Pakistan’s deep state and Prime Minister Imran Khan may be celebrating Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan, but they are ignoring the blowback that Pakistani citizens are facing with the return of the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP). And yet, the response of the government appears to be to talk of amnesty!
Ever since the Afghan Taliban victory, there have been attacks undertaken by the TTP against both Pakistani security forces and innocent civilians.
In early September a suicide attack killed four people and injured 20 others when it targeted a
convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Corps. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility. “Our fidaee [suicide bomber] had planted explosives on the motorbike and rammed into the military convoy in Quetta. The security forces were about to leave for patrolling when they were attacked.”
Ten days later, seven soldiers were killed in a gunfight with TTP militants in South Waziristan. The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) confirmed the overnight raid of one of its bases in the border district.
Instead of cracking down on the TTP with a firm hand President Arif Alvi and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke of amnesty for the TTP if the group “would need to mend its ways and give up violence.”
As an editorial in The News remarked “This rather overzealously magnanimous offer has however not been met with the same warmth from the TTP which has released a statement saying the group wishes to impose a Shariah order in Pakistan and will not be apologising for its actions so asking for an amnesty on its part is not an option. While that pretty much settles the matter, the proposal was quite extraordinary in the first place. The TTP has been responsible for some of the most horrendous terrorist attacks seen in Pakistan’s history, including the brutal massacre of schoolchildren at APS. Recent days have seen a sudden increase in the group’s activity, targeting security personnel in the country.”
As the editorial stated the government needs to explain their action to the Pakistani public “which has not forgotten the more than 70,000 Pakistanis, many of them security personnel, who have been killed in the long fight against a ruthless force that has massacred people everywhere without mercy. There has been absolutely no expression of regret or remorse from the TTP and assuming that they have renounced violence sounds groundless, at least for now.