Geopolitics & World-affairs

Pakistan's TTP conundrum is bleeding Pakistan profusely

Pakistan's body is developing cancer since its inception & that cancer revealed its ugliness in the form of Pakistan's deadliest homegrown terrorist organization Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Pakistan's policy of fostering terrorism in its backyard to harm the globe, especially India, is what led to the TTP. Pakistan has been working on the containment of terrorism since the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. But for Pakistan, it was just an eye washing to prove themselves saint in front of the world. The Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also criticized Pakistan for its policy of nurturing terrorism in its backyard. According to her word, There is no guarantee that a snake will not bite its owner back if it is petted in the backyard. So, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan is the result of Pakistan's lackluster domestic and foreign policy regarding its westernmost tribal-dominated regions that share its border with Afghanistan. 

When it comes to strategic depth in the event of a nuclear conflict with India, Pakistan does regard Afghanistan as its base of operations. Afghanistan considers Pakistan as its gimpy neighbor with a broken relationship with all of its neighbors. In the eye of Afghanistan and TTP, Pakistan is an unusual toy for the Americans to maintain their power equation in South Asia and Central Asia. During the USA's Afghan operation some of the TTP leaders have been killed by US drones in Federal Administer Tribal Areas and Kyber Pakhtunkhwa. 

Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan was created by "Baitullah Mehsud" in 2007. It is the subset of the "Pakistani Taliban", which includes most, but not all of the Pakistani Taliban groups. TTP has built a close relationship with Al-Qaeda and Daesh during the US operation against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Mainly, it draws its ideology from Al-Qaeda and ISIS. It is based on "South Waziristan" which shares its boundary with Afghanistan's Paktika state.

TTP is fighting against the state of Pakistan to push its ultra-conservative Islamic ideologies. As TTP draws its ideology from Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban that's why it holds 3 central goals: 

                                             1. To enforce Shariah Law in Pakistan
                                             2. To support the Afghan Taliban's control in Kabul after the US withdrawal of forces

                                             3. To conduct offensive Jihad against Pakistan Security Forces. 

According to the report of the US state department of defense, there are around more than 4000 TTP militants in Afghanistan. They are living there with their family. They shifted their family from Pakistan to Afghanistan due to the fear of the Pakistan Army's air raid in the South Waziristan region. Pakistan already used its firepower and air power against TTP inside Afghanistan's Khost and Kunar provinces on 16th April 2022. The raid had been conducted in retaliation to the surge of terror attacks in Pakistan. 

The roots of TTP are debatable. According to some experts, TTP is the resultant factor of Pakistan's operation in the FATA region against the surge of foreign militants in that region. Foreign militants especially Uzbeks, Chechens, Tajiks, and Taliban who were living in Afghanistan before 2001, left Afghanistan due to the US operation against Afghan Terrorist groups, especially Al-Qaeda. Another group also cites the inception of the US missile strikes in the tribal regions as a catalyzing factor in the rise of tribal militancy in the area, more specifically they single out an October 2006 strike on a madrassah in Bajaur that was run by the "Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi" as a turning point. So, there are different theories about the rise of TTP which have been caricatured by a different group of experts on the basis of a quite similar hunch. 

TTP in its confrontational and hideous violent history faced existential crisis two times, first in 2009 and once in 2018. Leadership crisis occurred in 2009 after Baitullah Mehsud was Killed by a suspected drone strike, but it was resolved by them by calling Sura to select a leader among others. 2018 has proven to be a difficult year for TTP after the death of the longest-serving leader "Maulana Fazlullah". After his death, many TTP militants left the terrorist organizations to join Islamic State-Khorasan. But the problem has been checked by the "Noor Wali Mehsud" who is currently heading this terrorist organization. 

For those of you thinking that Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban are the same entity, for them, the answer is no. These two are separate terrorist groups and have completely separate operation and command structures. TTP is the conglomerate of 40 separate terrorist organizations some of which are: 

                                                    ? One of the factions of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi ? Amjad Farouqui Group?The Musa Shaneed Karwan Group ? Mehsud faction of TTP ? Mohmad Taliban ? Banjur Taliban ? Jammat-ul-Ahrar ? Hizb-ul-Ahrar group which was merged with TTP and several others.

TTP is constantly fighting against the Pakstani government and Pakistani Army even after the ban from Pakistan's most reliable western partners, the USA, the UK, and Canada. Pakistan itself imposed a tough ban on TTP in 2008, they even froze their assets and the terrorist group was barred from media appearances. On 1st September 2010, the US designated the TTP as a foreign terrorist organization and identified Hakimullah Mehsud and Wali-ur-Rehman as specially designated global terrorists with a $5 million bounty on them, the UK imposed a ban on them on January 2011 and Canada followed their footsteps on July 2011. 

The TTP is heavily harming the Pakistani army and police even after a strict prohibition on this group. Even regular people are falling prey to their vicious retaliation strikes. The strike has increased after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Pakistan tried to negotiate peace with this group but it failed badly. TTP signed a ceasefire agreement with Pakistan but they broke it without giving any excuse. 

They are killing Pakistani soldiers using Afghanistan as their attack base. In 2022 they launched a serial attack against the Pakistani army. 
On 23 February 2022, 4 policemen were killed after a grenade attack in Peshawar. TTP claimed responsibility for this attack. The same thing happened in March, 4 Pakistani soldiers were killed in North Waziristan. They are also attacking Pakistani border posts to hurt Pakistani sentiment. Over this overgrowing pain, Afghanistan has proven to be an "Achilles Hill" because Afghanistan is not recognizing the Durand Line as its official border with Pakistan. As a result, the Afghan Taliban is uprooting the fences which were used to prevent border crossing from Afghanistan. 

Pakistan is not in the position to blame India in the matter of TTP because they blame India for the surge of TTP which is absurd and unrealistic. Taliban was the creation of Pakistan and the US during the USSR invasion of Afghanistan. Basically, the Taliban was created by Pakistan using the American dollar. For that Pakistan created thousands of madrassas along the border of Afghanistan. Today, these madrassas are creating jihadis for different terrorist organizations in Pakistan including jihadis for TTP. So, TTP is a Pakistani creation and they are not in a position to show bizarre excuses for their own mistake.