The Pakistan Taliban Movement: An Appraisal

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 to the Middle East. In the wake of the statement, the TTP had to issue a clarification that their admiration for the actions of the Islamic State did not imply any intention to formally affiliate with it. This clarification was necessary to maintain the convenient fiction that the TTP are under the authority of the Afghan Taliban leader, Mullah Omar. Eventually the leadership had to go further and sack the spokesman.

Pakistan: Ungoverned Spaces

Even after more than six decades since its inception, Pakistan has been unable to establish its writ across geographical boundaries and several of its territories remain ungovernable. Analysts have noted that such regions comprise nearly 60% of Pakistan’s territory.1 This phenomenon has consequences for regional stability and affects peace and governance efforts in neighbouring Afghanistan, Iran, Central Asian Republics, and India.