Afghan-based TTP a threat to Pakistan; reveals UN report

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ISLAMABAD: A new U.N. report has acknowledged the action taken by Pakistani government against individuals engaged in terrorist activities, and claims that terror group Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was responsible for over 100 “cross-border’ attacks within 3 months last year.

Pakistan has consistently highlighted the terrorism threat from TTP.

In its 27th report to the U.N. Security Council, the U.N. monitoring team that tracks different terrorist and extremist groups points to the arrests of “individuals engaging in terrorism financing and the freezing of the assets of designated individuals and entities” in Pakistan.

The UN acknowledgment comes at a time when India continues to accuse Pakistan of inaction against the designated groups. The UN report observed the “reunification of splinter groups (of TTP) that took place in Afghanistan”.

Report says that merger of TTP has enhanced the threat of terrorism to Pakistan and the region, as it has “increased the strength of TTP and resulted in a sharp increase in attacks”. 

Pakistan had handed over a dossier to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres claiming Indian sponsorship of TTP and JuA last year. Both terrorist groups have been designated by the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the Security Council.

The United Nations has acknowledged the ongoing efforts of the Pakistan government against elements involved in terrorist activities, while noting that the threat from the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had resulted in over “100 cross-border attacks within three months last year”, in a new report, it emerged on Sunday.

TTP militants active in somewhere in Afghanistan

The report, dated February 3, is the 27th report to the UN Security Council by the UN monitoring team responsible for tracking terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. The report acknowledged the efforts of Pakistan in arresting “individuals engaging in terrorism financing” and clamping down on the assets of said designated “individuals and entities”.

The report also addressed the activities of the TTP and noted the “reunification of splinter groups [of TTP]” in Afghanistan as a point of concern. “Five entities pledged alliance to [the] TTP in July and August [2020], including the Shehryar Mehsud group, Jamaatul Ahrar (JuA), Hizbul Ahrar, the Amjad Farooqi group and the Usman Saifullah group [formerly known as Lashkar-e- Jhangvi].”

The report cautioned that the aforementioned reunification “enhanced the threat of terrorism” to not only Pakistan but the entire region since it has “increased the strength of [the] TTP and resulted in a sharp increase in attacks”.

“TTP was responsible for more than 100 cross-border attacks between July and October 2020,” stated the report and further estimated the TTP’s fighting strength to range from 2,500 and 6,000 members.

‘India’s hand’

Pakistan handed over a dossier last year to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the Indian sponsorship of TTP and JuA. Both terrorist groups have been designated by the 1267 Sanctions Committee of the Security Council.

“We knew of India’s hand in such attacks,” Pakistan’s envoy to the UN Munir Akram had said at a press conference after handing over the dossier to the UN secretary-general. “We now have gathered irrefutable evidence that India is engaged in a systematic campaign to destabilise Pakistan through terrorist attacks, promotion of secession and subversion in what is called Hybrid/5th generation war.”

India, he said, was also seeking to utilise UNSC mechanisms to defame Pakistan by portraying itself as a victim of terrorism. “It is abusing the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to damage Pakistan’s economy.”

Since 2014, Pakistan has lost 83,000 civilians and soldiers in the fight against terrorism, which also caused a massive setback to the country’s economic and social development — to the tune of $126 billion.

While Pakistan has successfully eradicated terrorist outfits from its soil, over the past few months cross-border terrorist attacks from ungoverned spaces in Afghanistan have escalated.

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