Khalida Niaz

Attacks on law enforcement personnel have left six personnel dead and 25 others injured over a week.

Media reports suggest that attacks on security forces in the province has received an uptick and several attacks have targeted security forces and police during the week, killing six personnel and injuring 25 others.

On July 4, two traffic cops were shot dead in Dera Ismail Khan district while on July 5, two more police personnel were killed in Tank district.

However, political analysts and observers believe that outlawed Tehrik Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which is currently engaged in peace talks with government, is behind these attacks.

Similarly, on July 5, a suicide attack in Mir Ali subdivision of North Waziristan left 15 soldiers injured. DPO North Waziristan Farhan Khan said that the motorcycle borne suicide attacker targeted security forces convoy at Tahir Dawar Chowk near Khadi Market on Bannu-Miran Shah Road.

He said that bomber rammed his explosive rigged bike into security forces vehicle.

On July 6, a cross border attack place in North Waziristan from Afghanistan, which left a soldier dead and injured another one.

A day later, an IED attack targeted Chamtar police post in Mardan, killing constable and injuring five others including three cops.

According to DPO Mardan Irfanullah Khan that the bomb was planted next to police post gate, which went off around 11am. The blast killed hawaldar Maqsood while post in charge Sohail Khan and two others cops were injured.

A police spokesperson said that a police vehicle was entering the police post when the blast took place.

On the same day, a polio vaccination team came under attack in Tirah area of Khyber district, leaving four policemen injured.

Last night, two were injured in separate attacks in Nowshera district.

Police said that the first took place in the limits of Kalan police station when unidentified attackers targeted a police patrol in Kheshgi area, injuring a driver of the police van. The second attack took place in the limits of Misri Banda police station, where ASI Tahir Khan was injured in the attack.

However, there has no responsibility claim has surfaced following these attacks. On the other hand, TTP has announced a ceasefire and claim that they have nothing to do with recent attacks.

TTP is behind recent attacks

Former secretary security Fata retired Brigadier Mahmood Shah said that TTP was behind the recent spate of attacks on LEAs. He said that in  the North Waziristan, ceasefire between Gul Bahadar faction and the security forces and there was no ceasefire in rest of the areas.

He said that many of the trial elders who were the beneficiaries of the old the system were also against the Fata merger. Mr Shah said Taliban wanted to get these elders on board.

Regarding the talks between TTP and government, Mr Shah said that there was no place in the constitution and law for the ongoing negotiations.

Besides, he said that the talks will not result into anything positive. Pakistan can hold talks with another country but when an organization from inside the country announces to not accept the constitution, then you cannot hold talks to them, he said.

He said that many other organizations on the TTP pattern demand negotiations.

 Islamic State Khurassan link?

Dr Sayed Irfan Ashraf, a journalism faculty at the University of Peshawar said that there were three possibilities regarding current attacks.

He said that since Taliban have announced a ceasefire on Eidul Fitar and currently negotiating a peace settlement with the government, IS-K could be behind these attacks.

“IS-K has carried out terrorist attacks in Afghanistan,” he said.

Besides, he said that TTP was allied with Afghan Taliban while IS-K was their rival.

Dr Ashraf said that Gul Bahadar’s group was not a part of the TTP and currently most of its fighters were in Afghanistan. Sometimes back Pakistani jets has pounded targets on Afghan soil killing several Gul Bahadar’s loyalists.

“There is a possibility of Gul Bahadar group being behind these attacks; however, he said that this group mostly active in merged areas and not in settled areas,” he said.

The third possibility, according to Dr Ashraf, could be TTP different groups being behind these attacks. Since TTP is engaged in talks, therefore, they neither claim responsibility nor issuing denials, he said.

Dr Ashraf said that in 2008 when Fazlullah joined TTP, he refused to take responsibility for the attacks on police. However, he said that later it came to be known that Fazlullah was behind these attacks.

“There is a possibility that TTP is still carrying out attacks; however, not claiming responsibility, as they are currently in talks with government,” he added.

Taliban have set their sights on merged areas

A TTP statement has categorically stated that militant group was not ready to accept the Pakistan constitution and Fata merger. TTP said that merger put the area under the government control and it was an attempt to stop Jihad.

Mr Mahmood Shah said that Taliban were demanding reversal Fata merger so that they could regroup there. He said that accepting such a demand would be catastrophic as it will increase terrorism in the country, dealing a death blow to efforts made against terrorism thus far.

Besides, he said that Afghan Taliban need to be reminded that they will not allow their land to be used against any country. However, he said that currently Afghan land was being used to attack Balochistan and KP.

“Whatever is happening in Afghanistan is taking place with the consultation of the Sirajuddin Haqqani,” he said.

He said that recent attacks were aimed at revival of terrorism hydra in the country; therefore, this evil should be eliminated at the first encounter.

On the other hand, Dr Ashraf said that said that the ongoing attacks will deprive the talks of any logic. “Government needs to take up this issue with the TTP and stem the tide of attacks,” he added.

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