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Rift between Pakistan's Army generals and Taliban leadership now wide open

 
By Mrityunjoy Kumar Jha
New Delhi, Jan 8: Pakistans military establishment is upset with their good old friend - the Taliban who they helped to capture power in Afghanistan. The reason is the extremist Islamist regime has failed to take any action against the militant outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which has stepped up attacks on the Pakistani army.


In the last month, the TTP has claimed to have launched 40 attacks on Pakistani security forces killing more than 20 soldiers.

According to the Pakistani army, it was Sirajuddin Haqqani, the Interior Minister of the Taliban regime who had asked them to hold talks with the TTP. This was followed by a month-long ceasefire but on December 9, the TTP unilaterally called off the ceasefire and immediately resumed its attacks on the Pakistani forces.

"The Taliban government told us that they would bring them [TTP] to the table and make them accept what Pakistan wants. However, there were some demands from our side that were non-negotiable," said Major General Babar Iftikhar, head of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) of the Pakistani army adding that the army will now launch a full scale attack on the "menace".

Reacting to this, the TTP immediately said in its statement that, "you should know that TTP has emerged from hard times and is united. The coward army spokesman also misinformed the public and reporters about the November talks and the ceasefire and tried to hide the facts."

"We want to make it clear once again to the people of Pakistan that we are ready for both war and dialogue, that our military and political strength is greater than ever and that we will never be defeated by the Pakistani army," the TTP statement added.

According to the latest UN report, the TTP has an increased strength from 6,000 plus to 10,000 plus fighters and most of them are from the Taliban and its allies.

"The TTP has regrouped and reorganized, with its top leadership based in neighbouring Afghanistan," says the report.

"The TTP has also succeeded in expanding its recruitment inside Pakistan beyond the former tribal regions along the border where it traditionally found fighters", Amir Rana, executive director of the Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, told AP.

That is raising fears among Pakistanis of a return of the horrific violence the group once inflicted. They still remember how the TTP militants attacked a school in Peshawar on December 16, 2014 and killed more than 150 including 140 children.

The Taliban and Haqqani are not addressing the concern of Pakistan as promised that they would not allow any militant organisation against any country including Pakistan.

The Imran Khan government did try to negotiate despite the massive protest from people and flak from the Supreme Court of Pakistan but as expected the move was a non-starter.

(The content is being carried under an arrangement with indianarrative.com)

--indianarrative