Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), popularly known as the ‘Pakistani Taliban’, was forced to flee into Afghan territory, after a major offensive against it in 2014 by the Pakistani armed forces, which resulted in them losing their firm hold over what is called ‘tribal’ areas of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan. In order to make gains in regions in which they had lost control, TTP is back in action. In a recent development, the Pakistani Taliban armed group has gunned down six Pakistani policemen to end the ceasefire.
The end of the ceasefire:
In a move to mark an end to a one-month ceasefire with the government, TTP has killed six Pakistani policemen. One police officer, who was providing security for a polio vaccination team in the district of Tank in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province was hacked to death.
First Attack by TTP (Pakistan Taliban) after end of Ceasefire; 6 Policemen down; Says Many More to Come
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Mohammad Khurasani, spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack that also left another officer wounded.
The truce between the government and the TTP was announced in November amid peace talks between the two sides. Government spokesperson Fawad Chaudhry had also claimed that the ceasefire could be extended if there is any progress.
It is pertinent to note that the vaccination drives in Pakistan are the target of TTP as the Pakistani Taliban armed group claimed that “It was a Western conspiracy to sterilise children.”
Police officer Sajjad Ahmed reportedly stated“The two gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on the police team escorting polio vaccinators in the Chaddarah area. One constable was killed on the spot and a Frontier Constabulary officer was critically wounded, while members of the vaccination team were unhurt.”
Though the Pakistani Taliban has no links with Afghanistan’s Taliban, the latter helped facilitate the ceasefire between Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan’s Government and the TTP.
Pakistan’s Taliban (TTP):
The Taliban remains a Pashtun first organisation and considers the Pashtun brotherhood more important than the Islamist fraternity with Pakistan.
Pakistan itself has a strong Pashtun population in the erstwhile North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), which today encompasses Pakistani provinces like Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The TTP controls the Pashtun area in Pakistan and wants to establish a separate Pashtun State following the Shariah law. This effectively translates into severing the Pashtun-majority territory of Pakistan.
Ever since the formation of TTP in 2007, it has launched multiple deadliest attacks on Pakistani soil, targeting political leaders, civilians, and security forces through continuous suicide bombings, improvised explosive device attacks, and targeted killings.
The Pakistani Taliban is working overtime to ensure that it regains all territories in northwest Pakistan which it has lost since 2014, and that is no good news for the Pakistani establishment.
According to reports, the TTP has carried out 95 attacks last year that left 140 people killed. Out of 95 attacks, 44 attacks were launched only in the first six months of this year.
While the Afghan Taliban was gradually increasing its control of various provinces from July onwards in Afghanistan, the TTP’s mission also gained momentum. In the three-month period from July until September, the group launched another 44 attacks, claiming 73 lives. Those who lost their lives during the attack were mostly members of Pakistan’s law enforcement agencies.
However, Pakistan has fallen into its own pit. While it supports the Taliban in Afghanistan, the TTP is dead against Pakistan, yet the Afghan Taliban supports TTP because of sheer ideological semblance. Thus, the Islamist Republic has now nowhere to go now.