name='verify-v1'/>"> MediaTrial: Who are the Taliban - Pakistani or American?

Politics News From Yahoo!

Digital Clock + Date

There was an error in this gadget

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Who are the Taliban - Pakistani or American?

Sphere: Related Content

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  •     Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan is not the Afghan Taliban
  •     Its goal is to bring down the Pakistani government
  •     The TTP claimed responsibility for the attempted Times Square bombing


What a simple and being innocent attempt by the US to identify Talibans as Pakistani Taliban and shift its responsibilities on the shoulders of Pakistan. Hereunder the story for more to read!

(CNN) -- The Pakistani Taliban is a banned Islamist group with intimate links with the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda.

While the attempted killing of 14-year-old teen activist Malala Yousafzai has brought renewed focus on the group, the brazen act is part of a long list of attacks on civilians and the military that the Islamist militant group has carried out in Pakistan's mostly ungoverned tribal area along the Afghan border.

Most recently, the group, formally known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), took the global spotlight when Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American, attempted to detonate a car bomb in New York's Times Square in May 2010. The TTP took responsibility, and Shahzad testified that he had received training from them.

The following September, the U.S. State Department designated the TTP a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Malala's recovery after Taliban attack
Malala's friend: No regrets

Are they "the Taliban?"

They are not "the Taliban" that the U.S. forces have been at war with in Afghanistan, according to a Pakistani analyst. But adopting the name "Taliban" is no coincidence.

Formally known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the group is intimately linked with its namesake in Afghanistan as well as with al Qaeda. It shares its religious extremist ideology -- but is its own distinct group.

The groups also have a different goal, but its tactics are the same, says Raza Rumi, director of policy and programs at the Jinnah Institute, a Pakistani think tank.

"Their primary target is the Pakistani state and its military," he says. "It resents the fact that it (Pakistan) has an alliance with the West, and it wants sharia to be imposed in Pakistan."

Where do the TTP's roots lie?

Pakistan's army began hunting various militant groups in the semi-autonomous regions along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan known as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in 2002.

In reaction, militant "supporters of the Afghan Taliban in the tribal areas transitioned into a mainstream Taliban force of their own," according to the Council on Foreign Relations.

During the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, fighters from Pakistan crossed over the border to fight. They retained close relations with the Taliban after returning home, Rumi says.

In 2007, like-minded militias in Pakistan's triabl region came together under the command of Baitullah Mehsud.

As a result of its beginnings, Tehrik-i-Taliban is not a unified fighting force but a coordinated coalition of militias.

A U.S. drone strike took Mehsud's life in 2009.

The militant groups control different regions within the tribal area and often have different agendas and political objectives. The factions don't always speak with one voice, although it is widely believed they recognize Hakimullah Mehsud as their leader since Mehsud's death.

They are "not just guys hiding in mountains or caves," with loose factions having spread as far as Punjab province, Rumi explains.

"And they have also been joined by criminal gangs" to raise money through kidnappings and extortion. But the TTP has maintained the coalition nature of their roots.

"There is a lot of discord," says Rumi, "but for the moment they are all united."

Their opposition to the government and its allies has galvanized them.

"When (former president) Musharraf sided with the US in 2001 after the 'you are either with us or against us' line from (then-President George W.) Bush, this is when the Taliban began to resent the military," Rumi says.

The TTP does not encompass all militant groups in the tribal regions but does work together with some, such as the Haqqani Network.

What is the Pakistani Taliban's mission?

The TTP is fighting to overthrow Pakistan's government via a terrorist campaign, according to the U.S. State Department.

"They reject the Pakistani constitution," says Rumi. "They reject the democratic process in Pakistan."

Because of Pakistan's alliances with the United States and other countries, the Pakistani Taliban also attacks foreign interests in and outside of Pakistan.

Within Pakistan, Tehrik-i-Taliban often targets members of Pakistan's armed forces but also kills civilians for political and religious reasons. In a December 2009 bombing of a mosque frequented by Pakistani military personnel, the group killed 36 and wounded 75.

In March 2011, a TTP bomb planted at a natural gas station killed dozens.

An attack on a Sufi shrine in April 2011 killed more that 50 in Dera Ghazi Khan, the U.S. State Department said, which also suspects the group may have been involved in the killing of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in 2007.

Assaults on U.S. and other foreign interests have included attacks on a military base in Afghanistan and a U.S. Consulate in Peshawar. The TTP has also claimed responsibility for the assassination of a Saudi Arabian diplomat.

"Their ambitions are linked to the agenda of al Qaeda," says Rumi. They would like to bring down the West and the United States, but "given their capacity and network, they are overreaching."

Why the May 2010 Times Square bombing attempt?

Since the United States is not in a state of war with Pakistan, its military does not pursue the Pakistani Taliban within that country's borders.

Instead the CIA has hammered the TTP and other targets in the tribal regions with drone strikes, which have inflicted heavy losses but not stamped it out.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan is not the Afghan Taliban
    Its goal is to bring down the Pakistani government
    The TTP claimed responsibility for the attempted Times Square bombing

The New York City bombing attempt has been interpreted by some as an act of revenge.

The TTP's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, recorded an audio message in April 2010 with a warning to the United States: "From now on the main targets of our fedayeen (fighters) are American cities."

Who within the Pakistani Taliban targeted the teenage blogger?

A Tehrik-i-Taliban militia led by Maulana Fazlullah once controlled the Swat region, Malala's home. Pakistan's interior minister blames it for the assassination attempt and has announced a bounty of $1 million on the heads of those responsible.

In an odd twist, the Pakistani military ran Fazlullah's group out of Pakistan in 2009, forcing it to operate in Afghanistan, where the U.S. military can openly pursue it.

Why is the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan so difficult to fight?

The Pakistani military has been at this for a long time, Rumi points out, and although there have been successes, the fight drags on.

"The impetus from the Taliban type of movement is the fight against the military," he says. Fighting them is what caused them to form in the first place. De-escalation should be part of the solution.

"The timely exit of the U.S. forces from Afghanistan is so important not only for Afghanistan but for Pakistan as well," Rumi says.

How should the government respond?

Rumi recommends a "holistic strategy, which includes military, political and institutional solutions." In the end, the people of the tribal regions need to be re-integrated into Pakistani society.

But he does not expect to see much an increase in military action against the TTP soon.

"This is an election year," he says, "so no political party would want to be seen as being creating more destruction and war."

No comments:

 
Custom Search