Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 12 Jun 2012 21:39

Odd report but shows how deep the tentacle sof british MI are still spread in TSP badlands

94 years old British Major to retire as schoolmaster in WANA

After seeing action with 4 Commando in France, he volunteered to join the British Indian army and stayed on as India and Pakistan endured the bloody upheaval of partition in 1947.

He spent six years as an adviser to the new Pakistan Army before taking the job at Aitchison College, educating the young men who would grow up to run the country.

In the 1980s, when education authorities needed someone to take over a newly established school in North Waziristan they turned to Major Langlands, with his reputation as a Mr Chips-style master known for instilling British values of duty and punctuality in his young charges.

His alumni include high-ranking politicians, military officers as well as thousands of young men and women who otherwise would have received only a basic education – making him something of a national treasure in his adopted homeland.

The remote location and bitter winters of the Hindu Kush make it a difficult posting. To one side, lies the border with Afghanistan. On the other is the Swat Valley, where Taliban fighters threatened to close on Islamabad in 2009.

That insecurity has deterred potential replacements.

In the past two years four different candidates were offered the job but each backed out at the last minute, much to Major Langlands' bemusement.

"They just couldn't dream of coming to Pakistan," he said. "One of them actually wrote in his final letter that he thought Pakistan was supposed to be getting better and better but found out it was getting worse and worse.

"But that is what has kept me here, the idea of getting my little bit better and better."

All being well, Carey Schofield, 58, an author who is known in Pakistan for a book that looked deep inside the country's military, will take over the reins later this year.

Major Langlands said the staff had insisted on another "Britisher".

"She is extraordinary. To begin with she's a lady and she's not a teacher," he said by telephone from Chitral, a note of surprise edging into his reserved English tone.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby SSridhar » 13 Jun 2012 11:18

ramana wrote:Odd report but shows how deep the tentacle sof british MI are still spread in TSP badlands
94 years old British Major to retire as schoolmaster in WANA
....All being well, Carey Schofield, 58, an author who is known in Pakistan for a book that looked deep inside the country's military, will take over the reins later this year. ....

A very correct assessment, ramana. The replacement, Carey Schofield considers Pakistan as a second home (from the cover of her book).

She has extraordinary connectivity within the PA and all doors were thrown open for her to write her book. She effortlessly essays the PA line, including justifying the paranoia facade. She must be a fine replacement for the 92-year old gentleman. Let me quote from her book, 'Inside the Pakistan Army'.
The apparently unfair division of Indian military assets led to burning resentment among Pakistani armed forces

Pakistan was threatened from the start. In October that year, in response to reports that Muslims were being massacred there, the tribesmen moved into Kashmir
The loss of territory and of assets (including the headwaters of the vital Indua and the Jhelum rivers) was a great blow to the young ntion. India, richer and more powerful, could with impunity seize what rightfully belonged to Pakistan
In November, flooded by nine million refugees, India declared war on Pakistan and fighting erupted on the western border.
A Christian, or a Parsi or a Sikh can serve in the Pakistan Army. Atheists do.
The Army moved swiftly and competently :shock: and Pervez Musharraf replaced Nawaz Sharif as head of the government the same day

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 22 Aug 2012 03:11

SSridhar, Who are the Punjabi Taliban? Are these the Lal Masjid type jihadis?

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby SSridhar » 22 Aug 2012 08:07

ramana wrote:SSridhar, Who are the Punjabi Taliban? Are these the Lal Masjid type jihadis?

Ramana, I posted this a while ago in another thread.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 01 Nov 2012 23:16

Tribune laments:

Try a smarter strategy

Repeats what we know that the jihadi outfits have former TSPA personnel in leadership positions.

It also means they are implementing the TSPA motto of jihad-e-fistula on the Paki public via these outfits!

Try a smarter strategy

Fearing a bloody blowback, the authorities seem to have given up the idea of launching a military campaign in the tribal region. Negotiating another peace deal also seems to be out of the question because experience has shown that these deals were only used as breathers by terrorists to resume their murderous mission with extra vigour and redoubled vengeance after having recouped their losses in men and material. So, what do we do now? Let militancy thrive and take over the state in due course of time? Or try a different strategy? I am more than convinced that if the security agencies took care of the jihadi outfits operating from inside Pakistan, those running the rogues from inside the tribal region would simply wither away in no time because it is the mainland thugs that provide the logistics support to their tribal counterparts in choosing targets and mounting attacks. A smarter strategy, therefore, would entail infiltrating these outfits to annihilate them from inside, and in tandem, tearing down the network that keeps them regularly supplied with generous loads of guns and gold.

There are about 10 to 15 major jihadi outfits in the country, mostly located in Punjab, with a couple of them having emerged in Sindh, in recent years. These outfits get a regular supply of jihadis from the 30,000 or so madrassas spread all over the country. Both these institutions — jihadi outfits and the madrassas — are the residual but have decidedly criminal legacies of the first Afghan war and the now-defunct Kashmir jihad. :mrgreen: Perhaps, angry at the khakis for abandoning the Kashmir jihad, these institutions have now started biting the very hand that had been feeding them, funding them, arming them and training them on how to kill. The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) seems to be a more dangerously callous off-shoot of these jihadi outfits. The TTP’s stated objective is to introduce sharia in Pakistan. But the methods it has so far employed in achieving this objective — large-scale massacres, blowing up of mosques and shrines, kidnappings for ransom, etc., all being criminal acts — appear to be in direct conflict with sharia as it is understood by the majority of Muslims the world over. :((

To destroy the jihadi outfits from inside, it would require employing a well thought-out counterinsurgency strategy based as well on experiences drawn from countries that had successfully overcome such insurgencies. So far, I have not seen a single move or sign indicating that our security agencies are even thinking along these lines. All that one could gather from media reports is that the security agencies and the civil administration have been discussing only two options for all these years: whether or not to send the army into North Waziristan/whether or not to negotiate another peace deal with the criminals. The third option, which is being misused to the point of being downright sickening is Mr Know-it-all’s mugshot-spouting, day in and day out from TV screens and newspaper pages, and all kinds of bizarre reasons for the latest criminal act and how he would not rest until the perpetrators are brought to book, only to repeat the same nauseating performance after the next terror attack. Mr Rehman Malik does not squander the slightest opportunity to hog the media glare, no matter what the subject. At times, he seems to be doubling for the entire cabinet including the prime minister. My late friend Khalid Hasan had nicknamed him after the bumbling movie character, Inspector Clouseau.

But coming back to the terror topic, most of the mainland jihadi organisations seem to have a good number of former services’ personnel in leadership positions. With their insider knowledge, which they have mounted in the name of the TTP’s partially successful attacks on the GHQ, Mehran naval base, Kamra Air Force base and other sensitive installations of the ISI and the police. But the khakis have continued to shy away from destroying the demon, hoping perhaps, to continue to use them for waging proxy wars, for promoting their foreign policy agenda and for keeping the civilians from posing a serious threat to their domestic political dominance. But if they wait any longer, these murderous hordes are likely to leave nothing for the khakis or the civilians to rule!
Published in The Express Tribune, October 31st, 2012

Confirms most of BRF theories are no loger speculations or conspiracies.

The khakis are the kabila guards who maintain the rogues for atleast three purposes of which the first two are passe:
- for waging proxy wars,
- for promoting their foreign policy agenda and
- for keeping the civilians from posing a serious threat to their domestic political dominance

So jihadi pigs are RATs out of uniform.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 06 Dec 2012 21:48

SSridhar wrote:A new Pakistani Taliban chief emerging
The Pakistani Taliban, one of the world’s most feared militant groups, are preparing for a leadership change that could mean less violence against the state but more attacks against US-led forces in Afghanistan, Pakistani military sources said. {Note the origin of this news}

Hakimullah Mehsud, a ruthless commander who has led the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for the last three years, has lost operational control of the movement and the trust of his fighters, said a senior Pakistan army official based in the South Waziristan tribal region, the group’s stronghold.

The organisation’s more moderate deputy leader, Wali-ur-Rehman, 40, is poised to succeed Mehsud, whose extreme violence has alienated enough of his fighters to significantly weaken him, the military sources told Reuters.

Rehman is fast emerging as a consensus candidate to formally replace Hakimullah,” said the army official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. “Now we may see the brutal commander replaced by a more pragmatic one for whom reconciliation with the Pakistani government has become a priority.”

The TTP, known as the Pakistani Taliban, was set up as an umbrella group of militants in 2007.

Its main aim is to topple the US-backed government in Pakistan and impose its austere brand of Islam across the country of 185 million people, although it has also carried out attacks in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The militants intensified their battle against the Pakistani state after an army raid on Islamabad’s Red Mosque in 2007, which had been seized by allies of the group.

Mehsud, believed to be in his mid-30s, took over the Pakistani Taliban in August 2009. He rose to prominence in 2010 when US prosecutors charged him with involvement in an attack that killed seven CIA employees at a US base in Afghanistan.

His profile was raised further when he appeared in a farewell video with the Jordanian suicide bomber who killed the employees.

Reuters interviewed several senior Pakistan military officials as well as tribal elders and locals during a three-day trip with the army in South Waziristan last week, getting rare access to an area that has been a virtual no-go zone for journalists since an army offensive was launched in October 2009.

Three senior military officials said informers in the Pakistani Taliban told them Mehsud was no longer steering the group.

Pakistani Taliban commanders did not respond to repeated requests for comment on the possible leadership change.

US officials said that while Rehman was Mehsud’s natural successor, they cautioned about expecting an imminent transition. Mehsud’s standing in the Pakistani Taliban might have weakened, but he still had followers, they said.

Washington has offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to the capture of either Mehsud or Rehman.

One Pakistan military official, who has served in South Waziristan for more than two years, said his Pakistani Taliban contacts first alerted him to Mehsud’s waning power six months ago, when constant pressure from the Pakistan military, US drone strikes and poor health had hurt his ability to lead.

“Representing the moderate point of view, there is a probability that under Rehman, TTP will dial down its fight against the Pakistani state, unlike Hakimullah who believes in wanton destruction here,” said the military official based in the South Waziristani capital of Wana.

The official said this might lead to more attacks across the border in Afghanistan because Rehman has been pushing for the group’s fighters to turn their guns on Western forces.

Other factions within the Pakistani Taliban such as the Nazir group in South Waziristan and the Hafiz Gul Bahadur faction in North Waziristan have struck peace deals with the Pakistani military while focusing attacks on Western and Afghan forces in Afghanistan.

A change in the Pakistan Taliban’s focus would complicate Western efforts to stabilise Afghanistan before most Nato troops leave by the end of 2014, said Riaz Mohammad Khan, a Pakistani diplomat who has held several posts dealing with Afghanistan.

The United States is already fighting the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, which is based along the unruly frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan and which is perhaps Washington’s deadliest foe in Afghanistan.

The last thing US-led Nato troops need is a new, formidable enemy in the approach to 2014.

Such a shift in emphasis, however, could reduce the number of suicide bombings that have plagued Pakistan in recent years, scaring off investment needed to prop up an economy that has barely managed to grow since 2007.

At each other’s throats

The Pakistani Taliban, who are close to al Qaeda, remain resilient despite a series of military offensives. They took part in a number of high-profile operations, including an attack on army headquarters in 2009, assaults on military bases, and the attempted assassination of Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai in October, who had campaigned for girls’ education.

The Pakistani Taliban were also blamed for the 2008 bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad which killed more than 50 people.

Under Mehsud, the organisation formed complex alliances with other militant groups spread across Pakistan.

But it has long been strained by internal rivalries over strategy. Mehsud has pushed the war with the Pakistani state, while others such as Rehman want the battle to be against US and allied forces in Afghanistan.

“Rehman has even held secret negotiations with the Pakistani government in the past but Hakimullah always stood in his way, wanting to carry on fighting the Pakistani military,” a second Wana-based military official said.

The two were at each other’s throats earlier this year and hostilities were close to open warfare, Taliban sources said.

“Differences within the ranks have only gotten worse, not better, rendering the TTP a much weaker force today than a few years ago,” the second military official said.

A source close to the Taliban told Reuters there had been months of internal talks on the Pakistani Taliban’s decreasing support among locals and fighters in tribal areas where the group has assassinated many pro-government elders.

“The Taliban know they are fighting a public relations war, and under someone like Hakimullah, they will only lose it,” added the source who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

It isn’t clear whether Mehsud will hand over the leadership to Rehman without a fight.

A power struggle could split the group, making it more difficult to recruit young fighters and also disrupt the safe havens in Pakistan used by Afghan militants.

According to accepted practice, a leadership council, or shura, will ultimately decide whether to formally replace Mehsud with Rehman.

Intelligence officials said Mehsud had not commanded any recent operations, including an Aug 16 attack on the Minhas Airbase in Pakistan and a suicide attack on a street market in May that killed 24 people.

Military sources said Rehman planned the April 15 jail break in Bannu in Pakistan that freed 384 prisoners, including an estimated 200 Taliban members and an al Qaeda-linked militant who had attempted to assassinate former president Pervez Musharraf.

Fall from grace

Intelligence officials in the area said Mehsud’s brutality had turned his own subordinates against him, while the more measured Rehman had emerged as the group’s primary military strategist.

“If a leader doesn’t behave like a leader, he loses support. For the longest time now, Hakimullah has done the dirty work while Wali-ur-Rehman is the thinker. Taliban fighters recognise this,” said the first Pakistani military source.

A local elder described Mehsud as “short-tempered and trigger-happy”.

“(Mehsud) used to work 24 hours a day, tirelessly. But he would also put a gun to anyone’s head and kill them for his cause,” said a local shopkeeper who has family members involved in the Pakistan Taliban.

Mehsud gained his reputation fighting with the Afghan Taliban against US and allied forces in Helmand province in Afghanistan. He was later given command of Taliban factions in the Bajaur, Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram regions.

He took over the Pakistani Taliban after a weeks-long succession battle with Rehman following the death of Baitullah Mehsud in a drone strike. The two Mehsuds were not related.

Looks like a planted story, But, the FATA tribes are also known for internecine war.

Looks like the new guy is being setup for halall by the TSPA.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby Johann » 06 Dec 2012 23:37

X posted as well;

The whole article is a manifestation of the PA's desperate hope that Hakeemullah is the only thing that stands in the way of bringing the TTP under control.

The PA has been trying for *years* to persuade the TTP to kill American soldiers instead of Pakistani ones.

Its flattered the TTP, signed agreements with it, supported anti-Taliban groups, tried splitting the TTP, arranged for defections, and tried to get the American drones to rub out the people who hated the PA as much as the USA.

While the overall effect has been to reduce the strategic threat of the TTP to the PA, it has not been able to cure it of its anti-PA orientation.

That is why there are so many well informed Pakistanis are *convinced* that the only reason that Islamists would attack the PA is if they were in the pay of foreign powers.

It doesn't occur to most of them that many of these guys are operating by Pakhtunwali, and seeking revenge for betrayal. Every drone strike that the PAF allows through is a betrayal of the PA profession of Islamic brotherhood. All compounding the original betrayal that allowed American bombers and helicopters through to bring down the Taliban in 2001. It doesn't occur to them that the Punjabi Taliban of the LeJ, SSP, JeM and HuJI had been similarly used and dumped earlier.

There's no question that while Hakimullah wants to fight the PA, even he has moved away from total war. The broad quid pro quo seems to be that they wont target Isloo-Pindi and the generals, and the PA in turn will resist American pressure to go into North Waziristan. No one before the TTP reached out and touched the PA's generals in the same way. But if US drone ops pick up the slack over the next two years to keep the Taliban off balance during the withdrawal of forces, we can expect that agreement to come under severe pressure, even if this Wali ur Rehman guy is in charge.

And that is why the Sarkari Islamists who do understand are utterly opposed to allowing the drone strikes continue.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 29 Dec 2012 10:38

SSridhar wrote:This post above by Ambar, has some interesting points.

