Tuesday June 18, 2024

TTP’s failures begin to mount

By Waqar Ahmed
June 12, 2017

The Pakistani Taliban (the TTP as it is known in Pakistan) has taken several substantial hits recently.

First, the TTP bore heavy losses in the Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad with its commanders and sympathizers throughout the country being taken out by intelligence agencies, along with personnel of law enforcement and paramilitary forces. The Taliban have lost coordinators, facilitators and other assets that had been put in place to launch operations against soft targets and armed forces personnel in cities. As such, their operational capabilities have been significantly diminished throughout Pakistan.

Second, the Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad has also hit the terrorist groups aligned with the TTP, further reducing their terror activities. Now, as a result, the TTP’s operational capability is severely weakened and their operatives remain highly vulnerable.  

Third, TTP’s key commanders have surrendered in front of the Pakistan Army while its ideology has been badly exposed. In his confession before security forces, the notorious militant commander Ehsanullah Ehsan admitted that TTP had maligned Islam and misguided the youth, saying that the banned outfit had contacts with RAW and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS). Ehsan's accusations against the TTP and JuA leadership are quite shameful and a major blow to the entire militant structure.

Fourth, the Pakistan Army has destroyed several TTP terrorist camps in Afghanistan's area of Parcha and Lalpura. Many terrorists have been killed in this highly successful operation. This has led to lowering of morale while the TTP’s leadership has been shaken up.

The end result is that an extremely worried Mullah Fazlullah, the emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, in his recent video message called for the reorganization of TTP after suffering severe damage due to internal rifts among splinter groups and the Operation Raddul Fassad. He claimed that his group’s ultimate goal was “to implement the law of Allah on the Earth” and called on Muslims to unite and wage jihad to achieve that end. Fazlullah, making the statements in a video released by the propaganda arm of the TTP, declared: “The aim of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is to implement the law of Allah on the Earth of Allah. And this will be the result of our Jihad. For Islamic ideology we have to accord sacrifices. By the grace of Allah, those who believe that implementation and uprising of Shariah is their actual goal and absolute ambition, know that the implementation of this Shariah is impossible without practicing Jihad and Jihad is impossible without unity.”

As it is, the TTP’s “sacrifices” are mounting while Fazlullah’s twisted concept of Jihad and religion has few takers left in Pakistan. Thus, a frustrated TTP and its affiliated terrorist groups, mired in angst and mutual suspicion, are trying to regain strength and making claims of reorganization and regrouping with the Khalid Mehsud Group. Fazlullah’s rhetoric underlies the group’s failures and limited capability to impose its kind of religion in Pakistan. New faultlines and tensions have emerged in the group. So is the uncertainty that is rising. Observers are convinced that the TTP chief has been greatly humiliated and is now trying to reassert his influence.  

These terrorists, now facing an uncertain future even in Afghanistan, have misled the people, especially the youngsters for so-called Jihad in the name of Islam. Their crimes against the youth and other civilians, such as bombing public places and attacking schools and universities, are attempts to smear the Islamic teachings. They have no place in Pakistan as their few supporters still left in the country are quickly finding out. The alarm bells for them are getting louder and louder.