The Afghan reaction to the news that the Punjabi Taliban was renouncing violence on its home soil in favour of proselytising — but would continue the armed struggle in Afghanistan — was swift. On September 15, 2014 a senior Pakistani diplomat was summoned to the Afghan foreign ministry to hear that the Afghan government was displeased to hear what it described as ‘a declaration of war’ by the Punjabi Taliban. There was strong language from the Head of Political Affairs at the Afghan foreign ministry, Abdul Samad Samad. He described the Punjab Taliban announcement as a conspiracy against the security and stability of Afghanistan — and in a strictly literal sense he is correct to say so. He went on to allege that Pakistani intelligence agencies had been funding, equipping and training terrorist groups that operate in Afghanistan, including the Taliban in their various iterations.
Despite many Taliban groups clustering under the flag of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), they are far from homogenous and divided along lines of sect, ethnicity and tribe. There is currently a churn in the wider Taliban corpus, possibly triggered in part by the ongoing operation in North Waziristan, but equally likely because of divisive internal tensions that are beginning to fragment the TTP. If there is a unifying struggle it is the fight for power in Afghanistan. That fight is intensifying as Western coalition forces continue to withdraw, with large parts of the country to the south and east already under defacto Taliban control. It is difficult to predict on what front the Punjabi Taliban may fight in future in Afghanistan or who they might be allied with, but there can be little doubt that the North Waziristan operation has pushed Taliban groups over the border into Afghanistan, there to regroup and battle the incoming Afghan government. This has to be a matter of concern for the Afghan administration as it transits out of the Karzai regime and into an uncertain but probably violent future. Pakistan has a stake in that future as well, more so than any of the other players jockeying for position, and should carefully maintain its balance.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 17th, 2014.
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The common threat requires the regional partners to form a healthy working relationship and work against the threat of terrorism. The terrorists would love to see the regional partners remain on the opposite sides of the fence for the sake of gaining advantage. It is simply imperative for Pakistan and Afghanistan to put aside any differences and cooperate and coordinate for the sake of negating the common threat.
Ali Khan Digital Engagement Team, USCENTCOM
Wouldn't it have been better to ask the so called afghan govt. And the U.S. forces as to why they didn't eliminate the fleeing militants entering their areas, and inatead they started using them to launch counter attacks. Please don't simplify things for the sake of indian trolls .
The more things change in Pakistan, the more they remain the same.
Strategic depth, non-state actors, strategic assets, et al.
The real reasons are far from this. When Raheel Sharif took over as COAS, he started sincerely to go after the talibans. Now, after watching these demonstrations and protests and weakening of the government, the army wants to play it safe and have changed its tactic. The army knows that after they clear an area from the talibans, the civilian government must step in to take charge of that area and ensure that the talibans do not come back. The army also knows that there is no civilian government in Pakistan that is sincere and capable of doing this job. So, the army wants to get in the good books of some taliban groups and go after others. Pakistan's head of its High Commission in India started to play the army cards by inviting Kashmiri separatists for a meeting and he is now openly speaking in support of Hafiz Saeed. One Pakistan TV channel also did the same. They interviewed a separatist leader from India's Kashmir and Hafiz Saeed and encouraged them to give anti India statements. Both blamed that India is not taking care of the flood victims on its side. Pakistan's army is following the same strategy vis-a-vis Afghanistan also. In all, Pakistan's army is trying to get out of Zarb-e-Azb operation and keep themselves safe by keeping some terrorist groups happy. These are not good signs and will hurt Pakistan the most.
Hard to refute that concern .. BBC had a special on the subject with interviews of Taliban who confirmed they were funded, trained, armed and even given intel by Pakistan intelligence --- of course Pakistan military insured that was not aired in Pakistan. Been a number of books which touch on the subject . The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan, 2001-2014 is worth reading.