In an exclusive interview with CNN, the chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) expressed his appreciation for the Afghan Taliban.
Giving the interview from an undisclosed location, Noor Wali Mehsud said Afghan Taliban’s victory is a victory for all Muslims. The relationship between TTP and the Afghan Taliban is based on sympathy, brotherhood, and Islamic principles.
TTP is responsible for many terror attacks in Pakistan. In 2014, members from TTP stormed Army Public School in Peshawar and massacred 150 people which included 132 children.
Noor Wali Mehsud became the leader of TTP in 2018. Under his leadership, TTP claimed responsibility for deadly terrorist attacks across Pakistan. They targeted Pakistani security forces in North Waziristan in July 2019. They also conducted a bomb attack against Pakistani soldiers in KP in August 2019.
Due to its terror activities and close ties to Al-Qaeda, the UN blacklisted TTP and officially declared it a terror organization. In 2019, the US labeled Noor Wali as a terrorist for financing and planning acts in support of groups associated with Al-Qaeda.
However, in the interview with CNN, Noor Wali Mehsud denied all links with Al-Qaeda and stated that TTP’s war is only with the Pakistani forces.
“We are firmly hoping to take control of Pakistani border regions and make the independent,” Noor Wali said.
Noor Wali once more stressed that the victory of one Muslim is beneficial for another Muslim.
UN on Thursday designated Pakistan based terror group Tehrik-e Taliban(TTP, also known as Pakistan Taliban)’s leader, Mufti Noor Wali Mehsud, as a global terrorist.
US Security Council 1267 Al-Qaida Sanctions Committee added Mehsud to its ISIL (Da’esh) & Al-Qaida Sanctions List. pic.twitter.com/B13rqNe8S6
— Ansu (@Ansuomni) July 17, 2020
As per recent media reports, Noor Wali Mehsud was killed three days ago in a drone attack in Afghanistan.
Noor Wali Mehsud was reportedly hiding somewhere in Afghanistan after the commencement of an operation in the tribal areas. Reliable Afghan sources have confirmed the killing of Mehsud.
What does an Afghan Taliban victory mean for TTP?
TTP has close ties with the Afghan Taliban. A special report prepared for the United Nations Security Council claims that currently, there are 6000 TTP fighters fighting on the Afghan side of the border.
According to the report, “a reunification took place in Afghanistan between TTP and certain splinter groups in the period from December 2019 to August 2020.”
The UN report stated, the TTP is traditionally located in the eastern districts of Nangarhar province, near the border with Pakistan
Therefore, experts think a stronger Afghan Taliban can mean more terror attacks in Pakistan. It is predicted that the Afghan Taliban will reduce its cooperation with ISI in controlling TTP. This will in turn empower the TTP.
A stronger TTP will pose a great threat to Pakistan as they demand a complete Shariah Law and are against girls’ education. There are also fears that the Taliban will roll back on women’s rights once they take over completely.