Islamabad: The Pakistan Taliban have intensified their attacks against security officials in the country’s volatile northwest and southwest since the group recently called off the truce with Islamabad, declared earlier this year, forcing the military to launch a crackdown.
The talks between the Pakistan government and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), facilitated by the Afghan Taliban, had broken down months earlier, but the ceasefire had remained in force till last week. Since then, TTP has unleashed a wave of attacks against security forces.
Last week, a Frontier Constabulary soldier, Rehmat Zaman, was beheaded after being shot dead along with his son at his house in Bannu, a district adjacent to the restive North Waziristan. Rehmat’s wife told police that her husband and son were asleep when about 20 armed men entered their compound. When the family came out, the gunmen shot the two men. They then chopped off Rehmat’s head and hung it from a tree in the nearby market. The same day a tribal elder was shot dead in Mirali town of North Waziristan. This was preceded by the killing of three policemen in Nowshera district ofKhyber Pakhtun khwa. In the last three days, two top police officials survived attacks on their convoys, claimed by the TTP, in the northwest. The group was also behind a suicide attack on a police truck that left four dead and nearly two dozen injured in Quetta, the capital of southwestern Baluchistan province.
The resurgence of violence has forced the military to escalate its intelligence-based operations against the militants along the Afghanistan border, killing several of them. Pakistan’s army chief, General Asim Munir visited the troops along the Afghan border in Tirah area of Khyber. “No one will be allowed to disrupt the hard-earned gains of war against terror made thus far,” Munir vowed while interacting with the troops. The truce withdrawal was also followed by an attack on the Pakistan embassy in Kabul, claimed by the IS-Khorasan, which has been joined by some TTP factions.