UN report notes TTP are getting stronger under Afghan Taliban

UNITED NATIONS/ISLAMABAD (Web Desk): A latest UN committee report has endorsed Islamabad’s stance about the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) by saying that the Afghan Taliban’s takeover of Kabul emboldened the terrorist organisation which was aiming at taking control of the former federally administered tribal areas.

It also warned that the TTP might be seeking a merger with al Qaeda to create an umbrella organisation that shelters all militant groups operating in South Asia. “The [UN] member states are concerned that the TTP could become a regional threat if it continues to have a safe operating base in Afghanistan.”

According to the report, some member states are of the view that the TTP might provide an umbrella under which a range of foreign groups operate, or even coalesce, avoiding attempts of control by the Taliban, including the possibility of al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and the TTP merging.

It added, “Some member states registered concern that TTP might provide an umbrella under which a range of foreign groups operate, or even coalesce, avoiding attempts at control by the Taliban.”

The report comes as Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir earlier this month his expressed Pakistan’s concerns over the presence of terrorists in Afghanistan. He added that Pakistan expected the Afghan interim government not to let their soil use for terrorism.

Similarly, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif lashed out at the Afghan Taliban and said Afghanistan was neglecting its duties as a neighbouring and brotherly country while also disregarding the Doha agreement.

The monitoring committee in the report submitted to the UN Security Council on July 25 notes how other terrorist outfits are using the TTP cover to operate in the war-torn country. “Since the reunification with several splinter groups, the TTP has aspired to re-establish control of territory in Pakistan after being emboldened by the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.”

The monitoring committee says that the AQIS may be providing guidance to the TTP for conducting increased attacks within Pakistan. The TTP terrorists were using the ETIM (East Turkestan Islamic Movement) training camps in Afghanistan’s Kunar province, the document mentions.

But the threat isn’t limited to the immediate neighbours, as the situation in Afghanistan has become more complex, with the ability of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant-Khorasan to project a threat into the region, and further afield into Europe.

Moreover, there is very little difference between the members of different terrorist groups, meaning cooperation is practically very easy, unlike the theories presented in media and intellectual circles.

“The distinctions between members of al Qaeda and affiliated groups, including TTP, and [IS-K] are at times blurred at the edges, with individuals sometimes identifying with more than one group and a tendency for people to gravitate towards the dominant or ascending power.”.

“There is growing reporting that other sanctioned terrorist groups are using support to TTP as a means to evade control by the Afghan Taliban,” says the report.