“No country will be allowed to provide sanctuaries and facilitation to terrorists and Pakistan reserves all rights in that respect to safeguard her people. Pakistan’s security is uncompromisable and the full writ of the state will be maintained on every inch of the Pakistan’s territory.” – Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif
What is good for the goose…
Pakistan’s unconventional warfare campaign which used their favored terrorists to drive NATO from Afghanistan and to destabilize and remove the elected Afghan Republic has backfired. On many occasions, since the U.S. entered Afghanistan in 2001 and left in 2021, leaders warned Pakistan that their charade of hunting “bad” terrorists while supporting “good” terrorists would cost them dearly. Pakistan stubbornly refused all advice and continued to support the Taliban and Haqqani terrorist network. Now the terrorist cousins of the Taliban-Haqqani regime in Kabul are using Pakistan’s strategy against them.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP for short-hand have ramped up their attacks on Pakistani security elements and increased their rhetoric. The TTP or Pakistani-Talban, as some refer to them, have set their sights on establishing the same so-called Islamic Emirate in Pakistan, as their cousins are trying to do in Afghanistan.
Tensions are growing
Tensions continue to escalate between the illegal regime in Afghanistan and the government of Pakistan over the increasing TTP violence.
On January 2, in response to the most recent violence, the Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif warned the Taliban-Haqqani regime in Kabul that Pakistan may locate and attack all TTP hideouts inside Afghanistan. The PM has requested that the Taliban-Haqqani regime target and dismantle the TTP forces in Afghanistan.
This week, a gunman killed two Pakistani intelligence officers who were parking their vehicle near a restaurant in Punjab province. The shooter escaped, and so far, no one has claimed responsibility. The roles of the two murdered ISI officers give the indication that the shooter was part of or supportive of the TTP. The officers were known locally for finding and arresting TTP terrorists. The two men are reported to have been focused on investigating firearm and bombing attacks, and one was the director of the provincial counter-terrorism department.
The most recent violence against the Pakistani security forces might be a good indicator that the Pakistani ISI has lost complete control of their campaign to use terrorists to destabilize other nations. Since the end of the month-long cease-fire between the TTP and the Pakistan government, attacks have steadily risen.
What Say the Talibans?
The Taliban-Haqqani regime have repeatedly warned Pakistan that they consider Afghanistan a sovereign nation and will repulse any Pakistani intrusions. The terror regime has also reiterated that they seek good relations with Pakistan and all their neighbors. Things have shifted vastly since the Pakistani ISI chief flew in-and-out of Afghanistan at-will to help mend relations between the various Afghan-Taliban factions and direct them in how to eradicate any martial opposition.
The TTP have also responded to the Pakistani demands for the Taliban-Haqqani regime to attack and eradicate any TTP in Afghanistan. The spokesperson for the TTP, Mohammad Khurasani, sent out a public letter to the various segments of Pakistani society in which he named leaders of specific political parties holding government positions, to include the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN).
In summary, the letter claims that the entire TTP force is located in Pakistan, not in Afghanistan. TTP restated their mission as targeting the security forces that occupy Pakistan that are fighting against the “real” Pakistani people for the West (namely the U.S.). It threatens/warns the Pakistani leadership that is demanding the TTP be targeted, to recall that the TTP have not attacked senior Pakistani political leaders in a long time. They call out the prime minister and foreign minister specifically for doing America’s bidding and reminds the young foreign minister that he has not “tasted war” yet.
They further explain that they will take “concrete steps” against the PPP and PMLN if the parties do not ignore the calls of the PakArmy to fight the TTP. They go so far as to warn people to stay away from senior Pakistani leaders who might be targeted for death.
Finally, the TTP reminds the religious leaders in Pakistan that they need to stay out of this fight, and not to join forces with the government to create schisms between the TTP and the religious-based political parties. The TTP states they want harmony between the religious parties and their so-called Mujahedeen so they can remove the false government that is stopping them from building the Islamic nation that Pakistan was supposed to be.
Pakistan is now seeking and receiving pledges from America of all places to stand beside them as they fight the TTP terrorists now threatening to copy the Pak-ISI strategy used to destabilize Afghanistan on the Pakistani government. For failing to stop the Pakistani support for terrorism between 2001 and 2021, that killed thousands of Afghans and NATO forces, America is now getting pulled back into a GWOT in South Asia, this time on the side of their long-time frenemy.