Conflict in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Border Area

Authors: Dr. Annette Idler, Dr. Katerina Tkacova, Dr. Jota Samper • Resource type: Interactive Visualizations

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The existence and activities of the Taleban Movement of Pakistan (TTP) are closely connected to the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, after which high-ranking members of the Taleban and al Qaeda fled to FATA. We consider the conflict between the Taleban and the US-led coalition connected to the insurgency led by TTP in FATA for two main reasons. First, the presence of the Taleban and al Qaeda in FATA resulted in US drone strikes beyond the Afghan border (Aslam, 2011). Second, the presence of Islamists from Afghanistan and foreign fighters from numerous other countries changed the local social fabric. Religious leaders and military commanders replaced the traditional authorities called maliks (Rais, 2017). This change, together with drone strikes that often caused civilian casualties, led to the militarization of FATA and subsequent spread of violence. TTP was established in 2007 by local Islamist forces. They enforced Sharia law and attacked targets considered to be related to the Pakistani government (Gowan, 2018). TTP soon clashed over territorial control with local tribes and their militias (lashkar), other armed groups operating in the area, and later on also with their splinter groups. After 2012, the conflict geographically extended to wider Pakistan as TTP carried out attacks in cities such as Karachi and Lahore.​

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