Is Pakistan Fearing a New Terror Wave? Sends Taliban a List of Dreaded TTP Operatives

According to the latest development, Pakistan has handed over to the Afghan Taliban a list of "most wanted terrorists" linked to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who were still active in Afghanistan.

According to The Express Tribune report, the list was shared with the Afghan Taliban leadership recently after they took control of Kabul.

Taliban fighters
Taliban Fighters Wikimedia Commons

Is Pakistan Seeking Action Against the TTP Chief?

Reportedly, Taliban chief Haibatullah Akhundzada had set up a three-member commission to investigate Pakistan's claim that the TTP was using Afghanistan to plot cross-border terrorist attacks.

"We have taken up the issue with them (Taliban). We have given them a list of wanted TTP terrorists operating from Afghanistan," a senior Pakistani official, familiar with the development, told The Express Tribune.

The official further said that Pakistan expected the Taliban to take action against the TTP. Although the official did not share the list, it is believed that Pakistan was seeking action against the TTP chief and its other top commanders.

Pakistan flag
Pakistan flag (Representational image) Pixabay

'Afghanistan's Land Will Not be Allowed To be Used by the TTP'

Pakistan's interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Monday said the Afghan Taliban have assured the government that it would not allow their soil to be used against it by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants. The minister's remarks came amidst The Express Tribune report.

The interior minister said that the government has taken note of the reports that the Afghan Taliban have set free some TTP militants, including its leading commander Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, after taking over the war-torn country, and it is in "full contact" with the Taliban on the issue.

TTP is One of the Most Dangerous Terror Outfits in Pakistan's Record Books

The TTP, commonly known as Pakistani Taliban, is a banned militant group based along the Afghan-Pakistan border. Some media reports say that the TTP receives ideological guidance from and maintains ties with al-Qaeda.

The group is notorious for being behind numerous high-profile terror attacks and assassinations across the country, according to India Today. Some of them include the 2011 attack on one of Pakistan's largest air bases, the attack on Karachi International Airport in 2014 and the heinous massacre at the Army Public School in Peshawar that killed 150 people, mostly students.

On 1 September 2010, the United States designated the TTP as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).

What Does Resurgence of TTP Mean for Pakistan?

Pakistan is already fearing the worst and have heightened their security aspects. The country also fears that the TTP will try and infiltrate the flood of refugees waiting at the border. Most notably, TTP ex-deputy Maulvi Fakir Mohammad was released from Bagram prison by the Taliban.

A report published in the Indian Express says Pakistan's calculus towards the Taliban could prove dangerously misguided, especially if its emergence emboldens extremist groups such as the militant TTP.

The Taliban have also set up a separate commission for anti-Pakistan militants to stop violence against the neighboring country and return to their homes across the border, the Voice of America (VOA) learnt through highly-placed sources.

Quoting sources in Islamabad, the VOA reported that the TTP leaders were being warned by the commission to settle their problems with Pakistan and return to the country along with their families in exchange for a possible amnesty by the Pakistani government.

The sources have ruled out the possibility of Pakistan accepting any TTP demands, insisting the amnesty would be offered in line with the country's Constitution and law, which would require the militants to surrender their weapons, reported ANI.