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Wednesday, February 1, 2023
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EditorialBuildup of terrorists

Buildup of terrorists

Threatening signals are being sent by the recent uptick in terrorism in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan as well as reports of the TTP and Baloch separatists uniting against the Pakistani state, which could ignite the entire area. The National Security Committee has also urged the Taliban in Afghanistan to stop supporting terrorist organisations from Pakistan and to deny them safe harbour on their territory.  When the Afghan Taliban stormed Kabul during the US troop pullout in August, the first thing they did was release 22,000 TTP activists, including prominent leaders like Maulvi Faqir Muhammad. According to accounts, nearly 4,000 Pakistani militants were released from several Afghan prisons at the same time. This demonstrated that President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai’s previous administration had jailed these Pakistani militants. TTP strikes inside Pakistan were also reduced to a bare minimum during that time period, according to data from previous years. The previous week, former Afghan president Hamid Karzai made it clear on television that Afghanistan shouldn’t be used as a theatre of conflict between the US, China, and Russia.  Although Kabul denies it, it is clear that post-Taliban Afghanistan has developed into a continual source of terrorism and unrest in Pakistan.

Though at a rather hawkish level, there are rumours circulating in Pakistan that the United States may be looking to once again use the soil of Pakistan as a springboard for counter-terrorism efforts in Afghanistan in the wake of the recent resumption of terrorist activity. The TTP declared in November 2022 that the cease-fire deal it had signed with the Pakistani government earlier in the year was null and void. The declaration followed the TTP’s kidnapping of security personnel in Swat and the ensuing bombing, which resulted in the deaths of numerous people, including local peace activists. Imran Khan, the leader of Tehrik-e-Insaf, later admitted that his overthrown administration had intended to accept and compensate over 40,000 TTP members and their families, which shed light on the error. The situation demands now talks must come to an end and action be initiated against terrorists.

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