TTP seeks merger with Al Qaeda to protect militant organizations: UN report

Minute Mirror - Subscribe
Minute Mirror - Subscribe

The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) may be pursuing a merger with Al Qaeda to form an umbrella organization that would shelter all militant organizations operating in South Asia, according to a monitoring report filed to the UN Security Council.

“Some [UN] member states expressed concern that TTP might provide an umbrella under which a variety of foreign groups operate, or even coalesce, avoiding Taliban control,” the report noted.

The report issued by a UN committee that monitors terrorist operations throughout the world, backed Pakistan’s claim that the banned TTP had increased its influence in Afghanistan since the Taliban’s takeover.

“One member state expressed concern about the potential of [Al Qaeda] and TTP merging.”

The assessment warned, “It assessed [Al Qaeda] to be providing guidance to TTP for increased attacks within Pakistan.”

According to the paper, fighters of the banned TTP attend training camps funded by several terrorist organizations in Afghanistan’s Kunar province.

The banned TTP remained focused on high-value targets in border areas and soft targets in urban areas, according to UN monitors.

“TTP capability is assessed as not matching its ambition, given that it does not control territory and lacks popular appeal in tribal areas,” according to the report.

According to the UN committee, certain sections of the proscribed TTP were shifted away from the border area in June as part of the Taliban’s efforts to rein in the group in response to pressure from Pakistan’s government.

The Taliban rulers in Afghanistan, on the other hand, have dismissed the UN judgement as inaccurate.

“The United Nations Security Council report is false. Al Qaeda has no presence in Afghanistan,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, the Afghan Taliban’s chief spokesperson, on Friday.