Pakistan Reader# 434, 29 November 2022
On 28 November, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) aborted the ceasefire agreed with the government and directed its militants to “stage attacks” all over the country in a statement released by the TTP. The party said that it is “imperative” for the militants to carry out attacks and said that this directive was given after a “series of non-stop attacks” were set in motion by the military organisations in the Lakki Marwat district and that it had “repeatedly” warned the people of the country to be “patient” so that the negotiations would not be “sabotaged.” The TTP said that these attacks were retaliatory in nature and that these will “start across the country.” The government and intelligence agencies have not commented on the matter.
Previous Ceasefire attempts
The TTP and the government which began discussions of ceasefires in October dissipated in December and were later resumed in May of this year. The process was put on hold because of a deadlock on the repudiation of the merger of the tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The attacks by the TTP have increased since September, mostly in the districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and have been continuously condemned by the government.
The TTP has “accused” the government of “failing” to fulfil its demands and said that the government has continued to “detain” TTP members while a truce was being discussed. Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has pushed the government to “revisit” its strategy to deal with the TTP, and said, “It is time to review decisions we took, or we were made to take with regards to internal security and terrorism.”
The surge of violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
The TTP has been active in the southern parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, particularly in South and North Waziristan, Bannu, Lakki Marwat and Dera Ismail Khan. They said nearly 700 militants were present in the Swat region as well. The constant in-fighting led to the government to postpone the polio campaign in the Lakki Marwat district, and “frequent attacks” by the militants being launched on the police and officials in the area. (Tahir Khan, “TTP ends ceasefire with govt, orders its militants to 'carry out attacks in entire country',” Dawn, 29 November 2022; Mushtaq Yusufzai, “TTP calls off ceasefire,” The News International, 28 November 2022)