Not just economy: How Pakistan is also floundering on terror


NEW DELHI: As the Taliban stormed to power in Afghanistan in the fall of 2021, cheers went up in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Pakistan believed it has pulled off a huge strategic coup, and Afghanistan’s new rulers can be manipulated to protect its interests.
However, more than a year later, the scripts hasn’t quite gone the way Pakistan had hoped.
The Kabul regime has turned a deaf ear to Pakistan’s requests to act against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) sanctuaries in Afghanistan.
The result- Pakistan’s internal security is in a turmoil, with a resurgent TTP carrying out attacks with impunity.
Less than two months into 2023, terror-related incidents have already claimed 227 lives.

Pakistan’s obfuscated approach in dealing with TTP
Pakistani forces were able to effectively dismantle the TTP and kill most of its top leadership in a string of military operations from 2014 onwards in the tribal areas, driving most of the fighters into Afghanistan, where they regrouped.
They have been buoyed by the victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan over the US-backed government after Western forces exited the country in 2021.
A Pakistani minister on Sunday said that the former ISI chief Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed wanted to bring the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) members back to the country, but his plan “backfired.”
Human rights minister Riaz Pirzada claimed that an in-camera briefing was held in which Army generals proposed to “resettle” TTP members in Pakistan.
A minister in the now-deposed Imran Khan government too claimed that they had tried to work on a consensus to initiate dialogue with the TTP, but that did not materialise.
A ceasefire, and its unravelling
In June last year, the Pakistan government reached a broad ceasefire agreement with the TTP.
By November though, it had gone up in smoke. As TTP renewed its attacks, many targeted at government officials and security forces, there were talks of recalibrating the approach.
With the Kabul regime unwilling to act against their brethren, Pakistan has tried opening a channel with the Taliban supreme leader.

The volatile political atmosphere, the economic crisis, strained relations with neighbouring countries and a scary internal security scenario – the Shehbaz Sharif government has too much to deal with for now.
There is little sign of stability returning to Pakistan as the country heads into the next general lections later this year.


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