Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) relations with Pakistan have deteriorated in recent weeks. Relations in 2022 started with peace talks and agreed on ceasefires. However, in August 2022, both the peace talks and ceasefires have not held. TTP has lost several of its senior members in Afghanistan, killings Pakistan has carried out. TTP are emboldened because of the Afghan Taliban’s success. The future of relations between TTP and Pakistan is on the decline. The looming economic crisis in Pakistan will add fuel to these already tense relations.
Key Judgement 1: It is highly likely that over the next 6 months TTP will restart attacks in Pakistan following Pakistan’s involvement in the killings of its senior members.
- In August 2022, the Pakistani military killed 4 high-ranking officials of TTP in Afghanistan. First, Umar Khalid Khorasani. Second, Hafiz Gul Bahadur Yasser Parake and 3 other TTP members in Kandahar on the 23rd of August 2022. (source) (source)
- Following the death of one of its top officials, Umar Khalid Khorasani on the 7th of August 2022. A suicide bomb in North Waziristan killed 4 Pakistani soldiers. (source)
- The official line from the TTP is that the response to these killings is on hold. However, there are strong indications that Pakistan carried all the killings out. (source)
- Furthermore, there are fears of a fresh wave of attacks following the unsuccessful peace talks between Pakistan and the TTP. (source)
Key Judgement 2: It is highly likely that the Afghanistan Taliban will stand by the TTP in its fight against the Pakistan government over the next 6 months.
- It became clear early on in its rise to power that the Afghan Taliban would stand by its ideological brothers from the TTP. Even though Pakistan had supported it politically and militarily for the last 20 years. (source)
- The Afghanistan Taliban is heavily involved in peace and ceasefire negotiations. Not just as a facilitator but as a player. Shifting the focus on them to the two negotiating parties. (source)
- TTP has renewed its oath of allegiance to the Afghan Taliban. Because of this, it is unlikely that its Afghan comrades will turn their backs on them. (source)
- Consequently, tensions have already begun to rise between the Afghan Taliban and its Pakistani counterparts. The Taliban has accused Pakistan of allowing its airspace to be used by foreign enemies. (source)
Key Judgement 3: It is highly likely because of the failed peace talks the Pakistani military will take a tougher stance on the TTP.
- Following the failure of peace talks to yield any significant results, the Pakistan army has ensured its people that any violent movement by the TTP will face a heavy reaction from the Pakistani military. (source)
- The next chief of Pakistan’s army is likely to be Lt-Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza. He is a man with a history of combatting TTP militants and will have a tough stance on any missteps the group make. (source)
- Furthermore, the targeted killing of several high-ranking TTP officials by Pakistan’s military gives weight to the tough stance being taken by Pakistan against the insurgent group it has been fighting for over two decades. (source)
Intelligence cut-off 13 September 2022.