Are The Taliban Back In Former Tribal Areas?

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Peshawar Bureau Report

‘Afghan soil being used for terrorism against Pakistan’: IG KP

A new wave of terrorism has hit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the newly merged tribal districts amid the coronavirus outbreak. Five people including two traffic policemen were injured in an explosion on Ashraf Road in Peshawar on May 12th.

Five police officials have been murdered in different incidents of target killing in the province in the first five months of the current year. There has been a rise in target killings of peace committee members who had fought against the Taliban. Therefore questions are being raised of whether the Taliban and other militants that spread terrorism and carried out bomb attacks across Pakistan a few years go are now back? 

On May 1st, Arif Wazir, a leader of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) and relative of MNA Ali Wazir, was shot dead by unidentified assailants outside his home in Wana, South Waziristan. After the incident, the PTM warned that the militants are regrouping in the tribal areas.
Inspector General Police KP Dr. Sanaullah Abbasi said the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) were investigating these terror incidents and they have arrested few terroristsfrom Swat.

Sanaullah Abbassi says that terrorism and personal enmity are interlinked. Citing a recent example of killing a policeman in Peshawar, the provincial police chief says that Jamat al Ahrar took the responsibility of the incident but when the police probed the matter, it emerged that the cop was killed due to personal animosity.

“Sometimes these terror organizations make false claims to make their masters happy and to look important. The terrorists that we have apprehended from Swat were trained in Afghanistan. So, by and large we have defeated terrorist and the remnants are on the verge of being defeated”, Abbasi says confidently.

Abbassi explains that the tribal areas were strongholds of the terrorists but after the merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) into KP the situation has improved a lot.

In 2014, the Pakistan army launched a military operation called “Zarb-i-Azb in the tribal region after a terror attack on the Karachi Airport. The army claimed that it had broken the backbone of the terror groups by killing thousands of their militants, and the remaining had fled to Afghanistan. Pakistan has also started fencing the Durand Line to prevent terrorists coming in from neighboring Afghanistan.

However senior analyst Raheemullah Yousafzai says that the militants have still managed to enter Pakistan from Afghanistan and Iran, and they are getting a lot of financial assistance, which is why the law and order has deteriorated in the country.

“In the last few days, there were three attacks on security forces in Balochistan near the Pak-Iran border. Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa called his Iranian counterpart and requested him to secure their side of the borderas Iranian soil is being used against Pakistan”

Finance and Health Minister of Khyber PakhtunkhwaTaimur Saleem Jhagra told

that there have been few terror incidents in the province but due to the effective response of the police, the militants are on the run.

“I believe that our police is capable to face multiple challenges at the same time.  The government will fully support them, our police force has defeated the militancy in the recent past as well”, Jhagra said.