Monthly Archives: December 2014

Former UN Adviser Talks Taliban’s Future

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RFE/RL: What is your assessment of Tehrik-e Taliban (TTP) Pakistan after they claimed this week’s horrific attack in Peshawar, massacring some 150 schoolchildren and teachers?

Michael Semple, a former UN and EU adviser in Afghanistan, has studied the Taliban since their emergence in the 1990s. The Irish academic sees the Pakistani Taliban fragmenting into armed criminal gangs while the organizationally strong Afghan Taliban is likely to find peace with Kabul because of their fear of irrelevance.

Michael Semple: The TTP in December 2014 is much weaker than it was before the North Waziristan operation began back in June. As well as having lost its bases, it has suffered multiple leadership challenges and fragmentation. However, most of the key TTP commanders are still in business. They say they are still determined to wage their version of jihad, and the dreadful attack in Peshawar is an expression of that. It is an attack from a position of weakness rather than of strength.

Is the Peshawar attack a turning point for Pakistan?

Michael Semple, Pakistan Taliban expert, says it will take time to see if lessons are learned following the attack

Explainer: who are the Pakistani Taliban?

By Michael Semple, Queen’s University Belfast

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on a school in Peshawar that killed more than 130 children. The militants planned the

A scene of devastation after the Taliban attack in Peshawar. EPA/Bilawal Arbab

massacre to take revenge on the Pakistan army. They murdered the children of their enemy.

By executing these children, the attackers took Pakistan’s violence past a dreadful milestone. But the background to this massacre is a conflict spanning the frontier of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It’s a conflict that has dragged on for more than a decade.

The Pakistan Taliban Movement: An Appraisal

The Pakistan Taliban Movement: An AppraisalPolicy Research Papers
November 2014

In October 2014 the spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) announced his movement’s backing for the “Islamic State” (IS) and its efforts to re-establish the Caliphate. The spokesman pledged that the Taliban would align their efforts with the Islamic State by sending fighters and military experts more…

 

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