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TTP Sanctuaries in Afghanistan: Sore Point With Pak

On October 09, a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Maulvi Abdullah was critically injured in a targeted attack in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. He was reported to be a former chief justice of the Bajaur tribal district.

The blast took place in the Marawara district of the Kunar province as per the Express Tribune.

Abdullah is one of the top leaders who along with Umer Khurasani, Uqabi Mullah and Maulvi Faqir, is one of the core members of the Bajaur Shura.

The IED attack may have been organized by Pakistan’s intelligence agency operative the ISI given increase in the number of attacks by the group in Pakistan.

The IED incident in which a TTP commander is critically injured in Afghanistan is not an isolated one and at least two such instances have occurred in the recent past.

TTP is an alliance of militant networks formed in 2007 to unify opposition against the Pakistani military as per the DNI Counter Terrorism Guide.

TTP’s stated objectives are the expulsion of Islamabad’s influence in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in Pakistan, the implementation of a strict interpretation of sharia throughout Pakistan, and the expulsion of Coalition troops from Afghanistan as per the DNI Counter Terrorism Guide.

TTP leaders also publicly say that the group seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate in Pakistan that would require the overthrow of the Pakistani Government.

There has been a spike in cross-border terror attacks by TTP since the Taliban’s assumption of power. Thus Pak expectations that a Taliban government would help Pakistan secure and stabilise its western border have not been met. The TTP continues to be based in Afghanistan and conducts attacks from there as per the DNI Counter Terrorism Guide.

Impact on Pakistan Afghanistan Relations

Pakistan and Afghanistan Taliban relations have remained on the boil even as the two were considered allies in rooting out foreign presence from Kabul.

Afghan deputy foreign minister Sher Abbas Stanekzai accused Islamabad of receiving millions of dollars from the US to permit American drones to fly over Pakistan’s airspace for operations in Afghanistan.

This remark by Sher Abbas Stanekzai was evidently in response to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s UN General Assembly address, in which he said Pakistan shared the concern of the international community about terrorist groups operating from Afghanistan’s soil.

Now violent activities of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan or the TTP have emerged as a sore point.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan has said from time to time that the current government of Afghanistan should take effective steps against terrorism. “It is also our hope that the Afghan authorities would be responsive to the expectations of the Afghan community regarding respect for human rights, inclusivity and to take effective actions against terrorism,” Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan's foreign minister said. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan's foreign minister, in a meeting in Germany recently.

Meanwhile US officials reportedly met with members of the Taliban in Doha for the first time since Washington assassinated Al Qaeda leader Ayman Al Zawahiri with the objective of emphasising the need for avoiding Afghanistan being used as a terror sanctuary by the al Qaeda and stick to the Doha Agreement.


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