The presence of the Pakistani Taliban not only proves to be terrorizing for Pakistan’s religious community and the public in general, but also poses a strong international threat.
The Pakistani Taliban aims to create an Islamic state governed by sharia law as well as opining for the withdrawal of a military presence along the borders of Afghanistan—the region housing the group’s headquarters.
The Pakistani military’s occupation of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) began in 2002.
For his part in the peace making process, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ran on a ticket of reconciliation with the Pakistani offshoot of the Taliban.
Among its list of atrocities, the Tehreeke-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) executed ten foreigners, assaulted and consequently freed 248 prisoners.
Recent headlines report two suicide bombers that attacked Peshawar where over 600 Christians were idling at All Saints Church. The end result was 85 killed and numerous others injured. The group responsible is a part of the TTP network, Jundullah.
The Pakistani Taliban were the same group that unabashedly shot 14 year old Malala Yousufzai for her strong vocal support of women’s education in Pakistan. Malala was subsequently nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Sharif may be biting off more than he can chew as the TTP is unable to be brought into the fold due to their insistence of an all-encompassing Islamic state as well as the group’s fragmented structure resulting in numerous offshoots with differing desires such as Jundullah.
The Pakistani Taliban also rejects the Pakistani democratic process and the nation’s alliance with Western nations. Though not directly linked to Al Qaeda or Afghanistan’s Taliban, the Pakistani Taliban do share mutual goals.
Recent headlines report that Mullah Fazlullah, the individual responsible for Malala’s assassination, is now the succeeding leader to the TTP after his predecessor, Hakeemullah Mehsud, was killed by a U.S. drone attack.
Alongside being responsible for numerous attacks within Afghanistan and Pakistan, Mehsud was responsible for the 2011 failed attack in Times Square, New York.
Fazlullah was initially a popular radio broadcaster that promoted Islamic reform. As a prime figure in the Pakistani Taliban, Fazlullah has ordered numerous hits on the public.
With the skyrocketing fame of Malala’s survival also came the rise of Fazlullah’s. Using his pirate radio, Fazlullah promoted his agenda, changing his initial popularity to that of among the Taliban fold.
Recognition of a young, stalwart voice breeds with it the acknowledgment of its oppressor, in this case, Fazlullah and his Taliban, who are here to stay.
– Miles Abadilla