Friday, December 30, 2022

Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan's Heightened Activities in Pakistan Pose Security Threat to The Entire Region

Pakistan's Euphoria Over Taliban Victory Was Misplaced Main Points: 1. TTP has carried out 141 attacks in 3 months. 2. 95 per cent of attacks were conducted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ruled by Imran Khan's PTI. 3. TTP have broken the ceasefire agreement. 4. Afghan Taliban had mediated in the peace agreement. ------ By New Age Islam Staff Writer 29 December 2022 When the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan for the second time last August, Pakistan burst into jubilation. It was only Pakistan that celebrated Taliban's comeback. Even the Afghan people were apprehensive about them and millions of Afghans scrambled to board aeroplanes to get out of the country. Prior to that Pakistan had freed some prominent Taliban leaders lodged in Pakistan jails in order to facilitate their participation in Doha talks held between the US and the Taliban. Soon after Taliban came to power, Pakistan's euphoria and jubilation died down because it was based on faulty perceptions. Pakistan had thought that Taliban will be its ally against India and against TTP and once Taliban comes to power in Afghanistan, the TTP will lose its relevance and strength. But it proved be wrong. On the contrary, the Afghan Taliban has used TTP to its advantage against Pakistan. Taliban released 4000 TTP fighters lodged in Afghanistan and then mediated a peace agreement between the Pakistan government led by Imran Khan and TTP in November last year. A ceasefire came into effect for one month, which would be extended by mutual consent. According to this agreement, thousands of TTP fighters returned to Pakistan under the pretext of reuniting with their family. But they returned with their arms in violation of the ceasefire agreement. Secondly, the US army had abandoned their weapons, tanks and armoury while leaving Afghanistan. A sizeable chunk of their weapons has been seized by the TTP. This has strengthened them. The US had adopted the same tactic for strengthening ISIS in Mosul. The Iraqi forces had left their tanks and weapons in Mosul while fleeing from there. A strong TTP will give leverage to the US policy towards Pakistan and Afghanistan. The TTP demands that Shariah Law should be imposed in the tribal belt of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Swat. Taking advantage of the ceasefire, the TTP fighters have set up bases in the tribal areas and have been conducting terrorist attacks in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other towns and cities of Pakistan. In the last one year, they have carried out 1000 attacks out of which 95 per cent attacks were made in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 141 attacks have been made only in the last 3 months. This speaks of the intensity of the terrorist activities of the TTP. On December 21. TTP had taken a JCO and some soldiers hostage in Bannu. The army launched an operation and freed its soldiers. 25 militants were killed while seven of them surrendered. In December 23, the TTP carried out multiple attacks in Islamabad in which one suicide bomber and his woman associate were killed. Political analysts feel that the attacks in Islamabad hint that the attacks will not remain confined to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Until now, Islamabad was considered comparatively safe and the last terrorist attack here was carried out in 2014. The Pakistani government belatedly realised that the TTP agreed to the ceasefire only to regroup. A journalist wrote that the TTP has launched a drive to enrol suicide bombers to carry out deadlier attacks in Pakistan. They had carried out a terrorist attack in an army school in 2014 in which about 150 people including children had been killed. Pakistan has come to this passé because its approach to terrorism and extremism is problematic. Imran Khan compromised with extremist organisations. His government had talks with another extremist organisation Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan and accepted its demand for recognition as a political party. For a while, the Pakistan government and Pakistan's political analysts had the wrong perception that the TTP was a product of Indian RAW and Ashraf Ghani and Hamid Karzai governments. They have now woken up to the realisation that TTP is the ideological brother of Afghan Taliban. They have started pushing their agenda of establishing a 'caliphate' in Pakistan. The TTP has been emboldened by the success of the Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan and has unleashed an offensive against the democratic government of Pakistan. There are reports of smaller tribal organisations and Baloch nationalist organisations joining TTP in their fight against Pakistan's government. This is the result of Pakistan's trust on Afghan Taliban for the solution to its security problems. Kamran Yousuf writes about Pakistan's dilemma in his column in Express Tribune: "Pakistan was confident that the Afghan Taliban would take care of their security concerns. It was because of this reason that Pakistan accepted the Afghan Taliban's offer of seeking talks with the TTP and its affiliates. The process led to a ceasefire and raised hopes for a possible peace deal. As part of the confidence-building measures, Pakistani authorities allowed a number of TTP members to return to their homes on the pretext of reunification with their families. The understanding was that those fighters would come back unarmed. The evidence, however, suggests that they returned with arms." The situation has come to such a passé that a military offensive against the TTP seems to be in the offing. This will push Pakistan in another internal crisis because of the short-sighted policies of the governments in Pakistan which compromise with extremist organisations in order to buy time and leave the problem for the next government. Any offensive by the army against the TTP will only cause a backlash like the army school attack by the Pakistani Taliban. Ayesha Siddiqua, Pakistan's security analysts rightly told the BBC that the Pakistan government's policy towards terrorism is flawed. Pakistani columnist Umair Jamal also holds Pakistan's political leadership responsible for the mess Pakistan is in. He writes in the Diplomat: "The situation only points toward rising instability along Pakistan’s Afghan border in the coming weeks and months. The last thing Islamabad would want to do is to rely on the Taliban to find a solution to its security woes. If anything, this is the best time for Pakistan to force the Taliban to hand over TTP militants and close their sanctuaries in Afghanistan." URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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