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PR Short Notes


Photo Source: Dawn

Pakistan Reader# 699, 12 December 2023

Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan attack on DI Khan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa



Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has expressed strong condemnation of the attack and stated “We will fight back till the menace of terrorism is elimi

Shamini Velayutham

In Focus
Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan attack on DI Khan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

What happened?
On 12 December, according to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), about 23 soldiers were killed in the explosives-laden vehicle that ran into a military post in Dera Ismail Khan district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The attack was followed by another suicide attack. The suicide attack caused further damage to the infrastructure that led to the casualties. The ISPR stated that the suicide bomber who was identified as an Afghan national was affiliated with the Gul Bahadur Group. During the attack, about six terrorists were killed.  The military's media wing stated that clearing operations were carried out to remove any other terrorists staying in the area. According to the military's media wing, “The attempt to enter the post was effectively thwarted which forced the terrorists to ram an explosive-laden vehicle into the post, followed by a suicide bombing attack.” The car bomb attack was claimed by Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan (TJP) an affiliated group of TTP.
 
Who is Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan?
Tehreek-i-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), is a new group affiliated with the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). It was formed in early 2023. The group is said to be actively involved in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. The main goal of the newly formed militant group is to forge jihad against Pakistan. It was also created to introduce an Islamic state and render a dictatorship model of sharia law which is similar to the Taliban regime that was implemented in Afghanistan. TJP has shifted its strategy from targeting civilians to attacking military and police personnel. The group has actively participated in inducing acts of terrorism against security forces. For example, the recent attack that happened on 5 November 2023 resulted in the demolishing of multiple aircraft in the Mianwali Air Force base in Pakistan.  On 12 July, Nine Pakistan Army soldiers were killed in the Zhob garrison in northern Balochistan respectively.

Internal and External response
The series of attacks was subjected to condemnation. Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has expressed strong condemnation of the attack and stated “We will fight back till the menace of terrorism is eliminated from our motherland.” The Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Syed Arshad Hussain Shah strongly condemned the terrorist incident and apprised it an inhumane and reprehensible act. He highlighted that targeting security forces will not dismay them or the country. The CM said that the country has extended its steadfast support for security forces to combat terrorism. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani said, “Terrorists and their handlers, wherever they are, will pay for their cowardly attacks”. The chargé d’affaires was requested to convey to the Afghan government to fully investigate and take firm action against rebels who were behind the recent attack. They urged to publicly condemn the terrorist incident at the highest level. They also stated to cease the terrorist base and turn over the militants who were responsible for the incident to the government of Pakistan. On 1 December, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, FO spokesperson stated, “We have been given certain assurances concerning our demands of the Afghan authorities.” The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken has given strong condemnation and expressed his solidarity with the perished soldiers. He stated, “The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack at a security post in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We stand with the people of Pakistan in ensuring perpetrators are brought to justice and offer our deep condolences to the families of the victims.”

Pakistan and Afghanistan relations amidst the attacks
There has been a significant surge in terrorist attacks by TTP. The recent attack is presumed to be linked to the repatriation of Afghan refugees in Pakistan. According to Pakistani officials, the deportation has engendered further terrorist attacks in the country. Along the sidelines of the deportation, there is a strong anti-Pakistan sentiment residing among Afghan nationals because of repatriation orders. It is widely discussed that while the deportation is aimed at addressing the security threat plaguing the country, the discriminate removal of Afghan from Pakistan would further sour their relationship and lead to more attacks, Dera Ismail Khan attack stands as proof of the same. According to The Express Tribune, Pakistan has taken a clear stance on the attack. The Foreign Office (FO) stated, “Today’s terrorist attack is yet another reminder of the terrorist threat to peace and stability in the region. We must act resolutely with all our collective might to defeat this menace. On its part, Pakistan remains steadfast in its commitment to combat terrorism.” 

References
“D.I. Khan attacks,” Dawn, 14 December 2023
Iftikhar Shirazi, Zahid Imdad and  Ismail Khan, “25 soldiers martyred, 27 terrorists killed in separate incidents in Dera Ismail Khan: ISPR,” Dawn, 12 December 2023
Inam Ul Haque“Pak-Afghan relations — DI Khan attack and TTP,” The Express Tribune, 14 December 2023
 “Caretakers review DI Khan security,” The Express Tribune, 14 December 2023
“US 'strongly condemns' terrorist attack in DI Khan,” The Express Tribune, 14 December 2023

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