A full blown propaganda war has begun in Pakistan. Minutes after the incident in which 47 persons were killed in a bus at Karachi, the Tehrik-e-Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Now pamphlets attributed to the ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attack.
This is a clear indication of a propaganda war being fought between the two terror outfits. However prima facie, investigations would show that it is the handiwork of the Tehrik-e-Taliban since they have a stronger presence in Pakistan when compared to the ISIS.
We have seen several times in the past the Tehrik-e-Taliban making such claims only to be dismissed by the Pakistan government. Whether these are true claims are just propaganda wars is something that needs to ascertained.
The propaganda war
The Tehrik-e-Taliban has taken a leaf out of both the ISIS and the Al-Qaeda in fighting a propaganda war. The fear factor is what counts for such terror groups. These terror groups are fully aware that there would be a crackdown on them if they claim responsibility, but for a group such as Tehrik-e-Taliban it hardly matters as long as they are in confrontational mode.
These claims made by the TTP appear to be challenging the Pakistani establishment. The Pakistan army is waging a very crucial war against the TTP after the school attack in several innocent children were killed. The Pakistan army has neutralized several TTP bases and killed many of their men. [43 killed, 20 injured as gunmen open fire in Karachi]
Intelligence Bureau officials say that the TTP would ensure that it gets its share of the credit at any cost. It is bound to claim responsibility for any attack that takes place on Pakistan soil in a bid to prove a point.
The fear factor
For groups such as the TTP, the fear factor play a vital role in their battle. As long as the fear is around, they are deadly and if this factor dies down, they will be out of contention. [TTP splinter group claims responsibility for Karachi bus attack]
One must also notice that the TTP has claimed responsibility for attacks at the airport recently. It also went on to claim responsibility for the school attack at Peshwar and the recent shooting down of the chopper.
Very recently it even claimed that it had successfully test fired its indigenously created missile Omar-1. To prove that they were speaking the truth, they even put up a video of the same.
All these are claims that the TTP has been making in the recent past. The Pakistan government has however maintained that these are claims and nothing more. It was only in the Peshawar school attack did Pakistan acknowledge that it was the handiwork of the TTP.
Tough days ahead for Pakistan
The Pakistan army and the establishment have a lot on their hand to deal with. Clearly the TTP has spun completely out of control. It appears to be challenging the establishment openly and these brazen attacks of the recent past have only shown that they have made a mockery out of the security set up in Pakistan.
Often referred to as the Bad Taliban by Pakistan, the outfit has managed to survive brutal attacks by the Pakistan army. The Pakistan army even attempted to engineer a split in the TTP. While the splits had succeeded, the final outcome resulted in the group becoming more aggressive.
Indian officials say that the splitting tactic was a bad idea and Pakistan only created several more such outfits. Some factions have joined hands with the ISIS while others are floating in the middle with no direction.
Where are Pakistan's proxies?
Indian officials in New Delhi say that the intent of nurturing the likes of Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was to ensure that they fight the proxy battle. Lakhvi's services were in fact sought to help the Pakistan army in its battle against the Tehrik-e-Taliban.
However Lakhvi has been dragged down by international pressure following his release and is confined to the four walls today. The likes of Hafiz Saeed are inspirational figures in Pakistan, but not capable of leading a battle against the TTP. Only an operations man such as Lakhvi can lead such a battle.
The problem however is that the TTP is getting stronger by the day. It has learnt the art of dodging the establishment and penetrating into their security mechanism very well. Moreover it has raised several concerns about the killing of their children and women by the Pakistan army which has only made the group even more aggressive.