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The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) of North and South Waziristan

Most of the Pakistani Taliban militants are grouped in an umbrella organization, the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The movement was launched on December 13, 2007, in a secret meeting of senior Taliban commanders hailing from the South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Orakzai, Kurram, Khyber, Mohmand, Bajaur and Darra Adamkhel tribal regions and the districts of Swat, Buner, Upper Dir, Lower Dir, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank, Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, Mardan and Kohat (The News International [Islamabad], December 15, 2007).

According to TTP deputy leader Maulana Faqir Mohammad and other senior commanders, the militants formed the organization to pool the resources and manpower of Pakistan’s Taliban to fight in self-defense if the security forces of Pakistan attacked their areas and also to extend help to the Afghan Taliban taking part in the “jihad,” or holy war, against U.S. and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) troops in neighboring Afghanistan ( [Karachi], July 2008; The News International, July 29, 2007). Due to the military operations undertaken by Pakistan’s armed forces against them, the Pakistani Taliban now have a fight at home and are therefore unable to send many fighters to Afghanistan to fight alongside the Afghan Taliban.

The TTP is headed by Baitullah Mahsud, based in South Waziristan and currently the most powerful Pakistani Taliban commander. In his late 30s, Mahsud is referred to as the “Amir Sahib” by his followers. Like many other Pakistanis, he began fighting as a young man during the Afghan jihad against the Soviet occupation force in Afghanistan and later joined the Afghan Taliban. Presently, he is stated to be ill, suffering from kidney and heart diseases due to complications arising from diabetes. He reportedly named three of his commanders to run the TTP on his behalf, including Waliur Rahman who has been negotiating with the tribal jirgas, or councils, created by the Pakistan government (The News International, August 24).

The TTP is not a disciplined organization as two fairly recent events showed. First was the refusal of some components of the TTP to accept Hafiz Gul Bahadur, the Pakistani Taliban commander from North Waziristan, as deputy leader of the Baitullah Mahsud-led organization. Later in the winter of 2007-2008, Hafiz Gul Bahadur did not cooperate with Baitullah Mahsud when the latter was under attack from Pakistan Army. In fact, Bahadur warned Baitullah Mahsud against firing rockets at Pakistani forces camps in Razmak, which is located in North Waziristan. His plea was that he and his followers had signed a peace accord with Pakistan government in North Waziristan and therefore no action should be taken against the Pakistani security forces there as it would amount to violation of the agreement (see Terrorism Monitor, February 7). In simple terms, he refused to become involved in the fighting that was then taking place between Baitullah Mahsud’s Taliban and Pakistan Army in neighboring South Waziristan (, July 2008)

piątek, 03 października 2008, cyberspace