What is Pakistan Taliban, why it targeted Peshawar school: Explained

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In one of the bloodiest terror attack in Pakistan in years, at least 141 people, mostly children, were killed on Tuesday by heavily-armed Taliban suicide bombers who stormed an Army-run school in Peshawar. The terror attack was carried out by Pakistan Taliban.

File photo

What is Pakistan Taliban?

  • Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan often referred as Pakistan Taliban.
  • It is an umbrella organization of various Islamist militant groups based in North Waziristan, a northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
  • In December 2007, about 13 groups united under the leadership of Baitullah Mehsud to form the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
  • These groups have been battling Government troops since Pakistan joined hand with US in its fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.
  • It is headed by Mullah Fazlullah, a militant commander who claimed responsibility for trying to kill Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai in 2012. 
  • The group have frequently attacked Pakistani troops, government targets and civilians to help carry out their goals.
  • Nearly ten thousands of people have been lost their lives in different incidents of violence carried out by Pakistan Taliban.

What are its objectives?

  • Among its stated objectives are resistance against the Pakistani State. The TTP has vowed to overthrow the Government.
  • Other aims include enforcement of their interpretation of sharia laws.
  • The group has planned to unite against NATO-led forces in Afghanistan.

Other attacks carried out by Pakistan Taliban

  • The Pakistan Taliban took credit for the 2009 Camp Chapman attack.
  • It also claims responsibility for 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt.
  • In 2012, the group shot schoolgirl education activist Malala Yousafzai in the head but she survived to receive a Nobel Peace Prize last week.

Reasons for attack on Peshwar School

  • Tuesday's attack was in a response to the Pakistani military's offensive in northeastern Pakistan's tribal areas in which hundred militants were killed.
  • Also, the group is against Western-style education and women employment. The school where attacked was carried out on Tuesday educates both boys and girls in separate classes.
  • It is the main school for the children of army personnel in Peshawar and employs both male and female teachers.

Pakistani Government's action against the terrorist group

  • Pakistan's military has carried out a number of operations to stop the militant group. 
  • More than 4,000 Pakistani soldiers have been have lost their lives in the fight against Pakistan Taliban.
  • The government held tentative peace talks with the group but it suspended them after two brazen attacks around Pakistan's largest airport in Karachi in June.
  • Since then, Pakistan's military has been conducting a ground offensive aimed at clearing out TTP.
  • Pakistan says it has killed more than 1,000 militants in its operation.
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