Friday, October 30, 2009

Afghan Taliban cooperate with the Tahrik-Taliban of Pakistan

The article below from the News International reveals how unwise it is to suppose that the Taliban-Pakistan are different from the Taliban-Afghanistan. They are both a part of a common movement. Yes, these groups are essentially factions who, if there were no state to fight on the outside, would probably clash among themselves, but given the situation they now have they have reason to hold together for the time being. RLC

TTP gets Afghan Taliban support
By Mazhar Tufail The News International (Pakistan) October 18, 2009
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani militants based in South Waziristan Agency committed the terrorism acts in the past couple of weeks or so with the help of the
Afghan Taliban, The News learnt here on Saturday.

"Leaders of various militant groups active in Pakistan under the banner of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have succeeded in winning support of
the Afghan Taliban for committing terror acts in Pakistan," a source in the security forces disclosed on condition of anonymity.

"They have mounted the deadly attacks in Peshawar, Bannu, Rawalpindi and Lahore with the help of Afghan Taliban," he said.

The source said the top leaders of outlawed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have established links with the Afghan Taliban and all its operatives who have been operating
in the Punjab have reached South Waziristan or Afghanistan to evade arrests as the law-enforcement agencies have launched a crackdown on such elements in the
Punjab province.

"Initially, this group was involved in sectarian violence and has been targeting people belonging to a particular religious sect but now it is targeting the
security forces," the source said.

According to the source, the security forces have, however, launched the operation - codenamed Rah-e-Nijat - in South Waziristan with full determination to
eliminate the terrorists from the restive tribal region. He said majority of the troops participating in the operation have an extensive experience of
warfare in mountainous terrain and have earlier been fighting terrorists in Swat, Malakand and elsewhere.

"As directed by the army chief and other commanders involved in the military operation in South Waziristan, the security forces will exercise utmost care to
avoid collateral damage during the operation. The commanders are very optimistic about the completion of the operation well before the end of the stipulated
time and its positive outcome," the source said.

The Pakistan Army launched operation against the extremists in South Waziristan Agency on the night between Friday and Saturday. According to military
sources, 1,000 to 1,500 militants are present in South Waziristan and the operation has been launched after three-month siege of the militants.

The political administration of South Waziristan has, however, said that over 4,000 to 5000 terrorists are present in the area with most of them hiding in
Mahsuds-inhibited area.

South Waziristan is the nerve centre of the TTP and the main source of terrorism across Pakistan. It is from here that TTP renders support to other terrorist
groups operating from the nearby Khyber, Bajaur, Orakzai and Mohmand agencies.

"The root of the terror is in South Waziristan where this group is present. It is a must to root out this terror and curse," the source said.

After the death of Baitullah Mahsud in a drone strike on August 5, TTP is being led by Hakimullah Mahsud with the assistance of Waliur Rehman and Qari
Hussain, who runs a suicide training camp in Kotkai area of the region.

According to the source, in the last three months, the TTP militants intensified attacks on security forces deployed in South and North Waziristan agencies,
including five suicide missions in Razmak area, kidnapping of 15 security personnel, killing three of them, over 300 rocket attacks and 78 improvised
explosive device (IED) attacks.

"Given all of the recent terrorism acts in various parts of the country, a final showdown against Taliban and their al-Qaeda Uzbek allies in South Waziristan
has become an absolute necessity," the source said.

The source said no doubt the country's security forces were faced with a far stronger enemy in South Waziristan than one they have confronted and overcame in

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