TTP Vs Pakistan Govt: Another problem has arisen for Pakistan surrounded by troubles on the economic and political front. He has to deal with a terrorist organization within the country. The terrorist organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has ordered its operatives to carry out nationwide attacks. This is the same terrorist organization that attacked Malala Yousafzai. Who can forget the horrific attack on Peshawar Army School in 2014, in which around 150 people including more than 130 students were killed.
This terrorist organization, which came into existence since December 2007, has become a headache for Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan has had to negotiate a ceasefire with this terrorist organization several times. Last time there was an indefinite ceasefire agreement but once again it was broken. Let us understand what the breaking of the ceasefire by the terrorist organization means for Islamabad.
What is Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)?
TTP was formed about 14 years ago. It is an organization made up of several smaller militant groups. Under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud, 13 groups came together and decided to run Tehreek (campaign). In August 2009, it was reported that Baitullah Mehsud was killed in an American drone strike, but later the organization denied the news of its leader being killed. In 2013, there was also news of its leader Hakimullah Mehsud being killed in an American drone attack. Umar Khalid Khorasani, one of the founding members of the organization, was killed in a car blast in Paktika province of Afghanistan about four months ago.
TTP advocates the implementation of radical Islamic law in Pakistan. According to the reports, TTP wants its supremacy over the tribal (tribal) areas bordering Afghanistan, so it is continuously demanding that the army should be removed from those places and the members of the organization should be released. Due to the intention of running its government in tribal areas like FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, TTP keeps fighting with the Pakistani army. Shia Pathans are in minority in these areas. TTP does not get along with them. TTP has an ideological relationship with the Taliban of Afghanistan. The TTP has been supporting the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network in fighting the US military.
Saying what did the terrorist organization break the ceasefire?
On November 28, TTP’s Defense Chief Mufti Muzahim announced the end of the ceasefire against the Pakistani government through a letter. The TTP statement said that in Bannu and Lakki Marwat areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, unaccountable attacks are being carried out by the army against the organization, hence the five-month-old ceasefire is being ended.
The statement said that the TTP has been warning about ceasefire violations by the army and has been showing restraint without retaliating so that it is not accused of harming the peace. The Pakistani army and intelligence agencies took advantage of TTP’s silence and continued to attack its members, the statement said. The organization further said that now it is starting retaliation and its echo will be heard in the whole country.
When did ceasefire agreement happen
The Government of Pakistan was successful in bringing TTP to the negotiating table with the help of the interim Taliban government of Afghanistan. On 9 November 2021, the TTP and the Government of Pakistan announced a ceasefire for a month. Hundreds of TTP terrorists were released. This gave TTP an opportunity to organize. On 10 November 2021, TTP leader Noor Wali Mehsud said in an interview that there has been no progress in talks with the Pakistani government.
On 29 April 2022, another statement came quoting Noor Wali Mehsud, in which it was said that a ceasefire is being done with the Pakistani government for 11 days before Eid. In the first week of May, TTP announced to intensify operations against Pakistan if the ceasefire was broken, but after that declared a five-day ceasefire.
On 18 May, TTP issued another statement extending the ceasefire till 30 May. Subsequently, on 31 May, both the TTP and the Government of Pakistan announced that the ceasefire had been extended indefinitely. The TTP claimed responsibility for some of the attacks that followed.
TTP continues to strengthen the network by showing itself clearly
While following the TTP’s ceasefire, smaller militant groups like Lashkar-e-Khorasan and Ittehad Mussallah Islami Mujahideen continued to carry out attacks against Pakistani security forces. It is said that these organizations are connected with TTP from inside and TTP has been getting attacks done by projecting itself as Pak.
These organizations are called ‘B Team’ of TTP. By orchestrating attacks from smaller militant groups, the TTP also wants to remain positive in the eyes of the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, who have acted as mediators in its ceasefire with the Pakistan government.
Now that the TTP has officially announced the end of the ceasefire and threatened a nationwide campaign, the possibility of attacks outside Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has increased. Balochistan and Karachi are considered to be the two main areas of TTP’s terrorist plan. TTP has increased its sleeper cells and network in both these places. It is said that in the last few months, TTP operatives have done a lot of extortion in Karachi.
TTP’s threat effect visible in Balochistan
The effect of TTP’s threat is also visible in Balochistan. On 30 September, a suicide attack on a police convoy in Quetta completely destroyed a truck. According to the local people, people including several policemen were killed and more than 20 people were injured.
Claiming responsibility for the attack, the TTP said in a statement that the new series of attacks would continue to commemorate the killing of Umar Khalid Khorasani during the ceasefire period. The TTP blames the Pakistan government for the death of Khorasani in a car blast in Afghanistan.
Meaning of ceasefire breaking by TTP for Islamabad
TTP has broken the ceasefire at a time when the political turmoil within Pakistan is at its peak. Former Prime Minister Imran Khan is leading a long march against the ruling PML-N coalition government and Asim Munir is set to take over as Pakistan Army Chief. There is not much time left for the next general election as well. There may be general elections in Pakistan next year.
At the same time, after 17 years, the England cricket team has come to play its first Test series in Pakistan. In view of these critical circumstances, the announcement of TTP breaking the ceasefire and launching countrywide attacks has become a big challenge for the government and army of Pakistan.
Efforts are being made to resolve the matter
The seriousness can be gauged from the fact that Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto had to say that Afghanistan Taliban can help in solving the matter, for this Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar has been sent to Kabul. Bilawal Bhutto also says that since TTP has supported the Afghan Taliban in the fight with the western countries, he would not want to anger them (TTP). According to Bhutto, the Government of Pakistan cannot give tribal areas to TTP.
Is the army instigating TTP?
Experts believe that the condition of Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves is critical and by February 2023, it has to repay a huge debt. Although PM Shahbaz Sharif denies the bad condition, but TTP’s aggression is no less than trouble for the government. In the opinion of experts, there is also an angle that there is factionalism at an extreme level within the Pakistani army. Retired army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa’s role is said to be in the last ceasefire agreement. It is being said that the army factions have a hand in creating problems for the new army chief Munir, who are instigating the TTP. In the opinion of experts, TTP is helped by the angry groups of Pak Army.
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