The National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) noted on Thursday that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has “gained considerable ground” and “increased its footprint and magnitude of activities” in Pakistan during the peace talks process.
NACTA made these revelations in a document presented on Thursday to the participants of a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior. It is pertinent to mention that the TTP last month called off the ceasefire agreement with the government and ordered its militants to stage attacks across the country.
In a document presented before the committee on Thursday, the security body said: “Peace talks emboldened the militants and their presence in Swat can be attributed to their efforts to gain the pulse of locals and response by the state.” It pointed out that the US withdrawal from Afghanistan last year “gave impetus” to TTP activities with its base intact in the neighbouring country. “Overall rise in the terrorism index is being witnessed,” NACTA said while listing four recent terror incidents in Pakistan that the banned outfit claimed responsibility for.
‘US to work with Pakistan against terror threat’
Separately, the United States has said that it is determined to work with Pakistan to deal with the threat of terrorism in the region, especially from Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
“It is, of course, our broader goal to see to it that terrorists and others aren’t able to use Afghanistan as a launch pad for attacks on Pakistan,” the State Department’s Spokesperson Ned Price said about the rise of violence and the regrouping of terrorists in Afghanistan. The Taliban, he said, was either unable or unwilling to live up to the commitments that they’ve made in a number of areas, especially on counterterrorism.
However, the US has capabilities when it comes to counterterrorism in the region that does not leave them entirely beholden to the Taliban, Price added. “We demonstrated those capabilities in recent months with the killing of the now-deceased al-Qaeda emir, Ayman al-Zawahiri, making good on the pledge that you have consistently heard from President (Joe) Biden since the withdrawal of military forces from Afghanistan last year, that we will take action if we see international terrorists regrouping in Afghanistan,” the spokesperson said.
“We are determined to work with our partners in the region, including Pakistan, to do what we can to take on the threat of terrorism in the region, and certainly the threat of terrorism that extends well beyond the region,” Price added.