Foreign Affairs Article Argues Afghan Taliban Fighters Have Joined TTP Terrorists Against Pakistan


What happened? A report in U.S. magazine ‘Foreign Affairs’ has revealed that some of the Afghan Taliban fighters have joined TTP terrorists in their war against Pakistani security forces. The development could escalate the crisis in Pakistan which is on the brink of a full-fledged economic collapse and faces a renewed TTP insurgency.


Go deeper:

  • The report stated, the TTP’s resurgence is fundamentally driven by the rise of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  • “U.S. officials had tried to reason with Pakistani leadership that their support for the Taliban was feeding the TTP, but Pakistani officials remained confident in their ability to both fight the TTP and support the Taliban,” it added.
  • The report stressed that at one stage, the TTP was weakened by U.S. drone strikes and Pakistani military campaigns and the group retreated to the mountains of eastern Afghanistan. However, the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan has given the TTP a massive boost.
  • It stated that TTP has thousands of fighters ready for a war against Pakistan and that the TTP’s leadership has found safe haven in Afghanistan, where many Taliban fighters are also now joining the TTP.
  • Some Taliban leaders, in particular Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, have on occasion yanked the TTP’s leash. But most Taliban leaders back the TTP’s political agenda and its campaign against Pakistan, it stated.


Zoom out: This comes even as last week, a high-powered Pakistani delegation led by Defense Minister Khawja Asif visited Kabul. The delegation also included ISI Director General Lt-Gen Nadeem Anjum, the foreign secretary and the special envoy on Afghanistan.

  • This was the first high-level visit from Pakistan to Afghanistan since the spike in terrorist attacks in the country and the change of army leadership.
  • The Afghan Taliban were confronted with hard evidence from the Pakistani delegation about the presence of TTP and shared the precise location of its leadership. The Afghan authorities gave a briefing to the Pakistani side.
  • They listed actions they took against certain groups of the TTP and their future strategy. One of the plans given by the Afghan Taliban to control the TTP includes disarming the terrorist outfit and their relocation from the border areas. However, the Afghan Taliban wanted Pakistan to bear the cost of that plan.
  • Previously, the Afghan Taliban convinced Pakistan to enter into negotiations with the TTP when they were pressed to take action against the terrorist group. But Pakistan is no longer seeking talks with the TTP and has been telling the Afghan Taliban to take tangible steps.
  • In case the Afghan Taliban fail to address our concerns, there is a possibility of cross-border strikes targeting the TTP sanctuaries.
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