TTP’s support to IS

Published: October 15, 2014
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The announcement by TTP leaders is worrying in that an already violent group has allied itself with a group even more violent than itself. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID

The announcement by TTP leaders is worrying in that an already violent group has allied itself with a group even more violent than itself. ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID

There is a chilling inevitability about the announcement by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid, with another five TTP leaders having decided to declare their allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (referred to hereafter as ‘IS’). The announcement was made via a video posted online and distributed to representatives of the media. This is yet another significant split in the ranks of the TTP, with the statement going on to amplify the distance between those currently moving towards the IS and the TTP. Within the statement, there were nuances, with it being said that the TTP chief, Mullah Fazlullah, has thus far supported the IS, but not yet declared allegiance. Whilst this may seem like nitpicking, in fact, it is significant because the allegiance has come from a majority of TTP’s Fata chapters.

What the new declaration of allegiance is going to mean in operational terms is difficult to say. The IS seem to be working to consolidate their existing gains, which are nowhere near as joined up as graphics in newspapers and on the electronic media would have people believe. Neither are they entirely homogenous, any more than the TTP is and here lies their most significant weakness. Factional, ideological and tribal strife are common between the Taliban groups and offer by far the best opportunity to drive a wedge between their various ranks and groups.

That said, the announcement is worrying in that an already violent group has allied itself with a group even more violent than itself, and one might wonder just where the many apologists for the Taliban are going to position themselves now that some of those they covertly support have shown themselves to be nothing less than vicious killers. Is the position of the apologists sustainable? We believe not. The IS propagandists have already busied themselves in Peshawar, with leaflets and wall-chalkings appearing all over the city and reports of them being active among vulnerable IDP groups. Nothing less than robust condemnation of the announcement is going to suffice, and soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Oct 16, 2014 - 12:13AM

    Even Iblis must be saying ASTAGFARULLAH at the antics of these extremists whether Taliban or the Takfirist ISIS

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  • notIKfan
    Oct 16, 2014 - 7:20AM

    So a misguided brothers are going to support another misguided brothers.
    What does the leader who supports the first bunch of misguided brothers, has to say now?

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  • harkol
    Oct 16, 2014 - 10:14AM

    In a day and age, where even the top most religious leader of Christianity (the Pope) is reforming his religion, it is strange that worlds second biggest religion moves towards a deeper abyss.

    The only way the Jihadi violence will end is if majority following the religion, re-interpret older practices and give a modern & practical spiritual path within the broader confines of the religion. Jihadis sustain themselves because the majority tacitly accept them, without active resistance.

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  • Bumble bee
    Oct 16, 2014 - 3:02PM

    Very well alliance .Good for all muslims .Liberals ,go get a life or better migrate to your patrons “paradise ” ie to NATTOO land .

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  • Oct 17, 2014 - 12:02AM

    Is it not alarming that an already violent group has allied itself with a group even more violent than itself? It is alarming in some way but the fact remains that earning the support of these violent groups means next to nothing: they have been rejected by a vast majority. People of the region have seen what relative peace can bring: a better life for a common person; their children can go to school and earn an education; they can make an honest living and bring prosperity to their homes and their neighborhood. Peace also brings gender equality. These are important things for all people, but especially for the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan who have been deprived of these common rights by violent terrorists for long. We have seen multiple Pakistani women in the last 20 months bring honors to their country by conquering some of the highest mountain peaks, winning an Oscar, winning an Emmy, earning the Asian Gold in women Cricket, and earning the Nobel Peace Prize!

    It must be alarming for these terrorists to see their support dwindling. Additionally, they have been put on notice by the world community and are being targeted with very few places to run. We are all together in this war against the terrorists. It is not too far when we will see the terrorists being put out of their business of terrorism.

    Abdul Quddus
    DET – U.S. Central Command

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