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TTP announces shadow government as fighting with Pakistan intensifies

The TTP has formed a squad of suicide bombers to further its grand political goals

The Pakistan Taliban, following up on its relentless offensive against Islamabad, has announced a shadow government.

The Pakistan Taliban more formally called Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), signalling that it aspires to form a full-fledged state, has announced that it was dividing the outfit into various “ministries”, The Khorasan Diary Twitter handle revealed.

The TTP announced appointments for the ministries of Defence, Judiciary, Information, Political affairs, Economic Affairs, Education, and Intelligence along with the setting up of a fatwa issuing authority and a department for construction.

The “Defence Ministry” is headed by Mufti Muzahim. He is designated by the US State Department as a terrorist. The “ministry” is divided into North and South zones with the former including Peshawar, Malakand, Mardan, Gilgit Baltistan & Hazara “wilaya” and the latter DIKhan, Bannu, Kohat and Zhob “wilaya”.

The geographical contours reveal that as of now the TTP is targeting the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as Gilgit-Baltistan as part of its future state.

The group also announced that it has established a “Special Isteshhadi Force”. This is a squadron of suicide bombers. Given the psychological edge that the force provides, the TTP has released a new video “We are ready, Part-2”, which spotlights the “Special Istishadi Force”.

Besides, two operational camps are being set up under the “Al Farooq Foundation”.

Significantly, the TTP’s intelligence directorate is headed by the group’s chief Noor Wali Mehsud himself. Separately, the TTP is trying to drive a wedge between Pakistani religious scholars and the state.

In a recent video, Mehsud urged the Pakistani ulema to refrain from labelling the TTP as terrorists. In a typical cloak-and-dagger game, he points out that the ceasefire will stay intact if the Pakistani government also upholds it.

The TTP made headlines recently by taking over a counter-terrorism centre in Bannu. Pakistani commandos could take back the Counter Terrorism Department (CDT) facility, located inside the cantonment after suffering heavy losses. Suicide bombers then struck inside capital Islamabad, marking a significant psychological victory.

There have been several other attacks including the killing of two ISI operatives working with the CDT.

Also Read: Are Baloch and Pashtun rebels now working together against the Pakistani State?