As the command of Pakistan’s Military changes hands today, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has instructed its fighters to resume operations across the nation in response to “unabated” activities by security forces targeting the militants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP)’s southern regions.
In a chilling statement signaling the end of the ceasefire with the state, the banned outfit said on Monday that security forces had launched operations against their people in Bannu, Lakki Marwat, and other districts of the province.
The statement instructed the militants and commanders to “carry out attacks, wherever and whenever you can,” and that the TTP has shown “maximum restraint” to make sure not to disrupt public peace so far, but the security forces did not ‘restrain’ themselves so TTP will retaliate now.
Neither the government nor the military’s media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), have responded to the move.
A prominent law enforcement officer in KP, however, told Dawn that they are now expecting a renewed wave of terrorism with ‘an outbreak of all-out hostilities’.
The notice was sent on the day of Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s retirement, which will take place on Tuesday morning when he hands over charge to Chief of Army Staff (COAS)-designate Gen Syed Asim Munir at General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
In February 2017, after taking command of the army, Gen Bajwa launched Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad against terrorist groups throughout Pakistan. Thousands of intelligence-based operations (IBOs) against the TTP and other militant organizations were conducted during his tenure.