For example, Hakimullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman speaking jointly and disproving the recent theory of a fallout between them. The PA has been using many tools to drive a wedge among the 'bad Taliban'. They have used their sarkari Taliban like Gul Bahadur or Maulvi Nazir Ahmed to divide the TTP. Earlier, they also used another Mehsud, Qari Zainuddin, to target Baitullah Mehsud. Qari Zainuddin was finally shot dead in an ISI safe house later on and had to be buried in a shi'a graveyard. Spreading disinformation is another tactic. Waliur Rehman, a cousin of the slain Baitullah Mehsud was appointed temporarily as the South Waziristan Taliban commander after Baitullah Mehsud's death in 2009. Later Waliur Rehman was also claimed to have been killed along with Hakimullah Mehsud. It was also reported that there was a tussle between the two for the Amir's post in 2009 itself. All these turned out to be false and planted stories by the Pakistani Army.

Hakimullah Mehsud's praise of the ex-NWFP Governor lt. Gen. Orakzai. It is no surprise. Orakzai, as the Governor, was instrumental for peace agreements with the TTP. Much later, when TTP was on a rampage, the PA criticized Lt. Gen. Orakzai for his ineffective approach towards the Taliban. Of course, he had demitted Governor's office by that time.

Another interseting aspect is that the TTP has laid down its conditions for the talks with GoP. these are:
  • There will be ceasefire
  • No surrender of arms
  • PA cannot ask TTP to remove Uzbeks, Chechens, Uyghurs and Arabs from their outfit. The TTP has a right to say so according to the 2005 Srarogha Agreement between the TTP & GoP. The agreement only wanted the TTP to halt attacks on the PA, not even attacks on Pakistan !
  • TTP has the right to kill anyone whom it considers infidel

One can be sure that like the various 'Peace Agreements' earlier, the current negotiations would also impose humiliating conditions on the PA.

From this post by Anindya, the contours are emerging slowly. It appears that serious moves are afoot for discussions between the TTP and the PA. The TTP's demand for revenge against India after Kasab's hanging was a pointer. Now, from Anindya's post, the TTP are asking for revenge for the 1971 humiliation. They are talking the PA terminology now. The emerging linkages between the 'bad Taliban' and the PA are becoming clearer.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby Samudragupta » 30 Dec 2012 21:09

The Pashtun people have been unfairly dismissed as supporters of the Taliban, even though most of the victims of Taliban terrorism have been Pashtuns, from Afghan construction workers being killed, respected tribal elders being executed in Waziristan to girl’s schools being bombed in Swat.

The stereotyping of the Pashtun people has deceived many people and has given opportunists the chance to exploit the current situation to their liking. For example, Leftist writers such as Tariq Ali and Islamist apologists like Imran Khan, seem to associate the Taliban with Pashtun Nationalism, obviously there are motives for this, as the Taliban refuse to accept any other cause outside of Political Islam, which means they oppose Pashtun Nationalism and have done so since the 70’s.

However, there is one important issue that most seem to ignore or fail to highlight, and it’s the presence of Punjabis in the Taliban. The Punjabi Taliban consists of three militant groups in Pakistan, the Jaish-e-Mohammad, Sipah-i-Sahaba and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. All three militant groups have some link or have been associated in the past with the Pakistani ISI especially in Kashmir.

The Punjabi Taliban has been on the forefront with the Taliban since the civil war in Afghanistan. The SSP faction of the Punjabi Taliban, have in the past fought alongside the Afghan Taliban against the Northern alliance and Hazara Militiamen. Mullah Omar himself had an admiration for the Punjabi Taliban and even offered the Punjabi Talibs of the Harkat Ansar group at the time employment, not only this, but three Afghan Taliban ministers and 22 judges belonged to the Punjabi Harkat Ansar Group too, which shows how influential the Punjabi Talibs were during Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

Mullah Omar not only provided the Punjabi Talibs with jobs within the Taliban movement, he also allowed them to step up training camps in Kandahar, Kabul and Khost where they began training recruits for attacks in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Chechnya.

During the July 1999 offensive against the Northern Alliance, the 6000-8000 Pakistani militants who joined the Taliban were by majority Punjabis and Non Pashtun. Even after the capture of Mazar e Sharif, in August 1998, there were thousands of Pakistanis that went to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban, the number is estimated to be over 4000, with Punjabis making the majority once again, in this case, a meeting was held on the 13th July 1998 in Akora Khattak where a decision was made by representatives of 12 major madrasahs in Pakistan to send Punjabis to assist the Taliban.

During the Iranian-Taliban crisis, whereby Iran was deeply concerned over the killings of its diplomats in Mazar I Sharif and the Shia’s in Afghanistan in general, the leader of the SSP faction of the Punjabi Taliban, Azam Tariq who was at the time in a Military jail in Attock, Pakistan stated that his movement was ready to dispatch 20,000 militants to fight alongside the Taliban if Iran dares to attack Afghanistan.

Not only has Afghanistan been heavily influenced by Punjabi Pan Islamism, the region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa has also followed the same route to take for instance a dispute occurred in Mohmand tribal agency of Khyber-Pakhtunkwha in 2007 over control of a Legendry Pashtun freedom fighter called “Haji Sahib Turangzai”shrine. Residents of the region complained about 300 masked Urdu speaking Talibs who were occupying the site, it came to notice, that the 300 masked Urdu speaking Talibs, were actually Punjabis, who were part of the SSP, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Harktul Mujahedeen. Residents were furious over the fact that their hero’s shrine was guarded by Non Pashto speaking Punjabis.

Such an incident highlights the substantial evidence out there that shows a “Punjabi Talib” presence even in the areas controlled by the TTP (Pakistani Taliban). In March 2008, a Taliban commander by the name of Maulvi Iqbal and his men were killed during skirmishes in Paktika Afghanistan with Afghan forces. It was later discovered they were Punjabis who were associated with Maulvi Nazir, who is the leader of one of the Pro Pakistani Taliban factions within the TTP.

Not only has the Afghan Taliban been connected with the Pan Islamist Punjabis of Pakistan, but even more astonishing is the fact that most of the very influential Pakistani Talib figures such as Qari Hussain, have had some upbringing in Pakistan’s Punjab Region. Qari Hussain, one of the leaders of the Pakistani Taliban, also referred to as the man who trains most of the suicide bombers, was educated in Faisalabad and Jhang region of Pakistan’s Punjab, he later graduated from the Jamia Farooqia in Karachi Pakistan in 2003, even his cousin Hakeemullah Mahsud, who is currently head of the Baitullah faction of the Pakistani Taliban, keeps very close ties with well-known Pan Islamist Pakistani Punjabi Taliban factions such as the SSP and Lashkar e Tayba. The Punjabi Taliban has a very close relationship with the Pakistani Taliban; even their Pakistani Taliban contingent at Rishkore camp South of Kabul was managed by a Punjabi called Chacha Akhtar. The deputy of Hakeemullah Mahsud, Wali Ur Rehman, was educated at Jamia Islamia Imdadia madrassa in Faisalabad in Pakistan’s Punjab. Clearly the link with the Taliban’s ideology and Pakistan’s Punjab becomes quite evident that the real inspiration for global Jihad and control over Afghanistan through a Pan Islamist cause comes from Pakistan’s Punjab and not from the Pashtun heartland.

The well documented presence of Punjabis within the Pakistani Taliban controlled areas gives you a clear indication of how Punjabis are involved in the current war by the Taliban upon the Afghan government and the Pashtun people as a whole. One needs to look at the number of Punjabi Militants killed by American drones in the Pashtun tribal belt to develop a clear understanding of who the Taliban are.

On the 15th November 2011, six Punjabi militants were killed by an American drone in North Waziristan. Two missiles from an American drone hit a rebel compound in the Miram Shah Bazaar. On the 26th July 2011, American air strikes in Afghanistan killed 35 Pakistani Taliban fighters while a dozen or so were injured and were brought to hospitals in North Waziristan. According to the residents of Waziristan, Punjabi Talibs were also amongst the dead. On the 6th June 2011, a drone fired missiles at a Shawal area at 11.15 am, and it was reported that amongst the killed militants several of them were Punjabi Taliban militants.

On the 25th February 2010, Qari Zafar, the leader of the Punjabi Taliban was killed by an American drone attack, in the Dandi Darpakhel area of North Waziristan. It was also reported that members of the Punjabi Taliban were also killed during the attack. Qari Zafar headed the Badar Mansoor Organisation that consisted mainly of Punjabis. Qari Zafar was reported to have been seen on video sat next to Hakeemullah Mahsud and Wali Ur Rehman. The Pakistan Taliban confirmed on 3rd March 2010, that Qari Zafar the leader of the Punjabi Taliban was killed by an American drone. Taliban described him as a “Martyr” and stated they will avenge his killing. On December 2009, an American drone attacked what appeared to be a compound in North Waziristan that killed eight Punjabi Talibs. On the 22 December 2008, an American drone fired missiles on two vehicles in South Waziristan, in two villages; one of the vehicles was attacked at Ghwakhwa near Wana which killed three Punjabi Talibs, while the other attack was on a vehicle in Azam Warsak that killed two Punjabi Talibs.

From the figures of Punjabi Talibs eliminated by American drones in the Pashtun tribal belt, goes to show that the association with Taliban and Pashtun Nationalism by Pakistani political figures or writers is flawed and unfounded. The author feels, a sincere Pashtun Nationalist would never associate him/herself with a movement that has large numbers of one of the most extreme pan Islamist Punjabis that aim to turn the Pashtun land into another province of the Islamic republic of Pakistan. Pashtun Nationalists do not kidnap young boys and indoctrinate them with backward Arab folklore to go and blow themselves up and murder innocent Pashtuns in the process for promised beauties in the other life by child killers.

These deluded claims are dangerous, and counterproductive, but with hidden motives. The reality is there to see, the Taliban not only kill Pashtuns especially those who are Nationalists but they also target the shrines of well-known Pashtun poets such as Hamza Shinwari also referred to as Hamza Baba. Pashtun Nationalism does not resort to Punjabis or Madrasahs in Pakistan for guidance or dictation on how our identity should be. The Afghan Taliban which has its roots and most of its leaders educated in Pakistani Islamic schools such as the Islamic schools ran by the likes of the Jamiet-Ul-Uloom-Al-Islamiyah(JUIP) located in New Town, Karachi, these students of Mohammad Yusuf Binori are not Pashtun Nationalists, but proxies of the Pan Islamist Punjabi Terrorist nexus, how could one refer to the Taliban as Nationalist or fighting a Pashtun cause when three of the six councilmen of the Afghan Taliban leadership have been educated from this exact Islamic school.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby SSridhar » 31 Dec 2012 04:28

Samudragupta, source of the above please ?

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby Samudragupta » 01 Jan 2013 09:01


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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby SSridhar » 01 Jan 2013 11:27

Samudragupta, thanks.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 22 Feb 2013 01:55

Not exactly the Paakiban but sarkari terrorists in TSP. I thought we had a thread for it.

brihaspati wrote:Here is some from the "other side" the shi-ite:

In the Punjab town of Jhang, LeJ's birthplace, SSP leader Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi describes what he says are Tehran's grand designs. Iranian consular offices and cultural centers, he alleges, are actually a front for its intelligence agencies.

The Iranian embassy in Islamabad, asked for a response to that allegation, issued a statement denouncing sectarian violence. "What is happening today in the name of sectarianism has nothing to do with Muslims and their ideologies," it said. Ludhianvi insisted he was just a politician. "I would like to tell you that I am not a murderer, I am not a killer, I am not a terrorist. We are a political party." After a meal of chicken, curry and spinach, Ludhianvi and his aides stood up to warmly welcome a visitor: Saudi Arabia-based cleric Malik Abdul Haq al-Meqqi.

A Pakistani cleric knowledgeable about Sunni groups described Meqqi as a middleman between Saudi donors and intelligence agencies and the LeJ, the SSP and other groups.

"Of course, Saudi Arabia supports these groups. They want to keep Iranian influence in check in Pakistan, so they pay," the Pakistani cleric said. His account squared with that of a Pakistani intelligence agent, who said jailed militants had confessed that LeJ received Saudi funding. Saudi cleric Meqqi denied that, and SSP leader Ludhianvi concurred: "We have not taken a penny from the Saudi government," he told Reuters
{Only chicken!}

Saudi Arabia's alleged financing of Sunni militant groups has been a sore point in Washington. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned in a December 2009 classified diplomatic cable that charities and donors in Saudi Arabia were the "most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide." In the cable, released by Wikileaks, Clinton said it was "an ongoing challenge" to persuade Saudi officials to treat such activity as a strategic priority. She said the groups funded included al-Qaeda, the Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The Saudi embassy in Islamabad and officials in Saudi Arabia were unavailable for comment.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby SSridhar » 22 Feb 2013 06:38

Oh yes. LeJ is a very peace-loving political party and Maulana Ludhianvi is not a terrorist.

I thought I could just give the following capsule compilation of details to support the above statement.

LeJ (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi or Army of Jhangvi) Sunni Deobandi Organization though some sections are followers of ultra-orthodox takfiri salafism.

Banned by Pakistan on Aug 14, 2001.

Member of IIF (Islamic International Front for Jihad against the Crusaders and the Jewish people).

Started off as Sunni sectarian outfit to perpetuate the ideals of the slain leader Maulana Haq Nawaz Jhangvi (of Jhang) which was to convert Pakistan into a Sunni Deobandi state.

Its publication is called Intiqam-i-Haq (dual meaning - Revenge of Truth, or Revenge of Jhangvi).

The US State Dept. added LeJ to its list of terrorist organizations on Jan. 30, 2003.

Created in 1996 as a breakaway faction of SSP by Malik Ishaque (who was the first 'salar' or Commander-in-Chief) Riaz Basra, and Akram Lahori. Malik Ishaque was in jail until c. 2011 though he has been acquitted in 34 cases and given bail in the remaining 10 cases. He spent 14 years facing charges related to murder and other terrorist acts. He was set free in July 2011 but was detained under ‘house arrest’ which was only in name because he was freely moving about with impunity. The State had extended his detention in the ‘interests of public order’ under the ‘Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance’. However, on Jan. 20, 2012, the Review Board of the Lahore High Court refused to detain him any further under ‘house arrest’ and set him free. On the very same day, he was nominated in an FIR registered against his alleged involvement in the then recent Khanpur blast killing 18 Shias. He has been accused in the 2002 kidnapping and murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl, twin assassination attempts on Gen. Musharraf in c. 2003, murder of the MQM MPA Raza Haider and the Mastung massacre and the attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore on Mar. 3, 2009.

After Malik Ishaque was arrested, LeJ was headed by Riaz Basra who was killed in May, 2002 at Mailsi in the Punjab, after leaving a trail of terror. Basra was an Afghan mujahid. He was involved in the assassination of Iran’s Consul General in Lahore, Sadiq Gangi, in December, 1990 and later Iranian diplomat Mohammad Ali Rahimi in Multan in 1994. He was arrested on June 5, 1992 but escaped from police custody on April 30, 1994. Basra was helped in the assassination of Sadeq Ganji by an ISI official named Athar, a low-level official from the Pakistan Air Force

LeJ was then headed by Maulana Azam Tariq who was assassinated in Oct. 2003 by rival Shi’a terrorists.

LeJ is currently headed by Muhammad Ajmal alias Akram Lahori(Qari Mohammed Zafar was Acting Emir in the absence of Akram Lahori, the Salar-e-Aala or Emir who was in jail. Akram Lahori was released by the Punjab High Court for lack of evidence in May 2010. Qari Zafar was reportedly killed in a CIA drone attack on Feb. 24, 2010 at Miramshah in North Waziristan.)

Chief Operational Commander – Matiur Rehman

LeJ is also accused of killing hundreds of Shiites and bombing Shia mosques.

