While Pakistan continues to hail the success of its operation Zarb-e-Azb in weeding out Pakistani Taliban from its tribal region, according to a report by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid in The Diplomat, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is all set to rear its head back again. The dreaded TTP group, which had been behind the dastardly massacre of children in Peshawar in 2014 is ready to spread its ominous claws once again.
In the wake of Operation Zarb-e-Azb carried out by Pakistani Army in 2014, the TTP had largely faded from the Pakistani landscape until recently when it appears that it has found its feet again as it issued a written threat to locals in Miranshah demanding a ban on music, women going out without a male accomplice, and polio vaccinations.
Shahid claims renewed activity of the terror group citing various examples of TTP terrorists nabbed from different cities of Pakistan recently. The re-emergence of the terror group, known for brutal imposition of medieval practices, especially with regards to women and children has already made its presence known by targeting checkpoints with IED blasts.
An ominous message sent by Pakistani Taliban as quoted by Shahid says, “We want to remind you that our diktats have been disregarded by residents in the past, but this time we are going to take to task those who violate the Taliban order.”
The Talibani decree also proscribed the use of DJs inside or outside houses and threatened the residents with dire consequences if they are found violating the edicts put forth by the TTP.
Even the health workers administering polio drops to children are not spared by the TTP. The TTP warned the health workers not to administer polio drops to children in the region. This doesn’t bode well for Pakistan which has witnessed a recrudesce of the poliovirus, with at least 72 people being diagnosed with the infectious disease this year.
Despite the Pakistani military’s highly acclaimed action against TTP, far from being defunct, the TTP appears to have gained strength from its convalescing period and prepared to take on their nemesis. Shahid claims that the TTP’s revival can be credited to the regional resentment against the military that has been personified by the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement(PTM) which has brought to fore military excesses such as forced disappearance, human rights violations etc.
The PTM has been channelising the resentment against the Pakistani government, highlighting the incongruencies and questioning the government’s objectives in their fight against terrorism. While Imran Khan claimed that the permanent solution to Afghan-Taliban problem is fencing of the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, PTM questioned the government’s intention behind the claim as recently Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was seen warming up to Afghan Talibani while exchanging hugs and gifts with each other.