Conflict Alerts

Conflict Alerts # 446, 7 October 2021

Pakistan: Imran Khan announces talks with the TTP factions
D. Suba Chandran

In the news
On 1 October, in an interview with a Turkish TV - TRT World, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that his government is in talks with some of the TTP groups. He said: "Some of the Pakistani Taliban groups actually want to talk to our government…for some peace and reconciliation. And we are in talks with some of the groups…There are different groups which form the TTP and some of them want to talk to our government for peace. So, we are in talks with them. It's a reconciliation process."

To a question, whether the Afghan Taliban is helping on the above process, Imran Khan said: "Since the talks were taking place in Afghanistan, so in that sense, yes." To the question that the Pakistani Taliban would lay down the arms, Imran Khan said: "Yes. And then, we forgive them. They become normal citizens." He also said: "I do not believe in military solution. I'm anti-military solution. I always believe, as a politician, political dialogue is the way ahead." To the question why is the TTP targeting security forces, if they are negotiating for a political settlement, Imran said: "I think, that is just a spate of attacks. We are talking. We might not reach a conclusion or settlement at the end. But, we are talking." 

Issues at large
First, the TTP terror in Pakistan. The Tehrik-i-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP), was founded post-American invasion of Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks in the US. Initially, formed as different tribal groups in the erstwhile Federally Administrated Tribal Agencies (FATA) of Pakistan, they came to unite under the TTP banner in 2007. Baitullah Mehsud became the first major leader of the TTP, though different tribal groups had their own leaders fighting the US forces and Pakistan (then under Gen Musharraf's regime). The TTP ran/runs a terror campaign within Pakistan; numerous political leaders from political parties were assassinated by it; a series of massive suicide attacks were launched across the country – from Khyber to Karachi.

Second, the divide within the TTP. The Pakistani Taliban was not a monolithic group. During the initial years, the TTP was led by the Mehsud and Wazir tribes in North and South Waziristan agencies. Qari Hussain Mehsud, Hakimullah Mehsud, Wali ur Rehman, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, and Maulvi Nazir were some of the leaders of these two tribes. Though they fought under the TTP banner, there were differences within, and at times also fought against each other. Later it expanded to include other tribal agencies of the FATA. For example, the TNSM (Tehreek-e-Nafaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi) from the Swat valley became a part of the TTP. 

Third, the dialogue with the TTP. Though Imran Khan has been consistent on the idea of negotiating with the TTP, there is no consensus on the subject within Pakistan – either within or outside the Parliament. The Establishment considers the TTP as a major threat; the TTP had carried out major attacks against the security forces. And even during the recent weeks, when it is believed to be in talks with the government, there has been a series of attacks.

In perspective
The decision to talk with the TTP seems to be based on a personal conviction of Imran Khan, than a part of a well-planned process. He is also not clear about the endgame, as reflected by his statement that he "might not reach some sort of conclusion or settlement in the end." Second, the expectation that the TTP would lay down arms and "become normal citizens" is more of a hope, than based on an assessment at the ground level. Is the TTP, or sections of it, talking to the Imran government, without asking for anything in return? And where does the Establishment stand on this? These are two crucial questions that would decide the outcome of Imran's talks with the TTP.

July 2022 | Conflict Alert # 531
Sudan: Military steps down, following protests
July 2022 | Conflict Alert # 530
Sri Lanka: Continuing economic crisis

July 2022 | Conflict Alert # 527
Libya: The continuing political stalemate
June 2022 | Conflict Alert # 523
NATO: Turkey’s concerns over Finland and Sweden
May 2022 | Conflict Alert # 516
The US: Another school attack kills 19 children
May 2022 | Conflict Alert # 512
Ukraine: 75 days of the war
May 2022 | Conflict Alert # 511
Ethiopia: Rising communal tensions
May 2022 | Conflict Alert # 510
Sri Lanka: Political crisis intensifies

April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 507
Afghanistan: The rise of sectarian violence
April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 506
Mexico: Protests over continuing femicides

April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 501
Israel: Al-Aqsa Mosque raids
April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 500
Ukraine: The battle for Donbas
April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 499
Russia: The strategic shift from Kyiv to the Donbas
April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 498
Nigeria: Over 100 killed in another gunmen attack

April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 497
Ukraine: Russia's battle for Mariupol
April 2022 | Conflict Alert # 496
Yemen: Finally, a ceasefire
March 2022 | Conflict Alert # 491
The worsening economic crisis in Sri Lanka
March 2022 | Conflict Alert # 488
Russia’s Ukraine Invasion: One Week Later
February 2022 | Conflict Alert # 486
Russia’s Ukraine salami slicing

February 2022 | Conflict Alert # 485
Libya: With two Prime Ministers, a new political crisis
February 2022 | Conflict Alert # 481
Canada: Freedom convoys and a new wave of protests
February 2022 | Conflict Alert # 478
Myanmar: One year after the coup

January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 477
Syria: The ISIS attack on a prison
January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 476
Yemen: The warzone expands in the Houthi-UAE face-off
January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 475
Burkina Faso: Another coup in Africa
January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 474
France: New round of protests over COVID-19 passes

January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 472
Ukraine: Threat of Russian invasion
January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 470
Iran: Two years after Qasem Soleimani

January 2022 | Conflict Alert # 468
Kazakhstan: Bloody unrest and a brutal crackdown
December 2021 | Conflict Alert # 466
COVID-19: Omicron rapidly spreads across countries

