Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in 2021, Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) rebellious activities and the extortion cases has increased in Pakistan.
Reportedly, The banned outfit group, TTP is extorting money from influential and wealthy people in Pakistan with numbers having a +93 code indicating an Afghan SIM card, according to Al Arabiya Post.
Since July, a provincial lawmaker of Pakistan has been frightened into sending the TTP sums totaling PKR 1.2 million and said, those who don’t pay have to face the consequences. Sometimes they throw a grenade at their door. Sometimes they shoot.”
An anonymous provincial lawmaker stated that he has been forced to dispatch over USD 5000 to the TTP. In another case, in October 2022, TTP demanded 8 million in Pakistani currency in ‘extortion’ from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa minister Atif Khan.
The letter he received appeared to be from TTP Mardan and claimed that Khan had been on ‘TTP Mardan’s Most Wanted List’ for quite some time and it was finally his turn. “You know who we are and what we want. We know you very closely and have all your data and records because you are on TTP Mardan’s wanted list and your turn has come,” read the letter, adding that in order to exit the list, the minister would have to fulfil their demands, or he would lose his life, reported Al Arabiya Post.
On November 26, the SWAT community activist Ahmad Shah stated that they had started the “old game” like target killing, bomb blasts, kidnappings — and making calls for extortion.
Meanwhile, provincial lawmaker Nisar Mohmand estimates that 80 to 95 per cent of well-off residents in nearby Swat districts are now blackmailing victims. The extortion sum payable is then well distributed, usually through an intermediary, before it is sent to the TTP fighters whose presence haunts the mountains of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
The TTP was largely routed, their fighters fleeing to Afghanistan, especially in the provinces of Nangarhar and Kunar where they were hunted by US-led forces. With Afghanistan back under Taliban rule, it has become an “open shelter” for the TTP.
The threats of TTP are not empty. If traders refuse to pay extortion fees, the militants place small bombs near their homes to scare them into yielding to their financial demands. If they continue to refuse, militants either kill them in public or bomb their houses. And traders are not the only targets: doctors, parliamentarians, and shopkeepers from religious minorities in Peshawar have been extorted, forcing them to either pay costly fees or relocate.
The terrorists usually demand between 1 million to 10 million Pakistani rupees (around USD 5,800 and USD58, 000 respectively). Unfortunately, the inconsistency of Pakistan’s judicial system and its hollowness is not helpful for them, reported Al Arabiya Post.
Recently, on November 28, TTP called off a shaky ceasefire with the government and ordered fighters to stage attacks across the country.
According to the TTP statement, they called off the ceasefire agreed with the government in June, reported Dawn. (ANI)