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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: The recent surge in attacks by the banned outfit, Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat District has given rise to the fear that the presence of terrorists and violence is making a comeback after more than a decade.

The deteriorating security situation in Swat also highlights the weakness of the Pakistan Army-led peace process, which appears to be moving inexorably to failure. Further, it is also seen as the failure of the Pakistan Army under Army Chief Gen Bajwa to contain the resurgence of the TTP, reported Islam Khabar.

The TTP leadership is displaying complete intransigence on its core objectives thus reducing the possibility of negotiations succeeding.

Consequently, the people of Swat have come out on the streets and are protesting against rising militancy in the Swat valley. The resurgence of the TTP is a direct fallout of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, reported Islam Khabar.

The recent appearance of TTP in the Swat valley brings back memories of the bloody period in the early 2000s. According to the latest figures, there have been six incidents this year alone in which 12 persons, including seven civilians and five terrorists, have been killed.

Global Strat View, a US-based virtual think-tank has issued (October 30, 2022) an analysis which claims that the Pakistani Army had allowed the return of some TTP militants in the Swat Valley as a part of its ongoing negotiations with the terrorist outfit.

However, local leaders and human rights activists see the TTP’s resurgence in KP as a devious ploy to create disturbances in the Pashtun areas of Pakistan, reported Islam Khabar.

Global Strat News says this is a consequence of the Afghan strategy followed by the Pakistan Army, because of which the Afghan Taliban is no longer willing to follow orders from Rawalpindi, reported Islam Khabar.

Complications have also arisen due to the failure of the TTP-Pakistan Army negotiations after the assassinations of key TTP leaders. This has confirmed fears in the Pashtun tribal areas that the military and civilian leadership are compromising peace in the region.

TTP terrorists were first spotted along the Swat-Dir border (August 2022) as the Kabul peace talks between the terror organization and the Pakistani government got underway.

A UN report (February 2022) estimates that about 3,000 to 4,000 TTP fighters had regrouped in Afghanistan, under the leadership of Noor Wali Mehsud.

Earlier, a 12 August 2022 report had noted that TTP militants had established a check-post at Balasoor Top, besides roaming about freely in other areas of the Matta tehsil of Swat, reported Islam Khabar.

Moreover, Geo News correspondent in Swat, Mehboob Ali, claimed that at least 200-250 TTP militants were in the area. The TTP-claimed attack (August 7, 2022) on a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA in Lower Dir and the abduction of an Army man and police official in Swat fuelled fears of the terrorists staging a comeback.

Regular extortion calls further stoked fear among citizens. Aimal Wali Khan, President of Awami National Party’s KP wing, recently claimed that at least three PTI ministers, the provincial Chief Minister and former speaker of the National Assembly, Asad Qaiser were paying extortion money to the TTP and its affiliates, reported Islam Khabar.

Most recently (October 2022), the TTP targeted a school van in Swat’s Charbagh tehsil, killing the driver and injuring two students. The incident sparked protests in the area, which lasted for over forty hours.

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