LeJ was behind the assassination of two US Consulate officials in Karachi in March, 1995; attempt of Nawaz Sharif on Jan 3, 1999 in Lahore. LeJ is also involved in the murder of Daniel Pearl (WSJ reporter) {Attaur Rehman alias Naeem Bukhari, who was arrested in Karachi in June 2007 in connection with Pearl's murder in 2002 is also a key Lashkar-e-Jhangvi militant}, two attempts on Gen. Musharraf and one on the then Prime Minister Abdul Aziz (aka 'Shortcut' Aziz), the July 2006 London airlines plot, the attack on US Consulate in March 2006, and the spectacular Marriott bombing in Islamabad in Sep. 2008. Qari Mohammed Zafar (not to be confused with Qari Hussain Mehsud, aka Ustad-e-Fidayeen, of TTP who trains suicide bombers), a key member of LeJ co-ordinated closely with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. He carried a $5 Million reward on his head and had been seen along with TTP Amir Hakeemullah Mehsud in Sep. 2009. The TTP announced Qari Zafar’s death in a US drone attack at Dargah Mandi in North Waziristan on Feb. 24, 2010. Qari Zafar was the mastermind of attacks on a Special Investigation Unit (SIU) office in Model Town Lahore, Marriot Hotel, FIA building and American consulate in Karachi. He was under the custody of Punjab’s Special Investigation Unit but escaped in October 2007. d

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 22 Feb 2013 06:59

Heck we should publish the book on Paki terrorist organizations!!!

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 27 Mar 2013 22:25


....In the spring of 2008, we obtained a copy of a 5-page Pakistani police report, written in Urdu, detailing Hayee's involvement in Pearl's kidnapping. The police report reveals a very detailed profile of Hayee as one of Pakistan's many "sons of darkness," as journalist Massoud Ansari calls them, born in the 1960s and 70s with roots in the northeast Punjab Province heartland, where radicalism is often fostered by an austere interpretation of Sunni Islam called Deobandism.

The men came of age in the 1980s just as Afghan fighters, fueled by their Islamic fervor and covert aid from Pakistan and the United States, were defeating the mighty Soviet military. After the Soviet withdrawal in 1989, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) tapped the new Islamist fervor in Pakistan to create militant groups such as HUM (Harkat ul-Mujahideen), LeJ (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi), JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammed), SSP (Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan), HUI (Harkat-ul-Islamiya), and LeT (Lashkar-e-Taiba), based in Punjab Province, as proxies in Pakistan's war against India for the state of Kashmir. Through the 1990s, Hayee crisscrossed Pakistan into Afghanistan, training other militants, plotting attacks on members of the Shia minority and recruiting new members.

Many of the young men involved in Pearl's kidnapping had joined these groups and trained at Afghanistan-Pakistan border camps tied to Pakistan's spy agency, the ISI, and were drawn to the radical views of the Taliban fighters who subsequently took control of Afghanistan. In an ironic twist of events, it was the ISI's public affairs arm that confirmed Hayee's arrest to reporters this week. Hayee's group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, is now considered part of a loose collection of militant groups dubbed the "Punjabi Taliban."

Now in their 30s and 40s, these militants are eager foot soldiers and officers in what some regard as a growing industry, ‘Jihad Inc.', many of them living in dicey Karachi neighborhoods, such as Nazimabad and Gulshan-e-Iqbal, both neighborhoods that Hayee called home in the police report.


Daniel Pearl kidnappers Mind Map

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 24 Jul 2013 01:51

X-post for completeness....
SSridhar wrote:Suicide attack on Nawaz Sharif foiled: Pak police - ToI
Pakistani authorities claimed to have foiled a plot to target Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif by busting a terror network planning to launch a suicide attack on his residence in Raiwind on the outskirts of Lahore.

The plot was unearthed by a Joint Investigation Team of police and intelligence officials probing into the abduction of Ali Haider Gilani, son of former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani, who was kidnapped during election campaign in May.

The Express Tribune reported that officials while probing the case of Gilani traced a North Waziristan-based militant group operating in Lahore and plotting to target Sharif at his residence in Raiwind.

An operation conducted in Lahore to break the terror cell led officials to a terrorist group affiliated with Tehreek-e- Taliban Pakistan North Waziristan-based commanders Matiur Rehman and Muhammad Yasin alias Aslam. {Mati-ur-Rehman is the Chief Operational Commander of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). LeJ's Emir, Akram Lahori, was released from jail in c. 2010 by the jihadi-pasand Punjab High Court after a deal was reportedly struck between LeJ and PML-N. The founder of LeJ, Malik ishaque was also released in c. 2011. These releases were released by SSP (Sipah-e-Sahba Pakistan) when SSP Chief Maulana Muhamad Ahmed Ludhianvi intervened on their behalf with Nawaz Sharif as they stuck a political deal. So, what gave way suddenly ? Probably, LeJ never forgot how Nawaz Sharif ordered the most heroic LeJ jihadist Riaz basra to be ordered arrested by Nawaz Sharif who had been hiding in Kabul after assassinating an Iranian diplomat. Riaz Basra was later eliminated. In retaliation, LeJ tried to kill NS at his Raiwind house in January 1999. Baanu, Miranshah, Tableeghi-Jama'at & LeJ have familiar connection in many attacks especially against the Ahmedis too.}

Both Rehman and Yasin were involved in suicide attacks on former President Pervez Musharraf, former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Inter Services Investigation Hamza Camp, General Headquarters check post and some other terrorist activities.

Both militants carry Rs 3 million on their heads. The report said the terror group had two sub groups. One of the groups consists of Jaffar, Abdullah, Asad (all based in Bannu and surrounding areas); whereas the other one is linked with North Waziristan/Bannu based outfit operating in Lahore. A suspect, Faheem Meo, a resident of Raiwind, was found as linked with the terrorist group in Lahore.

It emerged that militants were communicating primarily through the PCOs with minimal use of cell phones.

The suspects were conducting the activities from within the premises of the Tableeghi Jamaat headquarters in Raiwind, which made it virtually impossible for the team to track them down. The team stayed in Raiwind for nearly a week and finally apprehended Meo, who disclosed the location of another person linked with Bannu and North Waziristan based militants.

The other terrorist was arrested and identified as Usman alias Saifullah Mehmood Iqbal, resident of Pajiaan, Raiwind. Usman owns land adjacent to the house of Nawaz Sharif.

The team learnt through technical monitoring that the NW-Bannu based terrorist had sent a group of 4-5 suicide bombers to Raiwind.

The team then intercepted 4-5 buses carrying Tableeghi missions from Bannu and arrested four alleged suicide attackers of Miran Shah, North Waziristan. The arms cache which was to be used by the terrorists has not been recovered so far. Therefore, the threat still remains, the paper said.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby Samudragupta » 10 Aug 2013 00:22

