Is TTP’s Narco-terror a real threat to Pakistan? Jawad H Naqvi

by Tauqeer Abbas

Eleven alleged terrorists were killed during CTD operations in Washik district of Balochistan, Quetta and Khyber district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while undercover operations were conducted in 27 districts of Punjab, five alleged female terrorists were arrested and taken into custody. Weapons, explosives were recovered.

Undoubtedly, the successful operations of the law enforcement agencies against terrorists indicate that our institution is committed to eradicating terrorism from the country, in fact, since the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan.

The incidents of terrorism have increased in Pakistan and the main reason for this is that the leadership of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan was based there and the Afghan government is not taking any action against them due to the same thinking. Terrorists hiding in Afghanistan in various border areas of Pakistan have tried to harm the Pakistan Army by attacking, but the retaliatory actions and timely response of the Pakistan Army have prevented them from causing any major damage.

The Pakistan Armed Forces chiefs have clearly declared that they will not tolerate terrorism from the neighboring country’s soil and Pakistan’s security forces will respond effectively to such attacks.

Pakistan has invested much more than India in Afghanistan, but it has been doing so since Pakistan came into existence, but the vision behind this investment has never been that we have to use Afghans against anyone.

The Pakistani Taliban are called the B-team of the Afghan Taliban, so there is still a love relationship between the Afghan government and them, due to which their hideouts have not been removed from Afghanistan yet, but they have come under the government of the Afghan Taliban. Later they became stronger.

Several training camps of the TTP continue to operate on Afghan soil without hindrance or pressure, organizing large gatherings and training youths to carry out acts of terror in Pakistan. All these evidences make it very clear that the TTP has the full support of the Afghan Taliban.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has already said that the international community is concerned about terrorism and drug trafficking in Afghanistan.

It would not be wrong to conclude that terrorism and drugs are closely related to each other. Drug trafficking generates large amounts of money, generating resources for terrorism.

In this regard, in the 2-decade-long US war in Afghanistan, various groups have resorted to other crimes such as kidnapping for ransom, extortion and tax collection, drug trade and poppy cultivation for their survival. It has proved to be the biggest financial supporter for them.

The TTP’s use of drugs came to the fore in preparing and launching suicide bombers. In 2007, this terrorist group launched a war against Pakistan that Pakistan had never faced before. The most lethal weapon of TTP’s war was the large number of suicide bombers available.

Global terrorism and global drug trafficking are apparently two different but in fact interrelated crimes, both of which are mutually reinforcing. Drug trafficking facilitates the financing of terrorists, while drug traffickers assist terrorists in the illegal movement of weapons.

Terrorist groups provide the manpower and weapons for drug traffickers to fight against rival trafficking groups and law enforcement agencies, while drug trafficking, on the other hand, renders the fighters of these terrorist groups fearless and desensitized. Provide medicines.

This relationship between the two is the cause of a different type of terrorism, which experts call Narcoterror. In such an environment, the nexus of terrorists and drug dealers proves to be a precursor of serious threats to any state.

According to the journal Bloomberg, millions of dollars are being smuggled from Pakistan to Afghanistan every day, due to this smuggling, the Taliban government is getting support despite the sanctions of the United States and Europe, while Pakistan’s economic crisis is increasing.

The illegal flow of foreign currency shows how the Afghan Taliban is evading international sanctions. While for Pakistan, this is leading to a decrease in foreign exchange reserves and a gradual decline in the value of the rupee, while the economy is on the brink of collapse.

There is no doubt that smuggling of foreign currency from Pakistan has become a very lucrative business. When the Taliban recaptured Kabul after two decades in August 2021, the US and Europe froze more than $9 billion in foreign exchange reserves of the Afghan central bank over fears they could be used for terrorism.

Under pressure from the United Nations, the United States agreed to release half of it to help the Afghan economy, but stopped after the Taliban banned Afghan women from education and employment.

Afghanistan needs about one million to one and a half million dollars on a daily basis, it is estimated that half of it is going from Pakistan. Dollars are hard to find in Pakistan, so gray markets near the border in places like Peshawar are used, where dollars are bought at 10 percent above the official rate.

Almost all traders do this because the Afghan Taliban have banned Pakistani currency from being brought back into the country, the problem here being Pakistan’s “flawed” immigration, trade policies and border controls. Thousands of people are crossing the border without a visa every day, and many of them are carrying dollars. In Balochistan, 20 trucks loaded with thousands of bags of sugar have been seized during two operations in the same day.

The sugar was being smuggled into Afghanistan and has been seized at a time when sugar is in short supply in Pakistan and prices are rising sharply. The market value of Chinese and impounded vehicles is around Rs 70 crore.

At least 15 trucks were seized in one operation while 5 were confiscated in another incident. According to customs officials, one operation was carried out by the Customs Field Enforcement Unit located on the border of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The customs unit intercepted a large convoy of 15 trucks coming from Dana Sir area of ​​Dera Ismail Khan and seized 8,260 bags of sugar. This sugar was being sent without a permit within the province of Balochistan and later to the border areas.

Officials say his destination was Afghanistan. In fact, the Afghan Taliban’s ideological factions in Pakistan continued to openly support them. Illegal trade, arms and vehicle smuggling, and drug and narcotics trafficking bankrupted Pakistan’s economy. India also benefited from these conditions, in the past there was a close relationship between India and Afghanistan and now the Taliban government also does not feel sorry for receiving wheat donation from India.

Afghan Taliban have to step up operations against TTP and Daesh, otherwise Pakistan can go to any extent for self-defense. The chief of the Pakistani army has also bluntly stated that if the government of Afghanistan does not target the shelters of TTP, then Pakistan will have to take strict action.

Shafaqna Pakistan

Note; Shafaqna do not endorse the views expressed in the article 


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