South Asia

Islamabad urges global pressure on Taliban to combat TTP

Photo: Reuters

Islamabad is rallying international support to pressure the Taliban in its fight against the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), according to Pakistani media reports. Officials are emphasizing the similar threats posed by the TTP and ISIS, aiming to unify global understanding and response against these groups.

The emergence of ISIS in Afghanistan post-2015, after its activities in Syria and Iraq, highlighted by the presence of Daesh Khorasan (ISIS-K), has raised concerns. Azimullah Varsji, former charge d’affaires of Afghanistan’s embassy in Qatar, detailed Daesh’s ambitions to establish an Islamic government in the historical region of Khorasan, affecting parts of China, Central Asia, South Asia, Pakistan, and Iran.

Ahmad Zia Siraj, former head of Afghanistan’s National Intelligence, noted an increase in threats from Daesh Khorasan following the Taliban’s return to power. Pakistani officials have observed a surge in TTP activities within Pakistan coinciding with the Taliban’s resurgence.

Efforts by Islamabad to convince the international community of the indistinguishable threat posed by Daesh and TTP were highlighted by The Express Tribune, stressing the importance of not ignoring TTP’s activities.

However, opinions on the threats posed by TTP and Daesh differ among experts. Abdullah Qarlaq, former governor of Takhar, pointed out distinctions, emphasizing TTP’s sole focus on the Pakistani government, unlike Daesh’s broader regional ambitions.

The Taliban have been accused by Pakistani officials of facilitating the rise in TTP activities, a charge the Taliban denies, framing TTP as Pakistan’s internal issue.

Mian Zahid Hussain, Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan and President of Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, criticized the Taliban’s trade expectations with Pakistan as unrealistic, given the alleged use of Afghan territory against Pakistan. Despite Taliban denials of involvement in Pakistan’s security issues, a UN Security Council report recently highlighted concerns over the relationship between the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and the TTP.