The Khyber Attacks and Pakistan’s passive support of terror in the FATA
The newspaper Dawn reported today, “JAMRUD: At least 19 people, among them women and children, were killed and 71 others injured when a powerful car bomb ripped through the Jamrud bazaar in Khyber Agency on Monday, officials and witnesses said.” [Dawn]
This latest terrorist attack in the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA) of Pakistan occurred in the Khyber Agency. Jamrud is the gateway to the famed Khyber Pass, logistically important to NATO troops in Afghanistan.
No group claimed responsibility but the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been active in the area and usually claim that their attacks are retaliatory for Taliban members killed by NATO, U.S., or Pakistani forces. One raid was termed retaliation for the death of Osama bin Laden. Earlier in the year they kidnapped and then executed 15 Frontier Constabulary. TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said, “We have killed these personnel. This is revenge for the killing of our comrades in Khyber by Pakistani Forces. We will soon take revenge for other operations too."
The FATA is rife with terrorists. While local officials bemoan their presence, the central government has taken little action to curb groups such as the TTP.
The government of Pakistan has taken almost no action against the terrorist groups in the FATA. This neglect has put an enormous burden on local officials; one that they cannot handle. TTP, the Haqqani Network and the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group are left to terrorize the region and slip into Afghanistan without interference. The U.S. drone attacks are still going on, but they have little long lasting effect.
One particularly disturbing result of the Pakistani government’s non-involvement is the emergence of the “Lashkar-e-Khorasan (LeK), the group’s only purpose is to identify, capture and execute persons allegedly working for what is described as a ‘web of local spies’ created by the CIA.” [SATP]
This passive support for the terrorists in the FATA can only backfire on Pakistan. As groups such as the TTP and the Haqqani network grow stronger they have begun to target government forces as well as citizens. It will only get worse until Pakistan’s central government takes a stand against terror.
December 18, 2012 by Bruce Wallace, 121Contact