Jihadist Chickens Coming Home to Roost

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For decades, the Pakistani deep state argued that Pakistan-Afghanistan relations would improve if the U.S. left Afghanistan and a pro-Pakistan government – the Afghan Taliban – was in power in Kabul. However, many analysts and experts long disagreed with this, and it turns out the state was wrong, and the experts were right.

Since the return of the Afghan Taliban to power in Kabul in August 2021, there has been a rise in attacks by the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan inside Pakistan. The latest took place on March 16, when seven soldiers — including two officers — were killed in an attack on security forces in Mir Ali, North Waziristan. Soon after the Pakistani army carried out both airstrikes and intelligence-based anti-terrorist operations inside Afghanistan.

 

The targets of this operation were terrorists belonging to the Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group— a group that for decades the Pakistani military intelligence establishment has long referred to as ‘the good TTP.’

The response of the Afghan Taliban – a group that the Pakistani deep state has supported for decades including giving them safe havens for three decades inside Pakistan – to the Pakistani strikes was to blame Pakistan and absolve itself of any blame: “Pakistan should not blame Afghanistan for their problems and failure to control violent incidents. Such acts can lead to dire consequences which will not be in control of Pakistan.”

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