By Nadeem Farooq Paracha
Cross post from The Dawn
On April 19, a Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) rally in Peshawar was attacked by a suicide bomber. The gruesome attack was allegedly engineered and undertaken by members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The irony is that the JI are one of the few mainstream political parties in the country that actually sympathise with the TTP, claiming that the terror group is fighting a war against “American imperialism” and against the Pakistani state’s “aggression” in the north-west of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
But the irony in this respect wasn’t a one-off. In early April, former ISI sleuth, Khalid Khawaja, was kidnapped along with another ex-ISI man by a group of terrorists labeled (by the media) as the ‘Punjabi Taliban’ (or Punjabi extremists having links and sympathies with the Pushtun Taliban).
On April 29, Khawaja’s murdered body was found in the turbulent tribal area of North Waziristan. He had been shot twice. A faction of the ‘Punjabi Taliban’ calling itself Asian Tigers claimed responsibility. Khawaja was an open supporter and sympathiser of the TTP, and was known to have had deep links with various Sunni sectarian organisations, and within both the Pushtun and Punjabi Taliban groups.