Should’ve told the TTP to stay in Afghanistan

Aziz Abro
3 min readFeb 2, 2023
The TTP’s hybrib insurgency

Former Prime Minister Imran Khan recently said in one of his statements that Pakistan had two options with regards to the TTP post Taliban takeover in Afghanistan: either we line them up and shoot them on the border, or we forgive them, let them come live in their homes in the Ex-FATA region, and spend money on them for the process of rehabilitating them into the Pakistani mainstream.

The former PM and his NSA Mr Moeed Yusuf mentioned on many occasions that Pakistan was a much bigger victim of terrorism post-9/11 than America or any other Western nation. They repeatedly claimed that we lost more than 80,000 thousand people, both military and civilian (including school children) to this war. It seems that he’s forgotten the vast majority of these deaths and casualties were caused by the TTP. If an exiled extortionist murderer and terrorist who once lived in Bani Gala wanted to go back to live in his old muhalla again, its not very hard to guess that Mr. Khan would rather have that man arrested/killed than allow him to live in the same locality where he himself resides.

Why would he then make such a decision for all of Pakistan? Who is he (and the likes of Bajwa and Faiz Hameed, because he obviously never had the power to make Pakistan’s policy on important matters such as Afghanistan) to decide if the TTP should be forgiven and allowed to come back to Pakistan or not? The huge protests in Swat last year clearly showed that the people of Pakistan wanted to as far away from this monster (the TTP) as possible. Why would they even consider to forgive the murderers of 80,000 Pakistani citizens?

For argument’s sake, let’s assume that Mr Khan and the Pakistani establishment are pacifists who wanted to avoid violence at all costs. Even then, killing them at the border, or resettling them back into Pakistan weren’t the only options. Pakistan hosts over 3 million Afghans on its territory. Why can’t the Afghan Taliban host 30 thousand Pakistanis (TTP fighters and their families) on their territory? The TTP are essentially hardliner Taliban that want to live in a Taliban-like Shariah imposition/emirate. Well that Taliban-like Shariah law in quite literally imposed on Afghanistan and they could very well have settled there in their desirable political system.

This begs the question: why didn’t Pakistan look into the option of settling the TTP into Afghanistan? One possible answer is that the Pakistani establishment/IK government did try to do exactly that. But they did not have the required leverage over the “pro-Pakistan” Taliban government in Kabul to actually go through with this plan.

Another possible (and more likely) answer is that the TTP itself did not want to settle in Afghanistan. They were highly motivated by the victory of the Afghan Taliban over superpower America. If the Afghan Taliban could defeat all of NATO, why can’t the Pakistani Taliban defeat the Pakistani security forces and enforce their version of Shariah law on Pakistan itself?

And this reason makes the prospect of resettling them into Pakistan even more dangerous. They never wanted peace. They never cared about the Pakistani government spending money to rehabilitate them into the Pakistani society. They only needed time to regroup (which their Afghan counterparts gave them through their negotiated peace agreement) and they needed weapons (which their Afghan Taliban brethren also provided to them, the TTP has access to the weapons that America left behind in Afghanistan).

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan are an ideologically-driven group of terrorists. They have no desire to live under the Pakistani constitution as normal law-abiding citizens. They themselves want to rule and impose their own system over other people (this is abundantly clear from their demands to the Pakistani state to reverse the FATA merger and practically hand over that territory to these militants to rule). There is no resettling these monsters. We either send them to live under their desired form of rule in Afghanistan. Or we line them up and shoot them all!

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Aziz Abro

Technical Content Writer by profession, blogger by hobby | CSS Aspirant | Tech Enthusiast | NUST Grad