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Outlawed TTP Warns of Attacks Against Pakistan's Prime Minister & Foreign Minister for 'Pleasing' US

© AP Photo / Peter DejongMuhammad Shehbaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, listens to speeches at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif, prime minister of Pakistan, listens to speeches at the COP27 U.N. Climate Summit, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. - Sputnik India, 1920, 04.01.2023
The warning by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)* marks a major shift for the terror group, which has so far sought to target only the nation’s security forces.
Banned terrorist organization Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has warned Pakistan’s ruling coalition of possible attacks in retaliation to recent statements by Islamabad that targeted the jihadist group’s leadership.
Pakistan’s ruling coalition comprises two major political groups — Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
The PML-N is led by former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the elder brother of the Prime Minister.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the TTP has accused Prime Minister Sharif’s government of “announcing a war” against the group in order to “please” the US.

The group warned other religious parties in Pakistani politics to not side with the policies of the government lest face retaliation.
The TTP further claimed in its message that the “jihadi field of the TTP is only Pakistan” and that the primary target of the terror group has been the “security agencies” of the country. It accused Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of being a “slave” of the Pakistani Army.

The group also slammed Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, saying that he was treating the US as his “mother” for openly declaring a war against the TTP.

The statement by TTP comes a day after Bhutto ruled out any further talks with the terrorist group, which has escalated its attacks against the security agencies across Pakistan since announcing an end to the ceasefire which had been in place since June 2022.
Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said that Islamabad will share evidence with the Taliban** on TTP operating from the Afghan territory.
Kabul has consistently rejected the claim that the TTP is based in Afghanistan, even though the United Nations (UN) has reported that the group’s leadership is based in the Nangarhar province.
Taliban’s chief spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid on Tuesday accused Pakistan of making “provocative” statements against Kabul, a reference to Islamabad’s claims that the TTP is being backed by the Taliban.
Pakistan Army troops patrol along the fence on the Pakistan Afghanistan border at Big Ben hilltop post in Khyber district, Pakistan, Aug. 3, 2021. - Sputnik India, 1920, 02.01.2023
Pakistan-Afghanistan Border Clashes
Taliban Warns Pakistan of Retaliation in Event of Anti-Terror Operations in Afghanistan
Amid a surge in attacks from the TTP, Prime Minister Sharif held a National Security Council (NSC) meeting in Islamabad this week. After the meeting, Sharif declared a “zero-tolerance policy” towards terrorism.
The TTP, also known as the Pakistan Taliban, is an offshoot of the Afghan Taliban and has a stated goal of establishing Sharia (Islamic law) in Pakistan.
The TTP said this week that it carried around 367 attacks across Pakistan, most of them in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province, in 2022. The group claimed that the strikes led to deaths of over 445 Pakistani security personnel.

US Backs Pakistan’s Right to Defend Itself

The warning by the TTP also comes hours after the US State Department once again backed Islamabad’s right to defend itself from terrorist attacks amid a surge in violence.
"The Pakistani people have suffered tremendously from terrorist attacks. Pakistan has a right to defend itself from terrorism,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at a briefing.
The US official also once again urged the Taliban to respect the commitments it made at the signing of the peace deal in Doha in February 2020, including not allowing the Afghan territory to be used as launchpads for terrorist activities against third nations.
*Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is a terrorist group banned in Russia.
**The Taliban is under UN sanctions for terrorism.