Good Taliban is Bad Taliban for India

Written by: Vicky Nanjappa
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There is a lot of talk about a good and a bad Taliban. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after the ghastly Peshawar attack went on record to say that now there is no distinction between the Good and the Bad Taliban. No doubt it is a promising statement by Sharif, but the fact is that his statement will just remain a statement.

It is a known fact that he had in 2013 invited the Tehrik-e-Taliban for peace talks. It is also a known fact that Sharrif had taken the help of the TTP to win the elections.

Good Taliban is Bad Taliban for India

The TTP had in fact shown interest, but then it was the then chief of the army, General Kayani who ensured that the talks did not go through. The Pakistan army and the ISI engineered a series of splits in the TTP and even launched the Zarb-e-Arab in which scores of militants were killed. Pakistan is getting to witness the backlash of that every single day.

The good and the bad Taliban:

The creation of the Good and the Bad Taliban was part of a long-term strategy by Pakistan keeping in mind the West withdrawing from Afghanistan. The difference between the two Talibans explained in simple language would mean this- the good Taliban led by Mullah Omar are the ones who do not kill Pakistanis and the bad Taliban which is the TTP are those who kill Pakistanis.

Why Sharif will not succeed:

Many feel that Sharrif has the right intentions, but then the problem in Pakistan has always been that it is governed by the military and the ISI. The ISI and the Pakistan army will want to keep the Bad Taliban out of the picture as much as possible. This is a group that has realized that the Pakistan army has no good intent towards it and hence has become extremely difficult to control.

PM Sharif's statement is welcome but it will only remain to be a statement

On the other hand, the Pakistan army and the ISI just cannot do without the Good Taliban or the Mullah Omar faction. Over the past couple of years there has been a major shift towards the Good Taliban in Pakistan.

What the Pakistan army and ISI have planned is that the Good Taliban would keep up their interests in Afghanistan and also Kashmir. The Pakistan army trains the Good Taliban today and is hopeful that it would hold fort in Afghanistan following the NATO drawdown and in the long run also battle in Kashmir.

This is a clear indicator that the Good Taliban as Pakistan would put it is a larger danger for India. India is also aware that in order to beat down the Bad Taliban, the ISI is using the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Good Taliban. There have been several reports which suggest that the Pakistan army has used the forces of the Lashkar and the Mullah Omar led Taliban to counter the TTP.

What the experts say:

Several experts watching the events in Pakistan especially with the TTP getting ever more aggressive say that their main battle continues to be within Pakistan. They are very upset with the Pakistan establishment for supporting the US.

After the attack in Wagah, there was in fact a message from the TTP warning India of an attack. However while analyzing that threat it appeared that the TTP at any cost did not want India to cozy up to Pakistan. Indian agencies say that the TTP will continue to focus only on Pakistan for now as it is a matter of survival for them and they would not want to take on more at the moment.

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