The Next Decade of Jihadism in Pakistan

By Tufail Ahmad

In the run-up to the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014, two trends within Islamism in South Asia are likely to have far-reaching implications for regional politics and security. First, jihadist movements in Pakistan and its neighborhood are increasingly emboldened; their leaderships and core organizations remain largely intact, and their expectations for greater power are rising amid the emerging security vacuum. Second, jihadist movements and the Islamists sympathetic to their goals are increasingly seeking to use political means, including negotiations and elections, to capture power and impose Sharia rule.
Islamism may be described as an ideological orientation which seeks to reshape society and politics through the imposition of a radical understanding of Islam. In the wake of the Arab Spring, Islamists in South Asia have increasingly sought to use not just armed struggle but political means to advance their cause. In Afghanistan, the Taliban appear inclined to accept elections and referendum as a means to capture power and rewrite the country’s constitution. In Pakistan, the success of Egyptian Islamists inspired Dr. Tahirul Qadri, the religious scholar, to end his self-imposed exile in Canada and threaten to unseat the Pakistani government through staging a Tahrir Square-like mass uprising in Islamabad in January 2013.[1] The Islamists’ current turn toward politics does not mean that they have embraced democratic principles or the rule of law. What it does indicate, however, is the Islamist movements' increasing cohesiveness, mobilization capacity, and desire to achieve power.
This paper examines the essential ideological unity of jihadist groups in Pakistan and its neighborhood. These movements include the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and the Haqqani Network, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Moreover, it examines how the forthcoming U.S. troop withdrawal has emboldened jihadist commanders, who hope to expand their Islamist struggle to a wider region, including to Kashmir, India and Bangladesh, and possibly also to the Middle East and the United States.
Jihadism’s Essential Unity
Afghan Taliban fighters work under the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) headed by Mullah Mohammad Omar. The Pakistani Taliban militants are united under the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), led by Hakimullah Mehsud. Almost all reports in the Western media describe these organizations as separate and ideologically different; and, there has been widespread expectation in Western capitals that some of them could be persuaded to work against others. In 2010 or 2011, the White House secretly contacted the Haqqani Network to convince them to hold peace talks.[2] In October 2011, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also warned of military action against the Haqqani Network in a bid to force it to negotiate.[3] When attempts for peace talks did not materialize, the U.S. sought to create a wedge between the Haqqani Network and the Mullah Omar-led IEA. The fact that Western media reports began describing the Haqqani Network as aligned with al-Qaeda and "operationally independent" of the Taliban led by Mullah Omar indicates how US policy changed.[4]
Although these groups are active in operational domains, they work for the same ideological objectives. Furthermore, they also share their resources and capabilities in planning and conducting operations. As individual movements, they work to impose Sharia rule in their respective domains, but with the expectation that their Sharia state will ultimately form part of a larger caliphate. As such, they consider themselves to be different parts of the same struggle. Generally, jihadist groups in the Middle East also consider Mullah Omar as Emir-ul-Momineen, or the leader of the faithful, leading the supposed global Islamic caliphate. Even the slain al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had offered bayah (oath of allegiance) to Mullah Omar. The TTP’s letterhead shows Mullah Omar as the Emir-ul-Momineen and Baitullah Mehsud as its founder.
In a January 2013 video, the TTP Emir Hakimullah Mehsud clarified the distinction between the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban. He responded, “As regards the Afghani Taliban, Emir-ul-Momineen is our Emir too, is Emir of the Afghan Taliban, and is Emir of al-Qaeda too.... He is Emir of all Muslims. And all praise be to Allah, we have accepted him as Emir with a true heart. There is no question of relations regarding this.”[5] He explained the Taliban's relationship with al-Qaeda: “We are waging jihad under the command of only one Emir. Similarly, al-Qaeda men are our brothers. And we are ready to offer any type of sacrifice with them. They are our muhajireen [immigrants] brothers and we are their ansar [supporters].[6]… When respected Emir Sheikh Osama bin Laden was martyred in Pakistan, our first emotion was that we will take his revenge, and we took it and we will continue to do so in future.”[7]
The IEA has published statements reiterating that the Haqqani Network is part of the Taliban. In 2011, Sirajuddin Haqqani released an audio interview to counter propaganda that his group was not functioning under Mullah Omar, stating, “The respected Emir-ul-Momineen Mullah Muhammad Omar Mujahid is our supreme leader. We follow his directives. We are representing a particular area under the umbrella of the Islamic Emirate and act accordingly. We follow directives of the shura in planning and financial matters. In such a situation, there is no question of running a separate organization, group, or entity.”[8] In mid-2012, Haqqani reiterated, “The stance of the Islamic Emirate never changes, and, we follow the Emir-ul-Momineen in the framework of Islam, without seeking status or material gain. This is enough to assure the world that our organizational affairs are completely controlled and run by the Islamic Emirate.”[9] He also told the Taliban magazine Shariat, “I am known by the name of Khalifa among mujahideen. I am the governor of Khost province in accordance with the thought, suggestion and order of Emir-ul-Momineen.”[10]
The 2009 bombing of the CIA base in Khost province is evidence of the unity of the Taliban and al-Qaeda. Abu Dajana, a triple agent who had been working for al-Qaeda as well as for the Jordanian and U.S. intelligence agencies, carried out the attack. Dajana coordinated the bombing with TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud and the Haqqani Network. Afterwards, a video appeared on the Internet in which Abu Dajana sits alongside Mehsud to record a statement before the attack.[11] A January 7, 2010 statement from al-Qaeda also noted that the CIA’s Khost base was attacked “to avenge the death of Baitullah Mehsud” in a U.S. drone attack.[12] A November 2012 Taliban video noted that Hakimullah Mehsud and Omar Al-Britani, a British militant also known as Abbas, were involved in planning the Khost attack.[13] In November 2012, a U.S. State Department statement on the Haqqani Network’s chief of suicide operations Qari Zakir noted that he was involved in the Khost attack.[14] These pieces of evidence strongly suggest that the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda were involved in the Khost attack.
The Punjab Hub
There are three formidable organizations in Pakistan that have worked both separately and together to advance the jihadist objectives: Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT a.k.a. Jamaatud Dawa or JuD), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), which also functions as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ). The LeT and JeM are focused on India, especially on liberating Kashmir, while the SSP/LeJ/ASWJ conglomerate aims to eliminate Shiism by systematically killing Shiites. All these groups enjoy some form of support from the Pakistani military intelligence.
Though these organizations have a presence in all areas of Pakistan, their respective leaderships are all based in Punjab province. Punjab has emerged as a major jihadist hub where at least 170 madrassas were involved in militant activities in 2010.[15] In southern Punjab, Pakistani intelligence reported the presence of 29 al-Qaeda-linked terror groups in 2010.[16] Like al-Qaeda and the Taliban, these groups believe that Shiites are infidels. Furthermore they share al-Qaeda's and the Taliban's objectives against America, Israel, and India.
Some other formidable groups banned by Pakistan include Harkatul Mujahideen, Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami, Hizb ut-Tahrir, and two which have been active in the Khyber region, Lashkar-e-Islam and Ansarul Islam.[17] Over the past 12 years, Pakistan has banned 48 organizations for their role in militancy and sectarianism, while in 2007 it also put the Barelvi organization Sunni Tehreek on watch.[18] Roughly speaking, about four dozen jihadist organizations are active across Pakistan, with varying capabilities in teaching and training Pakistani youth in jihadist objectives, in planning terrorism and providing a supply chain for the Taliban and al-Qaeda. The three main organizations likely to have a long-term presence in Pakistani society—Jaish-e-Muhammad, Sipah-e-Sahaba, and Lashkar-e-Taiba—are examined below.
Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) is led by Maulana Masood Azhar, a militant released by India in exchange for the passengers of a plane hijacked to Kandahar in 1999. From its headquarters in the town of Bahawalpur, JeM leads a Pakistan-wide network of organizational units managed by militant clerics. When addressing students in 2010, JeM cleric Maulana Mufti Abdur Rauf Asghar criticized secular trends in Pakistani society which teach students how to use computers and mobile phones while forgetting to teach how to use the “arrows and swords” of Islam.[19]
In a lecture available on YouTube, Azhar explains a saying of Prophet Muhammad on Ghazwa-e-Hind, the Battle of India. (Pakistani groups widely cite the prophet’s saying on Ghazwa-e-Hind.) Azhar claims that mujahideen will one day rise from India and arrive in present-day Israel to fight alongside Jesus against the non-Muslims. He explains,
The Lord the Benefactor has chosen the Muslims of Kashmir for a very big fortune/blessing. I haven’t come to tell you a lie. I cite a hadith of the Prophet [Muhammad]. The Prophet of Allah had promised to his companions that ‘a group of my Ummah will wage jihad in Hindustan [i.e. India]’.... The prophet said, ‘for the two groups of my Ummah, Allah has decreed salvation from Hell: one that will arrive alongside Jesus and will wage jihad alongside Jesus, and one [i.e. the second group] that will wage jihad in Hindustan.’[20]
In recent years, the JeM has organized lectures on the “jihadist verses” of the Quran. In 2010, operating under its charitable arm Al-Rehmat Trust, JeM organized these lessons in towns across Pakistan where clerics, including Maulana Masood Azhar, justified jihad and qital (battle). Over 13,000 people and 2,060 students took lessons in jihad.[21] These lectures were held in Karachi, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Mirpur, Sukkur, Haveli Lakha Okara, Peshawar, Wah Cantonment, Rawalpindi, Swabi, Nawabshah, Quetta, Mansehra, Bannu, Tando Allahyar, Kohat, Sargodha and Khyber Agency. The location of these towns show that JeM’s outreach has sought to encompass the length and breadth of Pakistan. According to a report, “common people participated in these meetings regularly and [were instructed in] lessons that taught translation and interpretation of more than 558 verses on jihad.”[22] The lectures on “jihadist verses” are annual events.
The JeM organized such lectures in 2011 and 2012. In 2011, it held 21 sessions. At one event, the militant cleric Maulana Talha Al-Saif eulogized Taliban leader Mullah Omar, stating, “Tell me—is it possible to separate the concept of jihad and qital and Islamic dignity when we see the life of Emir-ul-Momineen Mullah Muhammad Omar? Is it possible that the name of Maulana Muhammad Masood Azhar is called somewhere, and the very concept of jihad does not come to our minds?”[23] In 2012, JeM organized a 40-day course. A report about an event in Bahawalpur noted, “It is perhaps the incident of the Thursday night [in March or April 2012], when there was a transaction of billions of dollars in the entire world to wipe out jihad. Millions of soldiers with lethal weapons were at the borders to wipe out the Muslim Ummah. Thousands of TVs, nets, and radio channels were speaking against jihad. At that time, the Masjid Usman-o-Ali [mosque] in Bahawalpur was resounding with persuasion to jihad. There was a speech contest on the topic ‘History of Jihad.’ There were thirty-six speakers representing Sindh, Punjab, Baluchistan, NWFP [now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa], and unoccupied [Pakistani] Kashmir.”[24]
Of all Pakistan’s jihadist groups, JeM is most active in preaching jihad among students of school-going age. It regularly publishes such content on its websites—,,,—as well as in its print magazine Haftroza Al-Qalam and other booklets. It is also using mobile phones to deliver MP3 messages on jihad to youth.[25] After a decade of relative peace in Kashmir, it was reported in 2011 that JeM has revived its terror plots in India.[26]
Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan/Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
Over the past few decades, Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP) has been known for its murderous campaign against Shiite Muslims across Pakistan. Its members have been working alongside the Taliban and al-Qaeda. After the Pakistani government banned the SSP and its military arm Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), it began operating as Millat-e-Islamia Pakistan, which was subsequently also banned. Currently it operates as Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), and is headed by Maulana Ahmad Ludhianvi. The militant leaders of SSP/ASWJ have enjoyed some form of financial and political support from the provincial government of Punjab under Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
In 2011, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah admitted that the government gave financial aid to the family of LeJ commander Malik Ishaq, who is involved in scores of murders.[27] He allegedly masterminded the 2009 attack on a Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.[28] In 2010, Punjab’s liberal governor Salman Taseer was so skeptical about the government’s protection of ASWJ leaders that he asked the chief minister to make it clear whether he was in favor of or against terrorist organizations. Taseer also pointed out that Law Minister Sanaullah shared a car with the militant leader.[29] In an editorial, the Dawn newspaper slammed the Sharif government for its “ideological affinity” with militants.[30] Under the Sharif government, the SSP/ASWJ fighters burned Christian localities in Gojra and Lahore and killed Christians and Ahmadi and Shiite Muslims in scores after implicating them on fake blasphemy charges.[31]
More recently, SSP militants have engaged in pulling passengers from buses, checking their identity cards to verify their Shiism, and then shooting them dead. SSP has also targeted and beheaded prominent Shiite Pakistanis and bombed Shiite congregations. In August 2012, at least 20 Shiite Muslims were pulled out of a bus at Babusar Top, 100 kilometers from Islamabad, and killed.[32] Earlier that year, on February 28, 18 Shiite Muslims were pulled out of a bus and shot dead on the Karakoram Highway in Mansehra district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province,[33] while on April 3 another nine Shiites were dragged out of a bus by a mob and killed in Chilas, near Gilgit.[34] On February 16, 2013, a bomb ripped through a Shiite Hazara neighborhood of Quetta, killing over 80 people.[35] The attack was claimed by Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.[36] Fears are now emerging that the Islamist killers of minorities in Pakistan are aspiring to commit genocide.[37]
In March 2013, Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik stated that the LeJ is involved in attacks “throughout the country” and is using Punjab as a hideout.[38] A review of the social media accounts of the SSP/LeJ indicates that though the SSP is banned, it holds regular events and elections in Pakistani towns to elect leaders. A review of the movement’s publications via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube and other websites reveals that it is inculcating among Sunni youth hateful doctrinal interpretations such as, “The Shiite is a nasl [race/offspring] of Jews”; “The Sipah-e-Sahaba calls the Shiite a bigger infidel than the Jew”; “Shiites are the killers of Sunnis”; “Sunnis, have respect; end friendship with Shiites.”[39] In 2013, the SSP/LeJ combine appears more powerful in its countrywide presence than the TTP. In March 2013, it took a giant step by publishing an English-language magazine, endorsing al-Qaeda’s jihad and revealing its intent to take its fight globally.[40]
Lashkar-e-Taiba/Jamaatud Dawa
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is a fearsome jihadist organization founded by Hafiz Muhammad Saeed. The movement’s members are located in Afghanistan, India, Iraq and the United States. Following a Pakistani government ban, LeT renamed itself as Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) to work as a charity. The LeT and JuD were banned by the UN Security Council after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. After the ban, the group emerged as the Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation (FIF). However, the cadres and leaders of these organizations use the JuD flag. The FIF, too, was designated as a terrorist organization in 2010 by the United States.[41] Hafiz Saeed, along with several other militant commanders, is wanted by India.[42]
Following the UN Security Council ban, the Pakistani government came under international pressure and shut down the group’s websites and publications. However, the group began using Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The JuD launched a website in mid-2012, releasing a video in which Hafiz Saeed observed, “Media is a two-sided sword. Instead of it having an impact on us, we want to use it in an effective way. Allah willing, [we] want to convey our message of Dawah [Invitation to Islam] and jihad to the people through it....”[43]
The LeT/JuD/FIF conglomerate has organizational units across Pakistan. In recent years, it has used every opportunity to preach jihad, including at flood relief camps. In August 2010, Rajiv Shah, the chief of the U.S. Agency for International Development, visited one such relief camp and sparked a controversy.[44] At another relief camp in 2011, Saeed stated, “The Pakistani press has aligned itself with foreign intelligence agencies and is promoting anti-jihad sentiments among the youth of this country… Jihad is the only chance for Pakistan’s survival.”[45]
Hafiz Saeed is an ideologue of jihad, and carries a U.S. reward of $10 million for anyone who could provide information leading to his prosecution. In speeches and articles, he has warned India, “One Mumbai [terror attack of 2008 is] not enough”; “Jihad is the only option left, as India will never let go of Kashmir”; “Islam is a religion of peace and security, jihad in the path of Allah is an important part of it.”[46] In 2011, Jamaatud Dawa leaders addressing a rally in Lahore demanded that the Pakistani government establish a “ministry of jihad” and offered that the “budget for the ministry of jihad will be provided by Jamaatud Dawa,” which “will provide one million trained fighters.”[47] Of all the groups, LeT/JuD enjoys the most comprehensive support of the Pakistani military.
The Next Decade
Despite 12 years of the U.S.-led war against terrorism, the jihadist organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan remain intact, with their organizational and leadership capabilities flourishing. Ahead of the U.S. withdrawal in 2014, these groups sense a new opportunity, viewing the exit as America’s defeat. The strengthening of jihadist organizations creates not only a dangerous long-term situation for Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also expands the jihadist threat for Kashmir, India and Bangladesh.
Recently, two leading jihadist commanders have re-emerged after a decade of hiding, possibly at the behest of the Pakistani military’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). In March 2013, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, chief of Al-Umar Mujahideen and one of the three militants released by India in the 1999 Kandahar hijacking case, emerged from a decade of hiding. In an interview, Zargar indicated U.S. troop withdrawal was a source of inspiration, stating that, “India must remember that the U.S. has been defeated in Afghanistan. It’s a success for Al-Umar Mujahideen, too. In four months’ time, India will see what we are capable of.... We have been going wherever Muslims face oppression, and we will continue to go there. We are fighting in the name of Allah. After Kashmir, we will fight in Chechnya and Palestine.”[48] He also noted, “We still run [terror] training centers on both sides of the LoC [Line of Control that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan]. Nothing has changed on the ground.”[49]
On March 23, 2010, Abdul Wahid Kashmiri, who took over as the Lashkar-e-Taiba chief from Hafiz Saeed after it was banned in 2002, emerged from nearly a decade of hiding, addressing a rally with jihadist commander Syed Salahuddin at Kotli in Pakistani Kashmir. These militant commanders cannot be operating above ground without the ISI’s support. At the rally, Wahid Kashmiri warned of a global fight: “It is the right of mujahideen to fight the invaders and oppressors across the world. The mujahideen who are fighting the occupation forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Kashmir are fully justified in doing so under religious obligations... The secret of success and freedom from the oppressor lies in jihad and not at the negotiating tables.”[50]
In all likelihood, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar will focus his energy on Kashmir and India, with support from like-minded organizations such as the LeT, the JeM and the ISI. Abdul Wahid Kashmiri and Syed Salahuddin, the Supreme Commander of Kashmir-focused Hizbul Mujahideen, are likely to work together with Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar, Hafiz Saeed and Maulana Masood Azhar. Sheikh Jamilur Rehman, the Emir of Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen, warned in November 2012, “The day the U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan, India must leave Kashmir in humiliation.”[51] Syed Salahuddin advocates jihad against America, stating explicitly, “In the prevailing situation, jihad has become mandatory for every Muslim. Political and religious parties of Pakistan should jointly launch jihad against the U.S.”[52] All these jihadist organizations have survived because the Pakistani military chooses to fight against some militants, like some TTP commanders and al-Qaeda’s Arab fighters, while allowing others like the LeT/JuD, JeM and the SSP/LeJ to operate freely.
While the SSP has retained its focus on killing Shiites, in March 2013, it revealed its intention to wage global jihad by launching an English-language magazine, Al-Rashideen, for an international audience. In an editorial, it indicated that the magazine is also intended for youth in the West whose first language is English, noting, “We present you this first issue of Al-Rashideen. We hope this to be a platform where relevant issues facing the Ummah are studied/analyzed upon by students of colleges and universities, and Muslim youngsters whose first or second language is English.”[53] In endorsing al-Qaeda’s global jihad, it stated, “[The] only good news... is the rise of the mujahideen movements and their resilience and courage to move on despite heavy odds. And what is driving them? One reason is the spirit of jihad and shahadat [martyrdom] which is expressly present [and permitted] in the Koran and Sunnah [deeds and sayings of Prophet Muhammad].”[54] In 2013, the group’s leader, Maulana Muhammad Ahmad Ludhianvi, was contesting parliamentary elections for two seats in Jhang, an SSP stronghold.[55]
The three movements—LeT/JuD, the SSP/LeJ and JeM—have acquired a permanent presence in Pakistani society through their countrywide networks and organizational units. It is difficult to imagine how the Pakistani state will have the capacity or the will to curb these three groups anytime soon. Indeed, there are now fears that these groups could join hands and eventually come to influence the Pakistani state the way Hizbollah and Hamas have done so respectively in Lebanon and Gaza. Speaking about the long-term role of Lashkar-e-Taiba, U.S. National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper told a March 12, 2013 hearing of the U.S. Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence that the LeT “will continue to be the most multifaceted and problematic of the Pakistani militant groups. The group has the long-term potential to evolve into a permanent and even HAMAS/Hizballah-like presence in Pakistan.”[56]
Speaking about the U.S. troop withdrawal and the Arab Spring, Hafiz Saeed spoke about post-2014: “As the U.S. flees Iraq and Afghanistan, we will get Kashmir…If people took to the streets as they did in Egypt, the governments in India and Pakistan too would have to go.”[57] At a rally in Lahore, he also warned of a global jihad against America, stating, “Atomic Pakistan will shine on the map of the world, Allah willing, and those who try to wipe Pakistan out will be wiped out.”[58]
In a January 2013 video, TTP Emir Hakimullah Mehsud spoke about the Taliban’s post-2014 objectives: “I would like to say that in 2014 when the American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, after that, Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid, who is our Emir, who is our Emir today and [will take over Afghanistan and] will be our Emir in future too…. Whatever will be the policy of Emir-ul-Momineen Mullah Mohammad Omar Mujahid, we will pursue that policy. Even today, we support his policies, and even after that [i.e., after 2014] his policy will be our policy….”[59] In a sign of global jihadist ambitions, Mehsud also described the TTP as an international organization in the same video.[60] In January 2013, Mehsud and his deputy Maulana Waliur Rehman appeared on another jihadist video and vowed to fight for enforcing a Sharia-based system in India and in Kashmir.[61] The TTP and al-Qaeda have also warned of a jihadist response to the killings of Muslim minorities in Myanmar and in Assam, India.[62] For example, in 2012, Ustad Ahmad Farooq, the chief of al-Qaeda's Media and Preaching Department for Pakistan, warned New Delhi that:
after [the killings of Muslims in] Kashmir, Gujarat, and Ahmadabad [also in Gujarat], if you wish you may add to the long list of your evil deeds Assam as well, but don't forget that taking revenge for every single oppressed Muslim living under your subjugation is a trust on our shoulders. These arrogant actions of yours only provide impetus for us to hasten our advance towards Delhi.[63]
He added:
I would like to request the scholars and people of Bangladesh to step forward and help the oppressed Muslims living in their neighborhood and increase pressure on their heedless government to open its borders for Burmese Muslims and stop its oppressive actions that only make life more difficult for the oppressed Muslims of Burma and Assam.[64]
More recently, a Pakistani official confirmed the Taliban's growing international reach, noting that the TTP has successfully recruited fighters from as far as Fiji.[65] In 2012, after the shootings in Toulouse, France by Mohamed Merah, there were also reports of white jihadists receiving training in Miranshah, Mir Ali and the Datta Khel areas of North Waziristan.[66]
The TTP has a demonstrated ability to orchestrate attacks in the United States: it was the organization which had recruited and financed the activities of Faisal Shahzad, who perpetrated the failed bombing on May 1, 2010 in New York’s Times Square. Evidently, the attack was planned to coincide with a video statement of TTP Emir Hakimullah Mehsud in a bid to rebut Western media reports at the time that he had been killed in a drone strike in Pakistan.[67] In his January 2013 video, Hakimullah Mehsud pledged to send fighters to the Arab Spring countries, stating, “we are ready for every type of assistance so that the democratic and secular system [in Arab nations] comes to an end; the kufri [infidel] system ends, and an Islamic system is established.”[68] Locally, the TTP and non-Taliban militant group Lashkar-e-Islam (LeI) united in April 2013, appointing LeI chief Mangal Bagh as their joint head for Khyber Agency.[69] In 2012, Tehreek-e-Taliban Punjab—a mixture of Harkat ul-Jihad al-Islami, JeM and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen—vowed to re-launch the Kashmir jihad.[70] The TTP also works alongside the anti-People’s Republic of China East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM).[71]
While the TTP is positioning for a global fight, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) is focused on capturing power in Afghanistan in 2014. In 2011, an identified Pakistani security official, speaking about the strength of the IEA’s Haqqani Network, stated, “There are no signs of it getting weaker. In fact, its strength is growing.” The group has “between 15,000 and 25,000” fighters and sympathizers.[72] The Western assessments in 2010 indicated that the Afghan Taliban constitute about 20,000-30,000 fighters, with 10 percent loss of fighters in U.S. military operations.[73] In April 2012, Indian media reported that the Haqqani Network has 4,000 hardcore fighters.[74] After IEA, the second largest militant group in Afghanistan is Hizb-e-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who has sought to capture power both through negotiations and fighting while working alongside the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
Ahead of the U.S. exit, the IEA has begun describing Afghanistan as an Islamic Emirate. Key militant organizations have held talks to agree on a power-sharing deal in 2014. According to the Urdu daily Roznama Ummat, Taliban commander Sirajuddin Haqqani and Kashmir Khan, representing Hekmatyar, attended a conference somewhere in Afghanistan in mid-2011.[75] Some points agreed upon included the following: permanent U.S. military bases in Afghanistan are unacceptable and jihadist organizations will boycott talks and increase resistance if the United States insists on maintaining bases; jihadist groups reject the U.S. offers of excluding Mullah Omar or Jalaluddin Haqqani from a future setup in Kabul; all Afghan militias will be abandoned; all NGOs and those preaching Christianity will be banned; all foreign security agencies will be banned; local people will be involved in the formation of government; and neighboring countries will be asked to stop interference in Afghanistan.[76]
Over the next decade, the Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh-based branches of Hizb ut-Tahrir—which works to establish the Islamic caliphate—will pose a unique threat. In South Asia, the movement advocates for jihad in Kashmir, stating, “Kashmir can only be liberated through organized jihad.”[77] Despite the ban on the movement, it has held public rallies in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Hizb ut-Tahrir is ideologically similar to the Taliban, the Punjab-based jihadist organizations and al-Qaeda, although there are clear differences among these groups on matters of tactics. It is difficult to assess the size of Hizb ut-Tahrir's membership; its small events and reliance on press statements indicate that its members number in the hundreds, not thousands. Nonetheless, Hizb ut-Tahrir specializes in recruiting military officers with the goal of launching a revolutionary coup and imposing Islamic rule. Its members have been arrested in Bangladesh for plotting military coups.[78] Recently, top Pakistani military officers have been arrested for their links with Hizb ut-Tahrir.[79] In recent years, al-Qaeda, too, has penetrated the Pakistani military, with some ex-officers working for al-Qaeda while some jihadist organizations in Pakistan are working as extensions of the Pakistani military.[80]
The general strengthening of jihadism in South Asia ahead of the 2014 NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan combined with the prospect of Islamist groups using elections and referendums to capture power in Kabul are now working in favor of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Over the next decade, these trends and the Taliban’s potential success will also strengthen Pakistan-based Islamist movements. After 2014, the above-discussed jihadist organizations will be left with substantial organizational capabilities to conduct attacks and, more importantly, with the strength and prestige to influence populations across the region. Inspired by the Arab Spring, these movements have increasingly looked to political means to capture power and impose an Islamist order. Taken together, these trends will have far-reaching implications for the South Asian Islamist landscape. Mainstream religious organizations such as the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan are known for their ideological sympathies for the Taliban and al-Qaeda. In the past, however, the Jamaat-e-Islami has been opposed to the encroachment of such armed jihadist organizations because the latter’s reliance on violence has threatened to destroy Pakistan itself. For the nationalistic Jamaat-e-Islami, such an outcome would not be acceptable. However, if the aforementioned jihadist movements were to cease violence even as a tactic and commit to politics, nationalist groups like Jamaat-e-Islami will mostly welcome such a move, and especially if a coalition among them would generate greater political power for Islamists. In coming years, if the LeT, JeM, SSP and the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan were to join hands for an electoral bid, they could likely acquire the tacit support of the TTP, and Pakistan could well emerge as a jihadist state and transform the face of South Asia. Such a development would be in keeping with the popular Islamist narrative holding that Pakistan will become the “Madina-e-Saani”—or the “Second Madina,” after the first Islamic State founded by the Prophet Muhammad.
During 2007-2008, British diplomats made the first attempts for talks with the Taliban through the mediation of Saudi Arabia. After the Taliban captured U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl in 2009, a series of contacts between the Afghan Taliban and the United States began, with a political office being set up in Qatar. However, the Taliban saw the contacts as tactical moves that offered them diplomatic and political legitimacy. They described the talks first as contacts for the exchange of Bergdahl with Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, and later called them a diplomatic front in addition to the Taliban’s military front.[81] At times, the United States appeared willing to hand over three Afghan provinces to the Haqqanis for a peace agreement.[82]
Toward the end of 2012, it appeared that the Taliban would consider participating in elections under an interim government in Kabul in 2014 if such a government setup were to result from the talks involving the Taliban, the U.S., the Karzai government, and Hizb-e-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. At a December 20-21, 2012 conference in Chantilly, near Paris, the Taliban adopted some positions that appeared to have been influenced by the electoral success of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Taliban representatives Mawlawi Shahabuddin Dilawar and Dr. Muhammad Naeem gave a presentation indicating that Mullah Omar does not intend to monopolize power, and, that Afghanistan's constitution should be Islam-compliant and should receive the approval of the people, possibly through a referendum.[83] In March 2013, Mullah Agha Jan Mutasim, a confidant of Mullah Omar, said the Taliban may launch a political party, adding, “The Taliban leaders whose names have been removed from the U.N. black list will play an important role in the political process.”[84] Sensing that a political vacuum could emerge in 2014, some anti-Karzai politicians are also maneuvering for talks with the Taliban.[85] Pakistan, too, has freed over two-dozen Taliban prisoners believing that this will strengthen Islamabad's influence in Kabul.[86]
Taking a cue from the Afghan Taliban, the TTP was reportedly in contact with Pakistani officials throughout 2011, although these contacts produced little or were intended as tactical moves.[87] Ahead of the May 2013 elections in Pakistan, however, the TTP and some Pakistani leaders were more inclined to negotiate. In December 2012, the TTP offered a conditional ceasefire provided Pakistan re-wrote its constitution to make it more Islamic and ceased its role in the war on terror.[88] In all likelihood, the Islamist victories in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring influenced the Taliban’s new willingness to negotiate. At the same time, their primary objective is not entering into a democratic political process, but the imposition of Sharia rule. TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan noted that “a few clauses” do not make the Pakistani constitution Islamic.[89] Afghan Taliban, too, adopted a similar stance. Syed Muhammad Akbar Agha, the chief of Jaish-ul-Muslimeen, a faction of the Afghan Taliban, said in February 2013 that the Taliban’s demand for enforcement of Sharia rule in Afghanistan is “non-negotiable.”[90] In the jihadist reckoning, referendums and elections are merely a means to capture power to impose Islamist rule. This quintessentially Islamist understanding of elections and democracy as a means and tactic to capture power in order to impose Islamic rule was best articulated by Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey, when he stated: "Democracy [is] a train from which you get off once you reach the station.[91]
Over the next decade, jihadism’s prospects in South Asia will be shaped to a large extent by the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) that backs them. The ISI's role in creating and nurturing jihadism in South Asia was irrefutably made clear by Adnan Rasheed, a former Pakistan Air Force commando and now a top-ranking Taliban commander, in a May 2013 interview with the Taliban magazine Azan. Rasheed had been imprisoned following an assassination attempt on Pakistani military ruler General Pervez Musharraf; however, Taliban militants freed him in a daring jailbreak in April 2012. In the interview, Rasheed described how he came to the realization that the terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad was a sub-unit of ISI. As he stated: “[It] was revealed to me that neither [JeM chief] Masood Azhar nor [militant commander] Haji Abul Jabbar was officially appointed Emir for Pakistan [by Mullah Omar, as Adnan Rasheed was led to believe while in the PAF]; they were working under the ISI. So, I went to my Emir of Idara[t-ul-Pakistan, a jihadi unit in PAF], Dr. Y and told him that, 'Brother, we are wronged! There is no difference between us and Jaish-e-Muhammad. We are soldiers in uniform and they are soldiers without uniform. How strange it is that we follow them and they take instruction from our institutions – the ISI!"[92]
Jihadism's appeal runs deep in the Pakistan military. The Afghan jihad of the 1980's , the Kashmir jihad of the 1990's, and the jihad of the post-9/11 era have all had an immeasurable impact on recruitment into the Pakistani military. In the wake of the anti-Soviet war, anti-Western Pakistani sentiment rose to its zenith. Many of the soldiers recruited during these past three decades were exposed to and deeply influenced by jihadist ideology. Their continued rise to senior positions in the military will likely strengthen the hands of already serving pro-jihadist officers wield considerable influence on the country's foreign policies.[93]
The ISI has demonstrated that it is unwilling to repeal its support for jihadist organizations; in fact, in 2010 when U.S. drones began targeting the Haqqani Network in North Waziristan, the ISI shifted the network to a new base of operations.[94] Almost all leading Pakistani newspapers have called for holding the ISI accountable for terrorist activities in the region.[95] The ISI regards itself as the guardian of the Islamic State of Pakistan. As a result, in the next decade, it is unlikely that the ISI, will either stop supporting jihadism or obstructing the efforts of Pakistani officials from fostering good ties with India. The machinations of the ISI and pervasiveness of political Islamism that will inevitably follow will prove to be an enormous obstacle to prosperity and democracy in Pakistan. ... n-pakistan