December 2021 | Conflict Alert # 464
Ukraine: The West warns Russia over Ukrainian aggression
December 2021 | Conflict Alert # 463
China: 12 million missing children
November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 459
Europe: Restrictions lead to Widespread Protests
November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 457
Cuba: Between bouts of demonstrations
November 2021 | Conflict Alert # 454
Pakistan: A month-long ceasefire with the TTP
October 2021 | Conflict Alert # 447
The US: Protests against the Texas anti-abortion law
October 2021 | Conflict Alert # 444
Brazil: Anti-Bolsonaro protests across the country

September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 441
Yemen: Houthis continue to capture territories
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 439
Europe: Pride Marches in Serbia and Ukraine
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 437
Brazil: Protestors call for the impeachment of Bolsonaro
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 435
Guinea: Another coup in Africa
September 2021 | Conflict Alert # 431
Climate Change: Hurricane Ida destructs the US Gulf Coast
August 2021 | Conflict Alert # 422
Europe: Measures to curb pandemic trigger protests
August 2021 | Conflict Alert # 418
Peru: Protests a sign of challenges facing Castillo
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 411
Wildfires: Siberia to the US
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 409
Bosnia: 26 years after the Srebrenica Massacre
July 2021 | Conflict Alert # 405
Colombia: Two months of protests
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 399
Myanmar: New UNGA resolution
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 397
Myanmar: The Aung San Suu Kyi trial begins
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 390
Burkina Faso: Another massacre in Africa
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 386
Nigeria: Another mass abduction grips Niger state
June 2021 | Conflict Alert # 385
Colombia: The protests continue
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 382
Israel-Hamas ceasefire: The long road to peace
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 380
Colombia: Three weeks of protests

May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 378
Israel-Palestine: Who wants what?
May 2021 | Conflict Alert # 374
Yemen: The Battle for Marib rages on
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 371
Pakistan: Meetings with Afghan leaders
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 369
Israel-Syria: Continuing Missile Strikes
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 358
India: Another Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh
April 2021 | Conflict Alert # 356
Global Gender Gap Report 2021: Main Takeaways

March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 353
Niger: 137 massacred in the latest attack by gunmen

March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 351
Yemen: Saudi Arabia announces ceasefire
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 347
Australia: Women fight against sexual violence 
March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 345
The US: The George Floyd trial begins

March 2021 | Conflict Alert # 340
Syria: UN report calls for a complete ceasefire
February 2021 | Conflict Alert # 333
South Korea: The 'Comfort Women' issue returns to haunt

January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 222
Russia: Pro-Navalny protests turn anti-government 
January 2021 | Conflict Alert # 220
COVID-19: The Vaccine Wars
December 2020 | Conflict Alert # 200
India: Farmers' protests intensify as deadlock persists
November 2020 | Conflict Alert # 191
Pakistan: Anti-French protests called off
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 174
Bangladesh: Protests intensify against sexual violence
October 2020 | Conflict Alert # 167
India crosses 6 million-mark in COVID-19 cases
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 166
Pakistan: The persisting polio problem
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 156
Pakistan: Targeted Violence continues in Waziristan
September 2020 | Conflict Alert # 154
The anti-Racist Protests in the US: Between
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 148
Israel and UAE normalize relations
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 146
Bolivia: Protests against the Election postponement
August 2020 | Conflict Alert # 138
In Iraq, the protestors return to the streets 
July 2020 | Conflict Alert # 118
J&K: Geelani's Exit and Continuing Violence
June 2020 | Conflict Alert # 105
Black Lives Matter brings the US to its knees
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 86
Libya: Khalifa Haftar announces ceasefire 
May 2020 | Conflict Alert # 81
India: The surge in violence in J&K
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 71
Afghanistan: 300 Taliban prisoners released
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 67
Syria: New UN Report on Idlib
April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 64
A lethal impact on the Refugee/Migrant Camps 

April 2020 | Conflict Alert # 63
Indigenous Communities battle a complete wipeout 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 51
Coronavirus & China: Fall in numbers 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 47
Coronavirus & Nepal: In the second stage, cancels
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 44
Two Presidents in Afghanistan

March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 42
'Aurat March': A New beginning across Pakistan 
March 2020 | Conflict Alert # 38
Sri Lanka withdraws from 30/1 Geneva Resolution
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 35
A ceasefire between Israel, Islamic Jihad in Gaza
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 34
Libya: rivals withdraw from Geneva peace talks
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 33
India: Violence in Delhi
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 32
Afghanistan: Seven Days of Peace

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 31
Climate Change Fallouts: Impacts the Bird population
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 28
Pakistan: Court convicts LeT founder Hafiz Saeed

February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 27
Pakistan: Suicide terrorism returns to haunt Quetta
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 26
Afghanistan: The US-Taliban Seven Day Deal
February 2020 | Conflict Alert # 24
Israel: Violence in post  Trump-deal

January 2020 | Conflict Alert # 20
Kenya: Al Shabab and a week of killings

December 2019 | Conflict Alert # 19
Citizenship Amendment Bill:2019
November 2019 | Conflict Alert # 18
Lebanon: PM Hariri quits, but protests continue 
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 16
Bolivian unrest

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 15
Hundreds protest in Haiti
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 14
Protests rock Chile
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 13
Hong Kong Violence: A divide within
October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 12
Spain: The trouble in Catalonia

October 2019 | Conflict Alert # 11
Turkey's Offensive in Syria
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 9
Africa to be Polio Free
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 7
Myanmar: Teenage girls traded as brides to China
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 6
Moscow Protests: Thousands rally in Moscow
August 2019 | Conflict Alert # 3
Jordan Restores diplomatic ties with Qatar