Pakistan Taliban militants stated Monday that they had broken a weak ceasefire agreement with the government, and ordered fighters from across the country to start attacks.
Tehreek e-Taliban (TTP), an independent entity of the Taliban in Afghanistan that shares a similar hardline ideology but has been responsible for hundreds and thousands deaths since 2007.
TTP stated in a statement that “We have shown our patience so that negotiations process is not sabotaged”.
“But the intelligence agencies and army do not stop attacking, so our retaliatory strikes will continue across the country.”
TTP claimed responsibility for an ambush in which six policemen were killed in north-west Pakistan. The men said that they were planning to raid their base in the region.
In an effort to eliminate militants, the military has been on patrol since Friday. Helicopter gunships are bombarding their hideouts.
TTP was started in 2007 by Pakistanis, who fought in Afghanistan alongside Taliban fighters in the 1990s. They also opposed Islamabad’s support of American intervention in Afghanistan after September 11th.
They held large areas of Pakistan’s tribal belt and imposed a strict interpretation of Sharia. They also patrolled territory 140km from Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.
After 2014 militants stormed a school for military children and killed almost 150 people, the Pakistani military launched a counteroffensive against the group.
Its fighters were mostly routed into Afghanistan. Islamabad claims that the Taliban are in Kabul and now allow the TTP to launch assaults across the border.
According to the Pak Institute for Peace Studies (Pak Institute for Peace Studies), Pakistan experienced a 50% rise in militant attacks during the year that the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.
Business owners and politicians in Pakistan’s north-west Pakistan claim that there are more cases of TTP extortion in their region.
Islamabad has long struggled with establishing a writ in this area, and the presence of militants is a sensitive topic.
Analyst Saad Kahn, a Peshawar-based retired soldier brigadier said the ceasefire was not observed and downplayed the importance of the TTP declaration.
“The Afghan Taliban have assured all the world that they won’t allow their territory to become a weapon against any other country,” he stated.
“It’s important to start serious negotiations on this matter with the Afghan Taliban and make them aware that the matter is serious.”