Twilight of the Taliban: TTP buckles under internal fissures, external pressure
The twilight of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) - an outlawed umbrella of militant groups - appears to have set in.
The group responsible for most violence in the country is in disarray with its ‘chain of command’ crumbling, funds dwindling and infighting intensifying, admit Taliban foot soldiers.
“It appears the TTP’s days are numbered … what was a well-coordinated militia just a year ago has fragmented now and dozens of splinters groups have emerged,” a disgruntled member of the network told The Express Tribune.
At least two associates of the group in South Waziristan, the strongest bastion of TTP where its chief Hakimullah Mehsud is hiding, also confirmed this.
They said Mehsud has further isolated himself due to threats to his life from the dreaded American drones and Pakistani spy agencies.
“He is virtually a lonely man running for his life … he is always on the move and doesn’t meet even his once most-trusted lieutenants,” said Muhammad, a nom de guerre because the militants seldom use their real names.
Muhammad, who lives in the North Waziristan tribal region, was in Islamabad for the treatment of some kidney ailment at a private clinic. Mehsud has stopped meeting members of his notorious network from Punjab, better known as Punjabi Taliban, suspecting that some of them might be spying on him for Pakistani agencies.
“This is one of the reasons for relative peace in the country … there is no coordination among various groups of the Taliban,” said an intelligence official. There has been a visible decline in the Taliban violence in the country over the past few months.