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"The White Flag Will Be Hoisted Over Islamabad" - The Taliban Take Aim At Pakistan
Throughout the American presence in Afghanistan, the Pakistanis played a double game. They pretended to support us while actively working with the Taliban against us. Our erstwhile allies smiled in our face while stabbing us in the back.
The bill for this duplicity is now coming due. The Taliban are coming for Islamabad.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban (the Movement of Pakistani Taliban – TTP) recently announced that it will overthrow the government of Pakistan and hoist the white flag of the Taliban over Islamabad. The TTP statement reads in part,
“…Pakistan has been used as a cantonment [military camp] of the West for decades. It is for this reason that most of the prime ministers of Pakistan did not complete their terms [of office]. Despite the tall claims of democracy, slogans, and promises, the army (whose only job is to be a guard) has been dominating and controlling the politics of Pakistan… The same military junta is responsible for all the riots, civil war, sectarianism, bargaining on national integrity, turning the country into a battleground of American proxy war, price hikes, and insecurity that have made the lives of the people miserable.
So, it is our utmost responsibility to get rid of this cancer. Therefore, if you cannot stand with us shoulder-to-shoulder against these dollar-hungry mercenaries [i.e., the Pakistani military], at least quickly get your loved ones out of this dirty rank and think about their future. Otherwise, they will not have a place to hide… Join us in utilizing all your energies for the Islamic Emirate style of politics. The time is not far when, like Kabul, the white flag will be hoisted over Islamabad.”
The TTP recently formally declared itself a branch of the Afghan Taliban and formally placed itself under the control of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The TTP’s announcement, therefore, amounts to a declaration by the Taliban in Kabul that they intend to overthrow the government of Pakistan and incorporate that nation into the growing Islamic caliphate.
These are not empty words. Terrorist attacks have increased dramatically inside Pakistan since the fall of Kabul. New TTP training camps have been created on Afghan soil. Existing camps have been expanded.
Inside Pakistan, there has been a significant increase in TTP organizing and fundraising. Funds are also being raised inside Afghanistan to fund the struggle.
A March 13 report in Pakistan's national daily The Friday Times included images of pamphlets distributed by the TTP in Afghanistan and seeking donations for waging jihad across Pakistan. The Times of Israel has also reported on a flood of social media posts seeking to raise funds to support jihad inside Pakistan. A TTP source confirmed the fundraising, "We're doing what our brothers (Afghan Taliban) used to do (collect donations) in Pakistan."
Since 2015 the TTP leadership has been based in Afghanistan, using its territory as a safe haven. The group, now allied with the Afghan Taliban and fighting under the same banner, is now using Afghan territory as a platform from which to spread jihad inside Pakistan
The TTP’s announcement that Islamabad would fall was immediately backed up by action. A nationwide offensive against Pakistani security forces began on April 1, 2022, timed to coincide with the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. At least six attacks on Pakistani military installations have occurred in the last few days. In one such attack on March 30th, it appears TTP forces at least temporarily gained entry into a Pakistani fort in the Tank District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. There are conflicting reports of the number of Pakistani dead and wounded, but at least six Pakistani soldiers were killed, and the incident was clearly serious.
The ongoing offensive is obviously not intended to be confined to the heavily Pashtun areas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Four TTP terrorists were arrested just days ago who were planning attacks on political rallies in Islamabad itself. Police recovered from the terrorists a shopping bag filled with 500 grams of explosives, 450 grams of ball bearings and iron nails, and detonators. All four of the individuals arrested were residents of Islamabad.
The Biden administration continues to peddle the fiction that the fall of Kabul is not a significant national security event. We may have left Afghanistan, but there will be no serious consequences for us or our allies. This is complete fiction.
The Taliban in Afghanistan are consolidating their power, imposing ever tighter controls on the Afghan people, and already beginning the next phase of their quest to create a vast Islamic caliphate. When ISIS seized control of relatively small pieces of Iraq and Syria, we correctly identified the danger posed by allowing a group with such a radical worldview to have a platform from which to launch attacks worldwide. We took action.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban and their allies now have their own nation-state. This terrorist superstate is dedicated to jihad and the subjugation or destruction of all those who oppose it. Islamabad is the next target, but even that is just the beginning. Every moment we hesitate in confronting this growing menace will only make the eventual confrontation that much more difficult and costly.