TTP's Resettlement In KP Is Dangerous: Manzoor Pashteen

TTP's Resettlement In KP Is Dangerous: Manzoor Pashteen
Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) Chairman Manzoor Pashteen on Wednesday said that the resettlement of the banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is dangerous.

Speaking in the Naya Daur TV programme "Pakhtunkhwa Today", the PTM chief said that the Pakistan Army does not believe in peace talks with the banned outfit, adding that dialogues have never been successful as terror activities intensify after every peace agreement in the region.

"The resettlement of the TTP had started before the recent peace talks under the army's watch," he said, adding that the "fight has turned into a business and it will continue to happen despite peace talks". "A break between two wars is not peace," he said.

Talking about the presence of extremists in KP, Pashteen said the army had conducted several operations in the region and claimed to have freed the area from militants, adding that the military had also fenced off the territory. "How have armed people now again arrived in the area?" he questioned.

He said the people of KP are now holding protests against target killings, blasts, abductions, and firing incidents in the region, adding that the individuals who talk about the rights of people are being killed. The state institutions should stop using this issue for the sake of foreign aid, he added.

He said the TTP is working under the control of Afghan Taliban. "Pakistan has good relations with Afghan Taliban and it should talk to them for a permanent solution to the issue," he suggested.

In response to a question, he said Pashtuns have always been treated unfairly by the state institutions. "We have been treated as slaves in our own country and we have never been provided with justice by courts. We are deprived of peace, employment and business opportunities, and free access to our own places. We are living in a militarised zone," he added.

When asked whether the PTM will join parliamentary politics at some point in future, Pashteen said many political parties are working in KP and the race for securing more seats in Parliament is causing differences among them. However, the PTM is out of the race, he said, adding it is a platform, where Pashtuns, belonging to different political parties, are gathered to seek peace in the region. "Peace is the first step for progression," he added.

Fears of the TTP staging a comeback in the area, however, have been gaining traction of-late. An Islamabad-TTP ceasefire agreement announced in June has been broken. Pakistan has witnessed an uptick in TTP attacks following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Last month, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif warned the National Assembly about the recurrence of militant presence in KP and expressed apprehensions over the success of the talks with the TTP.

Former Senator Afrasiab Khattak, now affiliated with the National Democratic Movement (NDM), likened the Afghan Taliban and the TTP to Siamese twins while speaking to The Friday Times. How are TTP men surfacing in Swat by way of Dir when the Durrand Line is said to be fenced and under watch, he questioned.

He attributed the TTP resurgence to a pre-planned initiative aimed at rendering the Pashtun synonymous with the Taliban. He called for Pakistan’s longstanding Afghanistan policy “of playing favourites” to be revamped and “Project Taliban” to be dismantled.

Khushal Khattak of the NDM, speaking separately, said the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has served the TTP with an entire country on a platter to operate from.

Khadim Hussain of the Awami National Party said the policy of using private militias for strategic purposes has to go. Terrorism and extremism have to be countered on the social level too. Hussain said the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has facilitated the reorganisation of the TTP.