OVER THE YEARS, SENIOR Pakistani politician Fazl-ur-Rehman’s party has been subject to countless merciless attacks in the form of high-profile assassinations and suicide bombings. This has met no end, especially in light of a recent blast in the Khyber town of Khar, Bajaur where 63 were killed and more than 200 were injured. A number of assailants have been proposed as the orchestrators of these attacks, with the two most prominent names—the Tehreek-e-Taliban and Daesh—succumbing to the blame firstmost.
The TTP and Daesh share similiar ideologies, in terms of wanting to establish totalitarian rule in the form of a makeshift caliphate. Both have targeted South Asia and the Middle East for years, but only one seems to harness the support of a prominent Pakistani politician. Imran Khan, the incumbent chair of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, has not been shy about his support for the Taliban in recent years—most notably claiming that the group were “pro-Pakistan”—in the form of wishing to resettle 5,000 unnamed Afghan-origin TTP fighters with some 30,000 extra family members in Pakistan.
Unsurprisingly, the PTI chair once again reaffirmed his stance of commitment to his allyship with the TTP in a video address from his Zaman Park residence in relation to the explosion at Khar. “We must realise that this bombing was not the result of the TTP’s planning. Daesh had orchestrated it. This had nothing to do with the TTP,” he assured. In addition to this, he echoed the words of U.S. president Joe Biden, claiming that the Taliban had done more to combat Daesh than any other group had. “The Taliban will finish Daesh off once and for all.”
One must not forget that this is a group responsible for ruthlessly killing tens of thousands of Pakistani civilians and soldiers. The TTP continues to insist that the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas—which now constitute the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province—should not only revert to its semi-governable status present before June 2018, but also be governed by Sharia law.