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby SSridhar » 26 Aug 2013 17:22

Tehreek-e-Taliban Split - Edit in DT
In an interesting development, fissures, if not a split, have
opened up within the ranks of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Ismatullah Muaviya, head of the TTP Punjab, has been removed for welcoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s offer of dialogue with the militants in his address to the country the other day. The TTP spokesman, Shahidullah Shahid (the replacement for dismissed spokesman Ihsanullah Ehsan) said Hakeemullah Mehsud, the overall chief of the TTP, had chaired a meeting of the TTP’s decision making top body where it was agreed to not only remove Muaviya but also declare he had nothing further to do with the TTP, notwithstanding the respect he was held in. The TTP spokesman went into a detailed response to the prime minister’s offer, saying Nawaz Sharif was talking about talks and the use of force in the same breath. Therefore the TTP had rejected the talks offer and Muaviya had made the statement of support without a mandate from the TTP leadership. In response, Muaviya hit back by saying the TTP under Hakeemullah had no authority to dismiss him as the Punjabi Taliban (Muaviya’s faction) were independent and had their own decision making shura. An unnamed security official weighed into the controversy by arguing that at a tactical and ground level, the ‘split’ would not make any difference since the two groups operate autonomously. Others are categorizing the split as giving birth to two factions: the TTP Tribals (Hakeemullah and the TTP largely based in FATA, especially North Waziristan) and the TTP Punjab. This is apparently the latest in a series of differences between Hakeemullah and Muaviya, the latter being castigated by the former’s faction with not carrying out instructions to mount attacks in his home base Punjab. Muaviya is described as a pragmatist, inclined to use both force and dialogue to attain his aims. He comes from a background of being part of Jaish-e-Mohammad, which he quit and formed his own group Janude Hafsa, suspected of being behind the killing of foreign mountain climbers at the foot of Nanga Parbat in June this year. He spent time in North Waziristan, where he shifted along with his group after the Jamia Hafsa episode in Islamabad in July 2007. The same unnamed security official quoted above says the two groups only share North Waziristan as an operating base, otherwise they have always been independent of each other.

While it is tempting to celebrate any sign of dissidence or a falling out amongst the plethora of terrorist groups assailing state and society, perhaps too much should not be read into it as the TTP has never been more than an umbrella group to which various factions owe only nominal allegiance. This certainly seems to be the case in the Punjabi Taliban’s falling out with Hakeemullah’s faction. While the security official may be right that this will make little difference at the operational level, it is nevertheless a welcome political development since any such splits are to the advantage of the state. The Hakeemullah TTP has not only underlined the ‘expulsion’ of Muaviya, it has even gone so far as to assert that it had lost trust in the Jamaat-e-Islami’s Munawar Hassan and the JUI-F’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman since it now regards both as part of the government. So if the hardcore body of the TTP is splitting along ‘regional’ lines, and the hardliners are losing faith in the ‘moderate’ mainstream religious parties that are seen as the ‘soft’ face of the jihadi ‘family’, surely this is all to the good. Nevertheless, there is little room for complacency while concern continues on the seeming confusion within the ranks of the government on its approach to the terrorists. While Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was subtler in offering both talks and the threat of force against the terrorists, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali, still fresh from wounds suffered during the Islamabad ‘siege’, says only dialogue is being contemplated by the government. Whether this is a tactical position to give dialogue a chance or actual strategic belief, only time will tell. In the meantime, such mixed signals from the top leadership of the government suggest there is still some way to go before the politicians in power speak with the same voice, let alone laying to rest (as Chaudhry Nisar tried to do) concerns over the military being in agreement with the government on the strategy against the terrorists. The government and the military need to clear the air and operationalise their plans before the confusion becomes worse confounded. Much precious time has already been lost. The country cannot afford more procrastination. The national security policy and its implementation on the ground should be the government and the military’s top priority. *

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby anupmisra » 26 Aug 2013 20:04

SSridhar wrote:Tehreek-e-Taliban Split - Edit in DT
Ismatullah Muaviya, head of the TTP Punjab, has been removed for welcoming Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s offer of dialogue with the militants in his address to the country the other day. [/b]

Since no one speaks out of turn in the pakiban, in my opinion, this is a crude tactic by TTP to create a seemingly "moderate" paki-taliban, keep an arms length distance from the "peace discussions" between the "moderate" faction and Sharif's government, protect PA/ISI involvement, and decide if they want to be part of the future peace agreement (if it suits their long term strategy) or stay away from it. I have my reservations on Sharif and his agenda. This surely must score brownie points with the western capitals.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby Paul » 01 Dec 2013 14:33

Mullah Fazlullah is the new emir of the Mehsud faction of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). He is an unexpected choice, but no one seems to have adverted to it. Many have said Fazlullah is more cruel than his predecessor Hakimullah Mehsud. I am not sure how one can decide that. He might be more anti-Pakistan is all I can say. But his selection is extremely surprising.

For a Pashtun clan to accept a leader from another is unusual in itself, but this isn’t all. Fazlullah is a Yousafzai and the TTP faction he is leading consists almost entirely of Mehsuds. In the hierarchy of Pashtun clans, Yousafzais are considered far superior than Mehsuds. For the Mehsuds to accept someone from a superior clan as their leader is even more unusual.

Of all the Pashtun factions of the TTP, the one Mullah Omar is least inclined to consider patronizing is Fazlullah’s
And there is more. All factions of the TTP acknowledge Mullah Omar as their emir. Mullah Omar, however, has frequently distanced himself from the TTP and expressed his opposition to the group’s rivalry towards the Pakistani state. It might also be worth recalling that Mullah Omar’s efforts to persuade this faction to release Sultan Amir Tarar, known by his pseudonym Colonel Imam, met with failure. Of all the Pashtun factions of the TTP, the one Mullah Omar is least inclined to consider patronizing is Fazlullah’s.

Since his ouster from Swat in 2009, Fazlullah has been in the Afghan province of Kunar, ostensibly hosted by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. But Hekmatyar is the only declared rival of Mullah Omar from among the survivors of the anti-Soviet war. His following has been reduced to a mere 1,500, and he survives courtesy the Afghan National Army.

For the record, Kunar, where Hekmatyar is based and where all TTP escapees to Afghanistan find succor, has never been targeted by drone strikes, except twice in quick succession in August last year. These strikes took place in response to Pakistan’s outcry following the massacre at Salala. The US claimed to have killed Mullah Dadullah, the number two to Maulvi Faqir, who led the Mohmand faction of the TTP until his capture this year.

We now have a jigsaw puzzle in which none of the pieces fit. Are we missing something? Could the US have gained substantial influence over the Mehsud TTP? If this is a possibility, then the pieces begin to fit – the killing of Mullah Nazir in a drone attack late last year, Maulvi Faqir’s capture, Latif Mehsud’s capture, which led the US drone attack that killed Hakimullah, and the appointment of Fazlullah as his successor.

Fazlullah is staunchly anti-Pakistan, but far more malleable when it comes to his commitment to the Al Qaeda worldview. He is also certainly far more acceptable to the Karzai regime in Afghanistan and, if the TTP has been ‘persuaded’, is likely to be far more acceptable to the US.

The recent killing of Nasiruddin Haqqani in Islamabad and the first ever drone strike in the settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to target Haqqani militants also appear to fit this puzzle.

While the US has long been urging Pakistan to launch a military operation in North Waziristan to target the Wazir faction of the TTP, which hosts the Haqqanis, Pakistan has resisted the move. The Haqqanis belong to the Zadran tribe in Afghanistan, which is considered the parent tribe of the Wazirs in Pakistan.

On the other hand, despite being neighbors, there is little love lost between the Mehsud and the Wazir, even less between Fazlullah and the Wazirs and the Haqqanis. With Hakimullah’s death, has the Mehsud TTP begun providing information to the US against the Wazirs and the Haqqanis?

If yes, it would be fair to conclude that the Wazirs and the Haqqanis are aware of the truth and hold no grudge against the Pakistani state.

