmir where the main focus should be. AQ says that fight against the PakMil/Govt. is part of the larger goal and weakening the hypocritical leadership in PakMil strengthens the fight in Afghanistan because these govt. provide support to the US *:LeT in cases has also charged AQ and anti-Pakistani govt. to be working for profit and as being India/American or Israeli agents and doing their bidding. AQ have responded by exposing that LeT functionaries are directly getting money from PakMil. Examples have been cited where Hafiz Saeed was payed in dollars for helping in capturing and sending AQ and other militant groups members to Guantanamo bay. And this is despite the fact that PakMil is primarily responsible for allowing Drone attacks and NATO supplies to occur via Pakistan. (4) He also mentions that in his opinion, Pak govt. will not be going against LeT anytime soon Reasons include: * Close relationship between the two * Provide intelligence/targets to attack anti-Pakistan militant groups. In many cases, it has been ex-LeT members who have joined TTP e.t.c. that have started attacking PakMil and hence LeT can provide intelligence directly *ISI is able to restrain LeT from attacking US interests if it wants to and is able to maintain its focus on India In the views of the Pakistani security establishment: Militant groups are considered not an existential threat but a serious one that can be tackled in due course. Steps they use include * Playing one militant group against another so that they fight and weaken among themselves * Extra judicial killings and arrests * Arbitration and "peace deals" * LeT can play a check on anti-Pakistan militant groups both in terms of ideology and militarily In affect, LeJ, JeM HuJI and TTP have been seriously cracked down upon or shutdown while LeT has been given a wide berth (5)And finally in Q&A and important question on the funding came about He mentions that according to his research, 80-90% is local funding through donations including "forced donations" (like extortion) and actual businesses that are run by JuD which contribute massively to its cofferes. Cash infusions by ISI/PakMil are hard to specify but that has been available along with military training and equipment by "ex-ISI" members On overseas financing, there is very little evidence of large amounts of Salafi/Gulf funding. He did mention that there are 22 countries where JuD maintains charitable fronts and it does receive funding from Europe, US and the Gulf almost equally if not more from Pakistani diaspora. Particularly in EU and US. Although again, this is very small as compared to the domestic sources it has.