What Does The Taliban Want In Pakistan?

In December 2014, jihadi militants launched an attack on a school in North-Western Pakistan The incident killed an estimated 148 people, 132 of which are presumed to be children

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack against the school, announcing it as revenge for a six-month military campaign against the terrorist group With the country’s armed forces focused on preventing another attack from Pakistani Taliban, the world is left wondering: who exactly is this militant group and what do they want with Pakistan? The Taliban presence in Pakistan, known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan or TTP for short, was founded by the late jihadi commander Baitullah Mehsud The commander was among many Pakistani militants who had fought alongside the Afghan Taliban, when they seized control of Kabul in the late 90’s When the extremist group was subsequently ousted from Kabul by US forces in 2001, Mehsud and other Pakistani militants fled back across the Afghan-Pakistan border It was during this time, that the small group of fighters started to train anyone that shared their ideology

Today, the group is headed by Maulana Fazlullah from a stronghold located in North Waziristan Like the Afghan Taliban, the group is predominantly made up of Pashtun , a tribal people who are spread across Afghanistan and North-Western Pakistan But whilst the Afghan Taliban is a cohesive army, the Pakistani Taliban is more of an umbrella organization, encompassing around 30 militant groups, which with so many different opinions can mean the TTP are not as effective as the Afghan counterparts The two Talibans were up until recently, common allies, with the TTP having previously sworn allegiance to Afghani Taliban leader Mullah (moo-LAH) Omar However, this alliance may be in trouble After the Peshawar attack one Afghani Taliban spokesman denounced the incident saying,“the intentional killing of innocent people, women and children goes against the principles of Islam

” So without the backing of one of their biggest allies, should Pakistan be concerned about further attacks and ultimately, the TTP seizing control? Prior to the school attack in Peshawar, analysts had argued that for over a decade, the Pakistani military had not taken enough effective action to combat the TTP But the national outpouring of grief over the death of 132 children is palpable In the aftermath of the tragedy, hundreds of Pakistani protesters convened on the Red Mosque in Islamabad to demand that one of the area’s most influential religious leaders should publicly condemn the Taliban In response to the public outcry over the terrorist attack, the government has responded by launching military attacks against the TTP and lifted a six-year moratorium on hanging convicted terrorists The public are hopeful that this action will weaken the Taliban’s hold over the country

Pakistan is at a crossroads with potential for real change, however experts note that if the country loses focus, the TTP may take the opportunity to regroup, and strike again To learn more about what an Islamic State under Sharia Law could look like, check out this video now And please subscribe We release new videos 6 days a week Thanks for watching

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