If Pakistan is a party to this deal between the Mehsud TTP and the US, that may have its own ramifications. But if it is not, Pakistan might have lost its ace of spades in Afghanistan.

Per this report Hekmatyar's power is s hade of what it was during Zia's time. If he being supported by ANA does that mean he with Karzai?

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 02 Dec 2013 08:24

Paul, Do a Venn diagram of the above post.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby Paul » 02 Dec 2013 10:17

Looks like Hekmatyar + TTP + ANA + Karzai on one side and Afghan Taliban + ISI + Mullah Omar + Haqqanis on other side. Mullah Omar has pull on both sides but Omar has strings that can be pulled by Pakis.

Karzai should start supporting the TTP covertly if not overtly. Hekmatyar is a gone case by now. He must be at least 65+. US should support ANA but is being set up to take on TTP by ISI.

Ethic chain is other side to be looked into.
Last edited by Paul on 02 Dec 2013 10:31, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby Paul » 02 Dec 2013 10:20

Mehsuds have taken up the mantle for Pakhtuns in Pakistan. This means they are taking the brunt of the drone strikes ( US should stop targetting Mehsuds and target Wazirs).

In short looking at this puzzle in ethnic terms Bad Taliban ( Real TTP) = Mehsud. In afghanistan Taliban = Ghilzai, Pakiban = TTP ( Mehsud tribe/Bad Taliban) + Punjabi Taliban.

In ethnic terms

Mehsud TTP + US against Wazir TTP (Fake TTP/ Good taliban as referred in Pakistan) + Haqqanis + ISI

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 02 Dec 2013 21:39

paul What about the wikileaks on how uncle is funding militants inside TSP to take on elements opposed to it inside Afghanistan?

Also in BRFspeak TTP is the good Taliban as they take on TSPA.

No need to adopt the contrary lingo.

I like this reduction:

In Afghanistan Taliban = Ghilzai, Pakiban = TTP ( Mehsud tribe/Bad Taliban) + Punjabi Taliban.

Where do the sarkari terrorists like Hafiz Saeed et al fit in the Pakiban?

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby SSridhar » 03 Dec 2013 17:22

Let me throw in my 2¢ on the Kunar issue.

Kunar in Afghanistan is as confusing a province as the rest of the badlands in adjoining FATA in Pakistan. Kunar straddles both Bajaur and Mohmand agencies in FATA. Kunar is also, un-surprisingly, a Shi'a genocide field. Kunar provides easy ingress & egress into & from Afghanistan and for this reason, the Haqqanis entered into an agreement with the Kunar Shi'a about two years back.

LeT has a strong presence in Kunar, Bajaur and Mohmand. In fact, LeT was founded in 1991 in Kunar. There is a significant presence of Ahl-e-hadees in Kunar, Bajaur and Mohmand. There is therefore no surprise in LeT being active here.

Hekmatyar's Hizb-e-Islami operates from Mohmand, Bajaur, Kunar & Nuristan provinces. Late March, 2010 reports also appeared of Karzai meeting with representatives of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e-Islami, a group which Pakistan seemed to have started to favour once again. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar has been strong in the East and the North of Afghanistan. The Karzai Government_Hekmatyar Representative meeting followed an incident of violence between the Hezb-e-Islami and the Taliban a month earlier in the northern province of Baghlan where the Afghan National Army came to the Hizb’s rescue. Simultaneously, the Hizb also announced a meeting with the UN delegation. It is significant to note that in an August, 2009 interview to CNN, Hekmatyar promised to help the US if the ISAF announced a timeframe for withdrawal. On May, 21, 2010, the Maldives government spokesman announced that representatives of Hizb-e-Islami and the Karzai government were holding talks there, which was confirmed by Humayun Jareir, a prominent member of Hizb-i-Islami and Hekmatyar's son-in-law. He further said that the meeting was to bring together people who were influential in both Afghanistan's government and insurgent groups to try to come up with ideas for a peaceful resolution in Afghanistan.

I believe that the Pakistani Army has learnt a lesson from their previous support to the Taliban. They created them to overcome the fractious Afghan mujahideen and warlords and they expected to control them easily. They never created a counter-balance just in case the Taliban over grew their shoes which they eventually did. So, this time around, they are propping up Hekmatyar. In any case, Hekmatyar has been a deep blue eyed baby of the Pakistani Army. The Americans would also prefer it this way so as to show the Taliban that they cannot runaway with their demands because there are counter forces. This is my assessment of the Hekmatyar issue.

However, Hekmatyar is a snake that Karzai must beware.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby Paul » 16 Feb 2014 13:39 ... kness.html

Saturday, 15 February 2014 | Ashok Behuria | in Oped

For fear of upsetting the TTP, the Nawaz Government has muted its precondition of holding talks within the limits of the Pakistani Constitution. Consequently, the TTP is seeking logical culmination of the process of Islamisation, which has gained legitimacy in Pakistan over the years

“Offers of peace by the weaker party always mean confession of weakness, and an invitation to aggression” — Jinnah

In the last decade, starting with 2004, the Government of Pakistan has made about 10 peace overtures to various militant groups operating in the tribal borderlands of north-western Pakistan. Earlier known as Pakistani Taliban, these amorphous groups came together in December 2007 to form what is now known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, popularly known in its acronymic form as the TTP.

The latest round of negotiations underway at the moment is being touted as the last-ditch attempt by the Nawaz Sharif Government to reconcile the TTP with the Pakistani State. Media reports from Pakistan suggest that Nawaz changed his mind at the last minute on January 29, 2014, and invited the TTP yet another time for a dialogue, despite the fact that the same day the TTP had attacked paramilitary forces in Karachi, and only two days earlier, parliamentarians of his party had okayed the decision to launch an operation against the TTP!

The unhappy background

A brief overview of the events and circumstances which led to the present state is in order here. Earlier in September 2013, closely following the endorsement by All Party Conference to hold dialogue with the TTP, the latter carried out an IED attack on Major General Sanaullah Khan’s vehicle in Upper Dir, vitiating the atmosphere for talks. The army’s retaliation in the subsequent days to avenge Sanaullah’s death, along with the killing of TTP chief Hakeemullah Mehsud in a drone attack on November 1, 2013, further worsened the situation.

When the TTP chose the hardliner Fazlullah or Mullah Radio, as its leader, to succeed Hakeemullah, and there was a sudden upswing in militant attacks on the security forces, the talks looked almost impossible. With former Army chief Kayani in office till late November 2013, the Nawaz Government found it difficult to push for dialogue. Only after a change in the leadership in the army, with his own pick as the chief, Nawaz possibly found some legroom to try out yet another time if he could defuse the TTP through dialogue. As a sympathiser of the right-wing politics himself, perhaps, he wanted to exhaust all chances before giving the green signal to the army to go ahead.

How the gamble is playing out

In response to the Nawaz Government’s formation of a four-member committee to carry the process forward, the TTP was quick to announce the formation of two different groups to mediate on its behalf. It formed a nine-member TTP shura, consisting of its underground leaders, to monitor the talks, and a three-member team of negotiators (originally five, including Imran Khan and Mufti Kifayatullah) to conduct dialogue with the Government-appointed committee.

Comprising Prof Mohammad Ibrahim of Jamaat-e-Islami, Maulana Samiul Haq, leader of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), and Maulana Abdul Aziz, prayer leader of Lal Masjid, the TTP team has, after talks with the nine-member TTP shura, come out with its 15-point demands, which basically rephrase TTP’s earlier demands — rule of Sharia in Pakistan, release of TTP militants, stoppage of drone attacks, pull-out of government troops and handover security to local forces, initiation of Islamic jurisprudence and Islamic education, snapping of relationship with the US, etc.

The threat and the bargain

Maulana Abdul Aziz, more than the other two of his colleagues, has proved the TTP right for having chosen himself as its representative. He has indicated that the government must remove its precondition of talks within the confines of the Pakistani Constitution, and has indirectly threatened the government with more suicide attacks if the demands are not met. After his return from North Waziristan, he told the media that if talks were to fail, the TTP would ready 500 female suicide bombers to unleash on security forces.

Shahidullah Shahid, spokesperson of the TTP, has even gone further in a recent interview, and stated that the TTP would be happy with Fazlullah as the head of Pakistan State and Mullah Umar as the head of the Islamic Ummah or the Amir-ul-Momineen. He has also clearly stated that the Army of Pakistan is the principal enemy of the TTP and unless the government declared ceasefire first, the TTP would continue with its attacks — which are perfectly justified because they were in a state of war. His spirited defence of TTP ideology, enthusiastic presentation of facts, and continuation of attacks by the TTP suggest that the TTP considers Nawaz’s offer of dialogue as a confession of his government’s weakness.

The TTP, by seizing the opportunity thrown at them by Nawaz, has put the government in a tight spot. For fear of upsetting the TTP, the government has of late been rather muted on its precondition of holding talks within the limits of the Pakistani Constitution. The TTP is clearly leading the show and dictating the terms of discourse while the State appears dumb and undone. In a way, the TTP is seeking logical culmination of the process of Islamisation, which has gained legitimacy in Pakistan over the years.

Predilection of the State: Victim of its own strategy

What explains the lack of timber in the State’s approach? It is the progressive concessions the State has made to the radical elements, especially since the 1980s, when conscious decision was taken by the military establishment to promote this constituency as a deterrent vis-à-vis India and as an enabler vis-à-vis Afghanistan.

When the Frankenstein turned against its masters, the initial reaction was a sense of disbelief followed by unwillingness to acknowledge its presence. The very agencies that had quietly raised these forces over the years, grossly underestimated the ability of such groups to pose a challenge to the State. In the aftermath of 9/11 and attack on Afghanistan, when these elements came home to roost, the army was confident it could strike a bargain with them and win them over to its side by alternate use of stick and carrot.

But through a series of negotiations— starting from Shakai Peace Agreement of April 2004, Sararogha Pact of February 2005, North Waziristan Agreement of September 2006 and Swat Peace negotiations of May 2008 — the Army of Pakistan has realised that these elements are no longer under its control. They have acquired an autonomy of their own and intend to replace the army and take over the State of Pakistan.

All their efforts to turn these elements against India and Afghanistan have also not helped. Their allegations that TTP is being funded and supported by the US, Afghan and Indian agencies smack of self-delusion. This is perfectly understandable. How else could the agencies in Pakistan explain this act of somersault by elements they so indulgently nurtured over the years?

When the army finally decided to train its guns on these elements in Red Mosque or in Swat, it found how difficult it was to roll the process back. Even then, to this day, they continue to play favourites among these radical groups, not realising that they are enabling an environment where they are fast becoming insignificant actors. If Pakistan is to be raised as a fortress of Islam then, as Adnan Rashid of the TTP keeps arguing, what are these western-trained cops for, who even recruit non-believers to defend Pakistan?

The army’s tactic of using Lashkar-e-Tayyeba against the TTP or playing one TTP constituent against another may precipitate some short-term gains, but without a drastic change in its outlook and approach, it will not be able to deal with the challenge it has invented for itself. It has already reached a stage when it is unable to rally the jehadis around its anti-India policies. As Hakeemullah Mehsud, one-time recruit by the Pakistan Army to fight jehad in Kashmir reportedly stated, the Pakistani claim of organising jehad in Kashmir was a contradiction in terms because Pakistan was not an Islamic State. Therefore, he held firmly that the TTP had to work towards turning Pakistan into an Islamic State first, as per the recent revelations in the TTP monthly, Nawai Afghan Jihad.

Dialogue, or turning point?

Pakistan stands at an unwelcome turning point of history. While the talks are unlikely to succeed, unless the government tamely surrenders, paradoxically quite, the liberal and pro-military conservative opinion makers in Pakistan today find themselves on the same side of the fence advocating cancellation of dialogue and all out military action against the TTP.

For example, the conservative Nawaiwaqt, usually pro-army but soft on Nawaz, came out with an editorial on February 13, titled, Kya hukumat muzakraat ki kamyabi ki khatir apna khatma bhi kabul karlegi? (Will the government accept its dissolution to make the dialogue a success?) Similarly, the liberal commentators in the English media are abuzz with myriad arguments against the ongoing dialogue. Some of them even exhort the army to play its due role to save Pakistan. Will they come together to convince the army to step in, in case the dialogue fails, resulting in sharp decline in the security situation? Or will the apologists of dialogue retrace their steps and push for army operation? Both ways, the army stands to gain. One only hopes that the apparent (Nawaz) Sharif and Sharif (Raheel) harmony does not degenerate into Sharif vs Sharif show in the days to come.

(Dr Ashok Behuria is Coordinator, South Asia Centre and Fellow at IDSA, New Delhi. The views expressed here are his own)

Goes to show that TTP is unintended outcome of the Taliban/LET fusion.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 16 Feb 2014 20:57

The Pakiban are greener than LeT and will digest them eventually once they get liberate K-P from the Pakjabi rule.

Paul, Need to work on creating a ppt that captures the knowledge in this thread for wider dissemination. Am getting questions from mango people about all these three letter jihadis in TSP.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 17 Feb 2014 23:22

SSridhar wrote:The New Game - Editorial in DT

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has played his cards well by showing his reluctance to sign a pact with the US that would allow US troops to remain in Afghanistan past 2014. This delaying tactic seems an attempt to force the US to pressurise Pakistan into taking decisive action against the Afghan Taliban, especially the Haqqani network, which has sanctuaries inside FATA and North Waziristan. It is a desperate attempt by President Karzai to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table for peace talks and stop them from exploiting the vacuum that will be created by the US troops withdrawal in 2014 as already mentioned by President Barack Obama in his State of the Union address.

Apparently, this pressure point is none other than the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). If TTP attacks in Pakistan pick up momentum then Pakistan will have no other choice but to take military action in North Waziristan. Although the Afghan Taliban and TTP share an ideology and a dominant Pushtun ethnicity, beyond that there is nothing. Combining them under one name, ‘the Taliban’, may be more misleading than illuminating as many regional experts like Gilles Dorronsoro, a professor and a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a global think tank, says: “The fact that they have the same name causes all kinds of confusion.” He further adds, “The only coherent response from the Afghan government and coalition is to reach an agreement with the (Afghan) Taliban in order to detach them from transnational jihadist groups (TTP). Placing the Haqqani group on the US list of terrorist movements is counterproductive.”

Alex Strick van Lichtenstein, a Dutch researcher and author of the book An Enemy We Created, says, “The two movements are quite separate, to be honest. The Taliban commanders and groups on the ground in Afghanistan could not care less what is happening to their Pakistani brothers across the border.” Another senior analyst from the Afghan Analyst Network (AAN), Thomas Rutting, says, “There is an often repeated but not much sourced assumption that every group hiding in the Af-Pak mountains is more or less the same thing. The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban as well as Pakistani sectarian and jihadists are all part of a big terrorism syndicate. This is not only wrong but also dangerous since policies are conceived on this basis.”

Sadly enough, our policy makers have failed to understand the difference between the two. Based on these assumptions, if we opt for any military operation in North Waziristan, then the consequences will be devastating. The earlier we reach any consensus and overcome this dilemma, the better.

The coalition forces will be withdrawing by the end of 2014, and post-2014 Afghanistan will see the Afghan Taliban as major stakeholders in the future government of Afghanistan as they are already in control of the major parts of the country, i.e. more than 60 percent, which rises to 72 percent at night. There is a dire need to bring the Afghan Taliban to the negotiating table and make them part of any future transition of government peacefully. This will also undermine India’s influence in Afghan affairs and will deter it from taking any offensive position in Afghanistan.

The Afghan Taliban’s chief negotiator, Maulvi Shahabuddin Dilawar, has hinted at taking part in the 2014 elections when he asked that free and fair elections be held without the presence of foreign military forces in Afghanistan, while addressing the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS) in Paris on December 21, 2012.

The Pakistan government and army will have to be prepared for the inevitable change in the dynamics of internal politics and ever increasing presence of India in Afghanistan. The Afghan National Army will, in all likelihood, not be able to retain the control of the areas bordering Pakistan for any length of time after December 2014, thus rendering its western borders open for all kinds of trans-border activities.

