WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Afghan Taliban leaders are unlikely to stop supporting militants in Pakistan as they believe economic problems are preventing Islamabad from launching a major operation against outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). start. US think tank. “Between the economic crisis in Pakistan and Taliban rule in Afghanistan, the Pakistani Taliban have reemerged as a growing threat,” warns a report released Tuesday in Washington by the American Peace Institute (USIP).
Regarding Kabul’s recent criticism of Islamabad’s policies, the report said: “The undiplomatic rhetoric underscores the Taliban’s determination to continue supporting the TTP, even in the face of mounting pressure from Pakistan.” USIP
Argued that the Afghan Taliban’s response to the confrontation over their support for the TTP “consisted of filing charges – which does not signal an immediate departure from that support”.
The USIP report worries that Pakistan’s deteriorating economy will limit its ability to fight terrorists.
Callers with access to Kandahar reported that the Afghan Taliban Emir and his close advisers “were unlikely to withdraw their support for the TTP for ideological reasons,” the USIP report noted. According to the report, another key factor determining Pakistan’s response is the country’s deteriorating economy, which is on the brink of bankruptcy. “It limits Pakistan’s military capabilities.
Pakistan can conduct airstrikes and take defensive measures inside the country, but lacks the resources for a sustained high-intensity campaign, which it last conducted in April 2022,” USIP warned, and also faced “increasing pressure to act” but showed hesitation. The pressure came from political groups in Pakistan, which “characterized the rise in terrorism as a military plot to block former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s return to power and secure US aid,” the report added.
However, the report argued that economic pressures and the risk of conflict escalation, particularly in light of reports of Taliban fighters joining the TTP, “may cause Pakistan to question such a cross-border operation”.
The TTP’s growing campaign of violence “is a function of its growing political and material influence – reflected in its political cohesion, expanding pool of trained combatants, suicide bombers, weapons, and equipment,” the report adds.
“The Afghan Taliban remain strong supporters of the TTP and provide the group with a liberal haven,” the report said. It noted that the TTP also enjoys strong popular support in Afghanistan, “where both Taliban and non-Taliban voters are behind the TTP due to burning hostility toward Pakistan.”USIP
Reported that some Taliban fighters also joined the TTP, and some recent suicide bombers in Pakistan were also Afghans.
The report also alleges that a handful of Afghan Taliban leaders, including Taliban Interior Minister Siraj Haqqani, have at times denied the TTP at the behest of Pakistan. “However, the balance of opinion among the Taliban is overwhelmingly in favor of the TTP and its campaign.