IPSS PAPER – THE TERRORORIZING CRISES OF A DEVELOPING NATION STATE
While the last 30 years have seen direct imperialistic presence in this region, domineering waves have long been blowing across these lands with grand designs of regional and world dominance, leading to concepts of Buffer State and unnatural colonial boundaries. Add to it two sworn rival states of recent history, their unresolved territorial disputes, State sponsored social conditioning and their enmity raised to the platform of a religious existential conflict eventually leading to internal social upheavals.
It is now a stated fact that the Afghan Taliban were given sanctuary in Quetta and Chaman, Pakistan after their fall post American invasion in 2001. In addition, for the first time in Pakistan’s history, a multiparty religious alliance formed the provincial government in two provinces bordering Afghanistan in the 2002 elections held under the auspices of the military regime. Afghan Taliban were asked to lay low for a year or so before starting their operations again in Afghanistan. While NATO forces pressured the Pakistan Army (PA) to remove command & control centers of the Taliban in Quetta, this pressure was relieved by delivering Al Qaeda members to the US from time to time. Ahmad Rashid argues that PakArmy’s sharing of intelligence with the US regarding some of the Afghan Taliban targets started only after PakArmy received heavy casualties from the Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP – PakTaliban), the umbrella organization of a loose alliance of about forty regional commanders headed by Baitullah Mehsud (including Fazlullah of Swat) with the total strength of about 40,000 fighters and arguably connected to most Al-Qaeda attacks on European targets since 9/11. The TTP sprung out of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), the area bordering Tora Bora where Al-Qaeda leadership had slipped to after American invasion. Additionally the same area had been a meeting ground for International Islamists (use Islam as a political slogan with the goal of creating a theocratic state) fighters from around the world in the 1980s, some settling after the 80s Afghan war. The Drone attacks started only after Musharraf accepted American pressure to allow setting up a CIA cell in FATA in January 2008 after the Americans had completely lost trust in intelligence sharing with Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. Additionally, the PakArmy while supporting the Afghan Taliban has conducted large scale operations against PakTaliban (TTP) after its own soldiers, settled cities and large urban centres came under attack.