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As Imran preached stability overseas, TTP added to Pakistan’s domestic woes

Nirendra Dev

Nirendra DevSep 19, 2021, 09:38 AM IST

As Imran preached stability overseas, TTP added to Pakistan’s domestic woes

New Delhi: There is a saying and it suits the geo-strategic scenario pretty well, if you sow the wind, you are bound to get the whirlwind.

As Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan flew to Tajikistan capital, Dushanbe, along with his hardliner Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and sought to make a strong case of ‘stability’ under Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, in his backyards there remained multiple challenges from Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP).

Is Pakistan caught between two friends who bank heavily on medieval interpretation of Sharia? 

The Afghan Taliban leadership is today left to make a clear choice between the TTP and the authorities in Pakistan. 

The TTP is seen as a ticking bomb. While Imran made an effort to sell out ‘stable Afghanistan’ card, the new Iran President Ayatollah Raisi firmly told him during a bilateral meeting to ensure ‘an inclusive government in Kabul.

"The key to solving Afghanistan’s problems is to form an inclusive government and prevent foreign 
interference in the country’s affairs", Raisi told him.

Even 'iron brother' China favoured an inclusive government and it was articulated by the Chinese President Xi Jinping himself.

In the meantime, TTP leader Ayman Al-Zawahri has pledged allegiance to Afghan Taliban and also alarmed authorities in Pakistan that it would continue to work and create conditions for 'Sharia implementation' in Pakistan.

In other words, Islamabad has to live with the monster it has created.

Major Gaurav Arya, a well known security analyst says – " When Taliban freed TTP terrorists from Afghan jails, Pakistan protested. That same Pakistan is now planning to pardon TTP terrorists. After years of falsely accusing India of funding TTP, is this a tacit acknowledgment by Pakistan that TTP is their asset?

Pakistan was celebrating for a while on the fall of Afghanistan. The speed at which the change over took place could not have happened without Islamabad’s complicity, and something now realised  by the US.

Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, when grilled told a Congress committee that Washington could 'reassess' its ties with Islamabad.

For months now, while Pakistan has pushed the Afghan Taliban to stick to violence and power of the barrel road map to dethrone Ashraf Ghani, but at home it said TTP was “after all, our people”.

The refrain being ‘amnesty’ guided by the spirit – “Come here, it is your country”.

But Imran Khan, his vocal ministers and army top brass did not appreciate that the TTP’s understanding of a country could be much different from what Pakistan is today – at least women are not forced indoors.

But ‘Taliban Khan’ and his men and ‘bosses’ in Rawalpindi have to do a stock taking of facts and pragmatism.

India’s enemy could be easily turning on as Imran’s enemies too !

When Pakistan’s ISI chief was trying to display ‘the victory’ with his sinister smile perhaps aimed at India, little did Islamabad realise that by then hundreds of inmates in Afghanistan jails including Pul-i-Charkhi prison have fled.

Anis-ur-Rehman, a Kabul-based journalist, has said last month that 2300 TTP fighters too have been released from Kandahar and Kabul prisons.
 
It is ironic but true that in seeking ‘amnesty’ for TTP, the ‘re-Talibanised Afghanistan’ could be only getting a strategic depth in Pakistan.

The TTP has already warned Pakistani media that they should not be described as ‘terrorists’. The real warning is to Rawalpindi and their chosen men under Imran Khan.

As many as nine splinter groups have already come under an umbrella grouping in last few years suggesting that the TTP can easily demand its slice of the cake.

The cake here would come with bloodshed. 

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