Pakistan has come a long way from ‘strategic depth’ to ‘strategic shift’. The country no longer wishes for Taliban rule in Afghanistan like it did in the 1980s. It does, however, want the Taliban to be given meaningful representation in a political reconciliation process that will allow them post-2014 political space. This implies that Pakistan must work with a broader set of Afghan stakeholders, both Pashtuns and non-Pashtuns. It has also changed its stance from shutting India out of Afghanistan altogether to ensuring that India is not able to stir up trouble within Pakistan or help create a hostile Afghan dispensation. This can be achieved if both countries enter into a dialogue. This could seek ways to cooperate or readjust development activities in Afghanistan. Concentrating Indian investment activities in the north and west of the country could help downplay Pakistani suspicions about Indian projects near its border. Given India ‘s post-2014 vulnerability in Pashtun-dominated areas close to the Pakistani border, India may be willing to accept this.

Pakistan must continue to explore ways to expand its economic footprint in Afghanistan, even as security concerns dominate its approach in the run-up to December 2014. Interestingly, Afghan-Pakistani trade has risen sharply in recent years. However, there is still huge, untapped potential for these two geographically contiguous and intricately connected countries, with relative freedom of movement across their shared border. The Afghan government is already pitching to attract fresh investment after 2014 and the Pakistani private sector would do well to explore affordable options. As economic activity in Afghanistan increases, the country also remains a highly attractive destination for Pakistani services and labour apart from Afghan refugees repatriating to their homeland.

This brings Pakistan’s government to the million dollar question: what will happen to the TTP post-2014? Whether Pakistan’s political parties like it or not, the TTP has become a threat and it has to be tackled by force. In return for the role Pakistan is playing to facilitate the Afghan Taliban’s return to the negotiating table, it must ask the Afghanistan government to hand over Mullah Fazalullah, the notorious head of the TTP. Pakistan should also give a clear deadline to all extremists to lay down weapons and then go for an all out operation against those who refuse to do so. Before that, a consensus has to be built among the masses, especially in FATA, to eradicate this menace once and for all. In order to achieve a sustainable peace the government should plan ahead and develop a civilian infrastructure to replace the army after the operation. It should also cater, in advance, to the displaced persons this operation will bring.
In a nutshell, any future conflict with the Afghan Taliban will not end and any future peace with the TTP will not last.

It is simply not possible to agree with the distinctions that the DT Editor is now making between the Afghan Taliban and the TTP. For the last six years or so, DT editorials have rightly lambasted the Pakistani government, especially Musharraf, of the futility of artificially dividing the set of jihadi terrorists into 'good' and 'bad' Taliban and suddenly a U-turn is being made now. The DT, for its support, is drawing upon statements made by scholars who are unconvincing in their conclusions.

The supposedly only convincing argument presented by the editorial is that the Afghan Taliban and the TTP do not share anything beyond, "an ideology and a dominant Pushtun ethnicity". What more does the editor want to be shared before they could be considered as anything else ? What do the disparate, tran-national member groups of AQ share ? Hasn't Mullah Omar taken on the AQ mantle ? Haven't the TTP owed allegiance to Mullah Omar ? Hasn't Mullah Omar directly intervened in internecine disputes within the TTP and settled them ? Haven't TTP participated in attacks within Afghanistan ?

It is the common ideology that binds the loose AQ all over the world. Pakistan will be deceiving itself somehow that the bad Taliban can be somehow isolated and dealt with while continuing to support the good Taliban. There is no such distinction.

Also SS what Pashtun dominated areas abut India?

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 25 Feb 2014 21:08

X-Posting from Mil Forum:

tsarkar wrote:Preceding World War 2, the German Army built a false myth that the German political leadership surrendered in WW1, the Army was capable of fighting & was winning. The truth was the German Army had collapsed. The myth of German Invincibility was a major factor in inciting WW2.

Same for Pakistan. The myth that Mushy is propogating that PA was winning, and political leadership sold him, is dangerous. In 1965, Pakistan could not sustain a longer war. In 1971, Pakistan lost huge swathes of territory in the Western Sector, yet some of them still lie that they won the war in the West.

The myth of PA invincibility needs to be quashed as early as possible, since it encourages adventurism. Jokers like Mushy spin defeat into victory.

TTP is doing the job in TSP.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 26 Feb 2014 23:49

Two X-Posts....

SSridhar wrote:On this Gul phenomenon, we have to watch carefully for signs of a split in HM. The HM is a Jama'at-e-Islami (JI) outfit. It is the armed wing of the JI and is fully supported, and funded by the ISI. We know that cadres have left outfits like LeT and joined the TTP. In the case of JI, one of its leaders is Sufi Mohammed, the father-in-law of ski-elevator operator-turned TTP Chief. Like in LeT, HM cadres could be also moving over to the 'greener' camp. Just a thought.


SSridhar wrote:
Lalmohan wrote:seriously though - has LeT fragmented significantly? the consensus seems to be that 26/11 was launched more to keep LeT together in the strategic toolkit
if enough cells/groupings have left to form other units, where does that leave the kashmir front?

It is difficult to say how much LeT has fragmented, but certainly it lost cadres to the rival organization(s). Then, it tried to embed itself within the TTP itself in order to protect its strength from further erosion but the sense of disquiet among the 'bad Taliban' because of the proximity of the LeT to the PA put paid to that too largely. In some places, like Kunar, where it had always had a big presence, they continue to thrive. They also go with the Haqqanis as the attacks on Indian Emnbassy and other interests showed.

Please populate this thread for completeness.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 10 Mar 2014 21:07

SSridhar wrote:From SATP (South Asian Terrorism Portal), received via e-mail:
Punjab: Simmering Cauldron

Ambreen Agha
Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

"If you want to destabilize Pakistan," an unnamed senior Police Officer in the Province notes, "you have to destabilize Punjab." That, precisely, is the intention of an accelerating and expanding campaign of Islamist extremist terrorism in Pakistan, linked intimately to the Taliban - al Qaeda complex, and to the growing movement of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has turned renegade against its original sponsors and handlers in the Pakistan establishment and Army.

Tempest of Terror, August 2009

On March 3, 2014, at least 11 persons, including Additional District and Sessions Judge Rafaqat Awan and a woman lawyer, were killed, and another 25 were injured, when terrorists carried out a suicide attack at the courthouse complex located in the F-8 area of Islamabad. According to reports, the terrorists entered the complex and opened fire indiscriminately at everyone, hurled hand grenades and later exploded their suicide vests.

The TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid, distancing his outfit from the attack, clarified, "We have already declared a ceasefire and we strictly adhere to our deal with the Government. Our colleagues in the organisation also cannot violate this agreement". On declaring an 'unconditional' ceasefire, on March 2, 2014, Shahid had stated, "Following a positive response from the Government, an appeal from religious scholars, in honour of the representative committee and in the greater interest of Islam and Pakistan, we have decided not to carry out any activities for one month... We hope that the Government will take our ceasefire announcement seriously and will work to move forward in a positive way while keeping the peace process away from all types of politics." The Nawaz Sharif Government and TTP resumed negotiations
in the second phase of talks on March 5, 2014.

Meanwhile, 'spokesman' of the Ahrar-ul-Hind (AH), a TTP splinter group, claiming responsibility for the attack, declared that the judicial system in the country was 'un-Islamic' and that they would continue their 'struggle' till Sharia'h law was enforced. Further, while dispelling any confusion over its alleged links with the TTP, he said, "We are an independent group and have no links with TTP. We were a part of TTP earlier but now we operate independently."

Earlier, on February 7, 2014, five officials were injured when a suicide bomber blew himself up during a search operation jointly launched by Police and Intelligence Agencies in the Khanewal District of Punjab Province.

Prior to this, on January 20, 2014, a TTP suicide bomber killed 13 persons, including eight soldiers and three children, and wounded another 29, when he blew himself up at Royal Artillery Bazaar, close to the General Headquarters of the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi District. Claiming responsibility for the attack, TTP 'spokesman' Shahidullah Shahid announced, "It [the attack] was carried out by one of our suicide bombers to take revenge for the Red Mosque massacre. We will continue our struggle against the secular system." The Pakistani Army had conducted operations
at Red Mosque in 2007.

These incidents are not in isolation. The first two months and seven days of the current year have already recorded 39 fatalities, including 23 civilians, nine Security Force (SF) personnel and seven terrorists, in nine incidents of killing, according to partial data compiled by the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP).

In 2013, a total of 81 persons, including 64 civilians, seven SF personnel and 10 terrorists were killed in total 20 separate terrorism related incidents of killing, as compared to 104 persons killed in 19 such incidents in 2012, registering a decline of 22.11 percent in fatalities.

Fatalities in Punjab: 2005-2014

Code: Select all

Years     Civilians     SFs    Militants    Total

         2005        35           0         1              36

         2006         6           0         1               7

         2007        96          47        14             157

         2008       298          40        14             352

         2009       254         117        51             422

         2010       272          28        16             316

         2011       110          19         8             137

         2012        59          29        16             104
         2013        64           7        10              81

        2014         23           9         7              39

Total*             1217         296       138            1651
Source: SATP, *Data till March 9, 2014

The decline registered in overall fatalities is mainly due to the SFs' reluctance to counter the terrorists' threat. Indeed, as compared to 2012, the year 2013 witnessed a decline of 75.86 and 37.5 per cent in fatalities among SFs and terrorists, respectively. Perhaps emboldened by the evident operational paralysis among the state's security agencies, terrorists killed a slightly higher number of civilians in 2013, as against the previous year.

Other parameters of violence have varied widely. Out of 20 incidents of killing in 2013, seven were major incidents (involving three or more killings) resulting in 40 deaths, as compared to five major incidents in 2012 that accounted for 76 deaths. While the Province recorded only one suicide attack in 2013, same as in 2012, the resultant fatalities stood at five and 11 respectively. At least five bomb blasts occurred in 2013, which claimed 14 lives and left 73 injured. In 2012, the number of bomb blasts stood at 10 with 51 fatalities. Incidents of sectarian violence, however, increased considerably from four in 2012 to 13 in 2013. The resultant fatalities, though, remained almost the same: 42 in 2013 as against 43 in 2012.

The possibility of escalation of violence cannot be ruled out as a result of the considerable and increasing presence of at least 57 extremist and terrorist outfits in Punjab alone Out of the 57 extremist organisations found in Punjab, at least 28 homegrown outfits exist in the provincial capital, Lahore, making it the most violent among the 36 Districts of the Province, followed by Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Significantly, Lahore has witnessed a total of 563 fatalities since 2005, according to partial data compiled by SATP, compared to 225 in Rawalpindi and 222 in Islamabad, in the same period. However, in 2013 Rawalpindi recorded the maximum fatalities, 26 in nine incidents of killing, followed by Lahore, with 14 in seven terrorism incidents.

Punjab Map

{The above map is a keeper just like the FATA map we drew many years ago here. This map is quite detailed}

The Province is also home to various foreign terrorists, including the Afghan Taliban and Uzbek terrorists. Talibanisation is, consequently, no longer a local affair, and manifests a dual strategy of both importing foreign radicals into the Province and exporting radical Islamism. Significantly, on December 15, 2012, suicide bombers of the TTP in collusion with foreign terrorists of Dagestani and Uzbek origin, attacked the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base inside the Bacha Khan International Airport of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. On December 18, 2012, the then Federal Minister of Education Sheikh Waqas Akram disclosed in the National Assembly, that banned terrorist outfits in Punjab had contacts with Uzbek terrorists, who charged USD 40,000 for carrying out terrorist attacks within Pakistan.

Punjab has also proved to be a major ideological sanctuary and recruitment base for terrorists, as well as a source for the export of the terrorist theology and activities beyond borders. A September 7, 2013, media report quoting analyst Mansur Mehsud, who runs the FATA Research Institute (FRI), stated that terrorists based in Punjab Province were being trained for an ethnicity-based civil war in neighboring Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign forces in 2014. Mehsud explains:

Before, they [terrorists in Punjab] were keeping a low profile. But just in the last two or three years, hundreds have been coming from Punjab. Everyone knows that when NATO and the American troops leave Afghanistan there will be fighting between Pashtuns and non-Pashtuns.

Indeed, in a media interview in 2013, a senior Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) member, who goes by the pseudonym Ahmed Zia Siddiqui, declared, "We will go to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Taliban as we have done in the past." When asked whether the Punjab-based terrorists were preparing for war in Afghanistan after the foreign withdrawal, he replied, "Absolutely."

In one of his bizarre claims, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) founder and Jama'at-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, while addressing a gathering at Markaz-e-Khyber in the Nishatabad area of Faisalabad District on February 23, 2014, alleged that America, India and their allies were trying their best to 'crush' Pakistan from the East and West, and that India was supporting terrorism in Pakistan. Significantly, these gatherings and pronouncements fuel the jihad culture of Punjab, radicalizing madrassa educated youth, face of future religious extremism. In the last two years, Saeed has organised and led five grand rallies, three in 2013 and two in 2012, with the sole purpose of disseminating hatred and sowing the seeds of extreme orthodoxy. Appearing openly at a rally in Islamabad on September 6, 2013, he denounced India as a 'terrorist state', while more than 10,000 of his supporters chanted slogans of "holy war" against India and 'War will continue until the liberation of Kashmir'. Further, he told a frenzied crowd, "The United States and India are very angry with us. This means God is happy with us." Unsurprisingly, former ISI chief Hamid Gul added during the rally, "They should know there are a lot of people here who are waiting for the conquest of India. It will be our privilege to take part in this war." {Ghazwa-e-Hind, in full flow}

Punjab is experiencing a tsunami of extremist forces. Significantly, apart from the principal TTP organization, separate local wings of the outfit, such as the TTP-Tariq Karwan Group in Mianwali District in the North of Punjab and the Fidayeen-e-Islami wing of TTP in Lahore District in the East, thrive, and have the potential to multiply further, swelling the radical Islamist wave in the Province. The ideological heads of these extremist formations move around openly with impunity and ease across the Province, including Provincial Capital Lahore and Federal Capital Islamabad. Saeed once audaciously declared, "I move about like an ordinary person - that is my style." Saeed has also expressed appreciation of the 'security' offered to him, declaring, on January 1, 2012:

Pakistan is unmatched in terms of the freedom it allows for the pursuit of jihad and for the spread of Islam. No other territory in the world matched Pakistan and it was a great blessing from Allah... Non-Muslims were conspiring against Pakistan both internally and externally.

With no one to hold them to account, these radicalized forces find fertile grounds in Punjab, creating an escalating threat of destabilizing across the entire region. With little realistic expectations from the peace talks, several of the Army's self-created terrorist proxies have turned against their masters. Unfortunately, there is little reason to believe that a substantially collusive and compromised civilian Government will do anything more than the military establishment to eliminate Islamist extremist formations that have, for decades, been harnessed against Pakistan's perceived external enemies, even if some of these terrorist groupings have turned renegade against their erstwhile sponsors.

A very fine piece of analysis.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 14 Jul 2014 20:45


SSridhar wrote:shiv, Pakistanis may attempt to make Hafeez Sayeed 'mainstream', but the attempt cannot succeed. Notwithstanding this Track IV diplomacy by this journalist, India will never allow him to join the 'mainstream'. Even though, we can be sure that large-scale contacts are going behind the scene between Modi & Nawaz Sharif, Hafeez Sayeed will never get recognition from any Indian government. It will be politically suicidal for any Indian PM to do so. He is at the top, after Dawood Ibrahim, in India's most wanted list of terrorists. The UNSC has banned JuD under resolution 1267 and it declared Hafeez Sayeed as a terrorist. Pakistan did not formally ban the organization claiming, as usual perfidiously, that such an action was separately not warranted after the UN had added JuD under its terror list. The US has a bounty of USD 10M on him. JuD is a banned organization in prominent countries. Pakistan cannot rehabilitate him overcoming all these.

For example, why was it OK for Pakis to pretend that Saeed was "non state actor" previously and why are they gradually pulling him in as "state actor" now?

What has changed? Masood Azhar, also a non state actor, remains non state still AFAIK.

