1st March 2023
By Staff Report
The US State Department in its report has warned that the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is aiming to push the Government of Pakistan out of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and instead establish Sharia by waging a terrorist campaign against the Pakistani military and state.
“The organization uses the tribal belt along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to train and deploy its operatives, and the group has ties to al-Qa’ida (AQ)”,
2021 Country Reports on Terrorism says.
The report suggests that TTP draws ideological guidance from AlQaeda, while elements of AlQaeda rely in part on TTP for safe haven in the Pashtun areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistani border.
This arrangement has given TTP access to both AQ’s global terrorist network and its members’ operational expertise.
As per the report, TTP is estimated to have between 3,000 and 5,000 fighters.
“TTP likely raises most of its funds through kidnapping-for-ransom payments, extortion, and other criminal activity”, the report says.
The report also names major terrorist groups that focused on conducting attacks in Pakistan, including TTP, the Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), and the militant Islamic State-Khorasan group (IS-K).
The report also notes that terrorists used a range of tactics to attack varied targets, including Improvised Explosive Devices, Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices, suicide bombings, and targeted assassinations.
The US State Department report acknowledges Pakistan’s effort to curb terror financing. However, the report laments that Pakistan made little progress on it National Action Plan (NAP).
“Pakistan reviewed and revised its 2015 National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism, reducing the NAP from a 20-point plan to 14 key points, but made meagre progress on the most difficult aspects — specifically its pledge to dismantle all terrorist organizations without delay or discrimination”, the report says.
The report also mentions Pakistan’s pledge to “ensure that no armed militias are allowed to function in the country,” but complains that attackers continued to operate from Pakistani soil in 2021. The report identifies the Haqqani Network, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT), and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) as the groups that carry out such attacks.
The report also highlights Washington’s cooperation with Islamabad on regional security and counterterrorism, noting that the US government provides robust law enforcement, counternarcotics, and rule of law assistance for Pakistan, as well as limited defence, counterterrorism, and anti-money laundering assistance.