We have to understand where Saeed and Masood Azhar come from. Saeed's interaction with the ISI goes a long way back, to c. 1979 when he along with OBL's mentor Abdullah Azzam started Maktab-al-Khidmat to help Arab mujahideen pouring into Pakistan. Gen. Zia was a great admirer of him and appointed him to the CII (Council of Islamic Ideology).

Its parent body of JuD/LeT is Markaz Dawa wa Al-Irshad, MDI (the Centre for Preaching and Guidance.).The aim of Markaz was to reject democracy as a western concept of governance unsuited to and against Islamic principles. It disapproves of all sorts of democratic means of political expression like peaceful protests, demonstrations and sloganeering as un-Islamic. The organisation is also averse to electoral politics in Pakistan. He himself has been very obedient to PA/ISI. These are attributes that the PA liked and continue to like.

As for Masood Azhar, he split from Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) in c. 2000 after the swap at Kandahar. He was not a leading light in HuM where the emir was (and is) Fazlur Rehman Khalil. HuM was also founded by PA/ISI and is the only jihadi terror organization to be headquartered in Rawalapindi itself. Masood Azhar's JeM was also created by the ISI for two reasons perhaps, one to keep him under control after Kandahar and two to as a counterbalance to HuM. Unlike Hafeez Sayeed, the PA probably will never have complete faith in Masood Azhar. Azhar had organized a campaign against Pakistani troops in Somalia and proudly claims that his efforts led to the death of 24 of them there. He even wrote a booklet on that. But, those were heady days when his friend OBL was ruling the waves. So, PA will always be wary of him.

LeT/JuD is a huge setup while JeM is not though Masood Azhar himself has received considerable largesse from the ISI.

So, the roles are different.

What was the time period for Azhar's sojourn/sabbatical in Somalia?
Why was he in Somalia in the first place?
Field work for Kenyan AlQ?

Didn't US envoy suggest TSP deplyment under UN flag as way to get out of Pressler sanctions in 1990s?

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 10 Sep 2014 21:51

Two posts on TTP exploits in Karachi in 2014:

partha wrote:Regarding Naval dockyard attack -
KARACHI: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday hinted at the possible involvement of some navy personnel in the botched Sept 6 attack at the PNS Dockyard amid responsibility claims by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and fresh details emerged.

He added that ‘other elements’ could also be involved in the brazen attack that had left two terrorists and a petty officer of the navy dead.

“The attackers got onto PNS Zulfiqar which was docked at the Pakistan Navy berth,” a navy official close to the matter told The Express Tribune. “A sentry saw a suspicious movement on the ship. He raised alarm before he was shot and injured by the attackers. A petty officer rushed to the site but was immediately shot down,” he added.

Commandos from the Special Services Group (SSG) were called in immediately who engaged the terrorists in a gunfight, the official said. “It took the SSG commandoes two hours to complete the operation, he added. “However, the combing of the area continued for another six hours.”

If it took two hours for the operation, then I wonder about the extent of the damage to PNS Zulfiqar.
Sources said that investigators have not ruled out possible involvement of navy employees. In view of confirmed ‘inside support’ for earlier major attacks on military targets, investigators have started keeping a check on the staffers’ cellphones and their movements. In most of the major attacks, including the one at PNS Mehran base, GHQ and Kamra airbase, investigators pointed towards inside support.

In the 2009 GHQ assault, the army had detained Brigadier Ali Khan, who was serving at the military headquarters in Rawalpindi, for his alleged ties to a pan-Islamic extremist group. Similarly, defence officials had informed a parliamentary committee in June 2011 that insiders were involved in the PNS Mehran base siege in Karachi. Subsequently, three navy officers were court marshaled and sentenced.

Moreover, three low-ranking officers of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) were arrested in connection with the August 16, 2012 Taliban attack on the PAF airbase Minhas at Kamra.

In another startling revelation, AIG Karachi Ghulam Qadir Thebo said that evidence also pointed to the possible involvement of Ovais Jakhrani, son of AIG Ali Sher Jakhrani.

Ovais, who had left the navy four months ago, told his family on Sept 5 that he was going to Islamabad to take CSS exams. However, his body was recovered from the sea at the PNS Dockyard on Sunday, triggering speculation that he might have been kidnapped and murdered. “He [Ovais] was not kidnapped,” AIG Thebo told The Express Tribune. “Circumstantial evidence suggests that he was involved in the assault.”

The TTP claimed that it carried out the attack with help from within the navy. “The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claims responsibility for the attack on the Karachi Dockyard,” the group’s spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid told media persons by the phone from an undisclosed location on Tuesday.


SSridhar wrote:From NightWatch on the PNS Zulfiqar issue
Pakistan: Today the Defense Ministry had to defend its failure to prevent a Taliban attack at a Pakistan Navy base in Karachi and for suppressing the news of the attack for three days.

During a joint session of parliament on 9 September, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif explained that there might have been insider involvement in the attack last Saturday, for which the Pakistani Taliban - the Tehreek -e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibiliuty. "An investigation is under way. I'll get back to the house with details on Wednesday," he told the lawmakers.

On the night of 6 September, a Pakistani Taliban team attacked the navy dockyard from the sea and managed to board the Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Zulfiqar {If you sow wind, you reap whirlwind. PN deputed its personnel to train the 26/11 sea-borne terrorists and equipped them too. It is coming back to haunt them. But, in its blind fury and obsession with India, Pakistan never learns. Stew forever in your own juice guys}. A sentry sounded an alarm, but was wounded. The attackers also shot and killed a petty officer and wounded six sailors. Commandos from the Army's Special Services Group exchanged gunfire with the terrorists for two hours, killing two and arresting four.

After interrogating the suspects, a navy statement said that intelligence agencies had carried out raids to arrest suspected collaborators and accomplices and had recovered "a large quantity of arms and ammunition".

According to Pakistani press, PNS Zulfiqar is the first of the F-22P Chinese-designed frigates jointly built by Pakistan and China about four years ago. About 20 more ships and submarines of the Pakistan Navy were docked at the time of the attack. {A Pearl Harbour waiting to happen if security is so poor as the comment below shows}

Comment: The Defense Ministry has tried to spin the outcome of the attack as a counter-insurgency success. However, parliament is not accepting that.

Pakistan Navy facilities get attacked once a year from land, always with the help of sympathetic guards, sailors or officers. This is the first attack from sea. It confirms that security at sea is as sloppy as security ashore. Plus, there is no shipboard security at dockside.

Now and then, the TTP mounts some spectacular efforts, but they are not very successful. Gone are the Marriott days which made this which made this thread sprint like Usain Bolt.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 14 Oct 2014 23:49

SSridhar wrote:Six top TTP commanders announce allegiance to Islamic State's Baghdadi - DAWN
Six top commanders of the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, including spokesman Shahidullah Shahid, have announced their allegiance to Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi of the Islamic State and an allegiance statement was also issued in this regard.

Shahidullah Shahid in the statement said he along with five TTP district chiefs have announced their allegiance to IS, also known as Daish, and would be their lead fighters in Pakistan.

The statement did not elaborate on the stance of the six on Mullah Omar, chief of the Afghan Taliban widely regarded by militant groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the Amirul Momineen (leader of the faithful).

“I am confirming my allegiance to Amirul Momineen Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi and would abide by all his decisions, whatever is the order, and whatsoever the circumstances, I shall be loyal to him and obey his orders,” Shaidullah Shahid said in a statement issued in Arabic and Urdu.

Shahidullah said he along with TTP amir for Orakzai Agency Saeed Khan, TTP’s Kurram Agency chapter chief Daulat Khan, Fateh Gul Zaman, who heads TTP in Khyber Agency, TTP’s Peshawar amir Mufti Hassan and TTP’s Hangu chief Khalid Mansoor, was announcing allegiance to Abu Bakar Al-Baghdadi Al Qureshi Al-Hussaini.

Shahidullah further said that the statement was on his and the five commanders’ behalf and had nothing to do with TTP.

He added that TTP chief Mullah Fazlluah had extended his support to Al-Baghdadi but had not announced allegiance to Daish. How will the decision of the six TTP commanders be viewed and taken by Fazlullah whose allegiance currently lies with Mullah Omar is still a matter of speculation but the announcement comes at a time when the outlawed group is already experiencing fissures and is the main target of a military operation in North Waziristan.

Shahidullah further said that he had already extended his allegiance three times to Al-Baghdadi and it was the fourth time that he and his associates were extending allegiance to the IS chief.

Shahidullah said he first announced support to Al-Bagdadi before the latter’s announcement of Khilafat, the second time in last Ramazan through Abu Huda Sudani, a third time through Abu Al-Khitab Shami through telephone and now again.

With the IS trying to make inroads into South Asia, there are concerns about further turmoil in the region.

The TTP has been beset by bitter internal rivalries over the past year, with the influential Mehsud tribal faction of the group refusing to accept the authority of Fazlullah, who came to power in late 2013.

It moreover appears that IS, in an effort to extend its global reach, is aiming to exploit these rivalries to its advantage and wade into the region.

Means TTP feels the need to link up to West Asian terrorists to get back to roots.

So far they were a Punjab centered terrorist group and being attacked by PAA.

So need some help.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 23 Oct 2014 20:53

X-Post for reference....
SSridhar wrote:TTP Splintering - Editorial, DT
Wide cracks seem to be appearing in the once impenetrable facade of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). According to reports, the spokesman of the TTP, Shahidullah Shahid, has been unceremoniously booted out of the terror organisation for his remarks pledging allegiance to the caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Just to clarify, the TTP has always pledged its loyalty and devotion to the leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Omar. The fact that Shahidullah Shahid and five other leaders had the gall to deviate from the TTP’s oath is quite telling of the fact that all is not well within the militant organisation. Since the death of Hakeemullah Mehsud, the bloodthirsty leader of the TTP in a drone strike last year, the TTP has been seeing an exodus of some of its commanders and leaders of different cells going off to form splinter groups such as the Jamaatul Ahrar. The *deleted* in the TTP’s armour have been growing and this latest piece of news is not therefore too surprising.

ISIS has been in the media spotlight for a few months now for its savagery and successive victories in conquering territory in Syria and Iraq. This has made it a natural magnet for terror groups in many parts of the world looking to get in on the ISIS’s ‘glory’. Some members in the TTP are no different. That is why the leadership of the TTP — its leader Mullah Fazlullah is comfortably nestled in Afghanistan — has taken a harsh stand against Shahidullah Shahid’s public allegiance to Baghdahi instead of Omar. This is a good development for those who wish to see the menace of the TTP rooted out. The fact that the TTP is fracturing because of differences in its ranks augurs well for us, seeing that the militants are also being pounded by the Pakistan army during Operation Zarb-e-Azb still raging on in North Waziristan. Getting a beating at both ends will serve to push them further against the wall.

However, one word of caution. The Pakistan army needs to make sure that these operations — Zarb-e-Azb is now being followed by Operation Khyber-I — are not just piecemeal measures. The exodus of people that is beginning from Bara, Khyber Agency, will add to the devastating internally displaced persons (IDP) situation at hand. While Lashkar-e-Islam militants are compelling people there to stay because they need human shields, there is no hiding the fact that the IDPs need our protection and the militants are getting desperate. We cannot afford any complacency now that the militants are splintering. It is time to redouble efforts and annihilate them while the iron is hot.

So there is a small faction that wants to be more Islamist and favor the ISIS while the others want to stick to Pashtun cause inside TSP's K-P province.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby Anujan » 23 Oct 2014 22:22

The "we support ISIS" and "we are starting new Al-Keeda against India" etc are just convenient excuses for these groups who have abandoned their mission of taking over Pakistan. They have been coerced through money and violence to do so by Pakistan army and ISI. Parts of Pakiban are slowly reorienting themselves for government approved jihad missions.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 20 Nov 2014 22:42

Could be right. Article to support that thesis....
SSridhar wrote:DAWN editorial on the change of heart by the Punjabi Taliban.

Dangerous Possibilities
In certain national security circles, the renunciation of violence inside Pakistan by the leader of the TTP Punjab aka the Punjabi Taliban, Asmatullah Muawiya, will be greeted with satisfaction, even glee.

Luring the Punjabi Taliban back towards the mainstream of society and politics has been a long-term goal of a section of the Pakistani security establishment; the thinking being that the former allies of the security establishment are merely misguided and can be persuaded to lay down their arms and lead peaceful existences again.

From here, it would hardly be a surprise to see Muawiya being propped up for a political role, the route of former jihadis into politics being a well-trodden one now, including the likes of Fazlur Rehman Khalil, Hafiz Saeed, Malik Ishaq and Masood Azhar.

At the very least, the next Difa-i-Pakistan Council agglomeration can look forward to recruiting Muawiya to whatever cause is deemed worthy of agitation next.

Whether or not Muawiya and his companions do end up making the journey from violent militants to respectable citizens, it is really the thinking of the Pakistani security establishment that needs to be scrutinised.

The Punjabi Taliban are essentially Kashmir-centric and sectarian militants who turned their ire on Pakistan itself after then-Gen Pervez Musharraf put the security establishment’s jihad policy into cold storage and even banned many of the groups that the Pakistani state had long patronised.

Some of the worst attacks against sectarian targets and the security apparatus have been carried out by the Punjabi Taliban over the years.

The Punjabi Taliban are a very different breed of militants as compared to, say, the Fata TTP, whose origins and, arguably, even present motivations are largely tied to the army’s presence in the tribal areas.

The Punjabi Taliban are ideologically committed militants who believe in a global jihad complex, which is why their announcement of ending their so-called armed struggle inside Pakistan has left the door open to armed struggle being waged outside Pakistan.

Satisfaction then at the latest development in the world of militancy here can only mean one thing: the policy of good militant/bad militant continues and the security establishment continues to see some kind of a significant role for the religious right and good militants in the national discourse.

That is deeply troubling because it suggests that no lessons have been learned, and it sets the stage for even greater problems down the road.

By seeking to mainstream rabid ideologues wedded to violence and the overthrow of the Pakistani state, the security establishment is creating a pincer in which the state and society will eventually be caught: on the one side the armed militants who refuse to give up violence; on the other the political militant handed a ticket to mainstream society and politics.

Surely, that is a pincer that no state or society can survive for very long.

Everything that Muawiya and his ilk stand for is in direct opposition to what Pakistan ought to be. It is a ruinous strategy that seeks to empower them further.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 21 Oct 2015 20:26

This is BRF effort to gather info about terrorist groups inside TSP.

These are the Pakiban, those terrorists who are against the Pakistan.

These are not to be confused with sarkari terrorists or state sponsored terrorists like LeT or JeM etc.

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Re: Pakiban- Origins, Composition, Tactics and Leadership

Postby ramana » 28 Mar 2016 23:47

More history from SSridhar:

SSridhar wrote:DAWN Link
The attack was claimed by the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan Jamaatul Ahrar.

A little bit of history.

The Ahrar Party, a Punjab-based militant Islamist Party, opposed Partition because it felt that the whole of India was Muslim land anyway and Partition upset that status. This was along the lines by which Abu ala al Mawdudi opposed Partition as well initially. A faction of TTP of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi followers (the Punjabi Taliban) was known as Ahrar-ul-Hind (interesting name revealing their ultimate intention) and this split from TTP after Fazlullah was elevated as TTP Chief following Hakeemullah Mehsud's death in c. 2013.

Soon, another, but more powerful group split from TTP. That was the Mohmand Chapter of TTP led by Omar Khalid Khurasani (look at the nom-de-guerre he chose. 'Khorasan' has a very important role in the Koran). He floated Junud-e-Khorasan (Soldiers of Khorasan).

In c. 2014, the two factions Ahrar-ul-Hind and Junud-e-Khorasan, merged to form Jama'at-ut-Ahrar and called themselves as TTP-JA. They conducted an operation on two Quetta airbases, Samungali and Khalid between the nights of August 14 and 15, 2014. They also attacked Christians in Lahore in 2015.

Their loyalty is not clear. They claimed to have pledged loyalty to Mullah Omar when they split (at that time Omar's death was unknown) but other reports also spoke about pledging loyalty to IS. May be, they came to know about Omar's death and decided to switch sides.

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