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TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid. — File Photo by AP
TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid. — File Photo by AP

DERA: The Pakistani Taliban declared allegiance to Islamic State on Saturday and ordered militants across the region to help the Middle Eastern jihadist group in its campaign to set up a global Islamic caliphate.

Islamic State, which controls swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, has been making inroads into South Asia, which has traditionally been dominated by local Taliban insurgencies against both the Pakistan and Afghanistan governments.

The announcement comes after a September move by al Qaeda chief, Ayman al-Zawahri, to name former Taliban commander Asim Umar as the “emir” of a new South Asia branch of the network that masterminded the 2001 attacks on the United States.

Although there is little evidence of a firm alliance yet between IS and al Qaeda-linked Taliban commanders, IS activists have been spotted recently in Peshawar distributing pamphlets praising the group.

IS flags have also been seen at street rallies in Indian-administered Kashmir. The trend has been of growing concern to global powers struggling to keep up with the fast-changing nature of the international insurgency.

In a message marking the Muslim holy festival of Eid al-Adha, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said they fully supported IS goals.

“Oh our brothers, we are proud of you in your victories. We are with you in your happiness and your sorrow,” TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said in a statement sent to Reuters by email from an unknown location.

“In these troubled days, we call for your patience and stability, especially now that all your enemies are united against you. Please put all your rivalries behind you ... All Muslims in the world have great expectations of you ... We are with you, we will provide you with Mujahideen (fighters) and with every possible support.”

The statement, released in Urdu, Pashto and Arabic, was sent after Islamic State militants beheaded British aid worker Alan Henning in a video posted on Friday, triggering condemnation by the British and US governments.

It also came despite recent speculation that the Taliban leadership, whose goal is to topple the government and set up a Sharia state, is actually wary of IS, which is driven by different ambitions that have little to do with South Asia.

The Pakistani Taliban, funded by local as well as foreign charity donations from wealthy supporters in the Gulf and elsewhere, operate separately from the Afghan insurgents of the same name, but are loosely aligned with them.

There are concerns about further turmoil in the region as most US-led foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan this year, with groups like the Haqqani network likely to exploit the security vacuum to strengthen their hold on Afghan regions.

The Haqqani network, despite being based in Pakistan, is narrowly focused on its insurgency in Afghanistan and has not commented on IS-related developments.

The TTP has been beset by bitter internal rivalries over the past year, with the influential Mehsud tribal faction of the group refusing to accept the authority of Mullah Fazlullah, who came to power in late 2013.

IS, in an effort to extend its global reach, could exploit these rivalries to its advantage, wading into a region ripe with fierce anti-Western ideology and full of young unemployed men ready to take up guns and fight for Islam.

Comments (87) Closed

Akhand Bharat Oct 04, 2014 08:53pm

Now this is serious for someone with my name. Eliminate them as fast as possible, don't bother about collateral damage. Killing them is essential, if you don't do it now, you will repent later.

Sayyar Khan Oct 04, 2014 08:54pm

Well they have things in common they all wear Shalwar Kameez. Some how Shalwar Kameez has become trade mark uniform for all these groups around the world.

Mohsin Oct 04, 2014 09:00pm

@ Akhand Bharat,

Please worry about your own terrorists, such as the genocidal maniac sitting in your highest office right now.

@ Pak Forces:

After you wipe out the TTP, please consider joining Turkey's (possible future) ground operations against IS in Syria and Iraq.

Kiwi Oct 04, 2014 09:01pm

Not surprising. Afterall feathers of the same birds flock together. They deserve to be eliminated.

kashmiri Oct 04, 2014 09:03pm

If Kashmir problem is solved , will these groups disappear . i wonder. will IS and TTP have no more agenda left and will they allow Pakistan to be peaceful and march ahead.

Ash Oct 04, 2014 09:05pm

These filthy mouths and brains, Tell them to leave Pakistan and go wherever they want to go.

karmat Oct 04, 2014 09:12pm

Will these groups the IS and TTP disappear into thin air if Kashmir problem is resolved , and are these created due to kashmir issue and will normalcy return if kashmir is solved.

Arif Khan Oct 04, 2014 09:15pm

I request Dawn to please stop printing such stories as this provides opportunity to Terrorists to carry out their false and baseless propaganda.

Bitter but true Oct 04, 2014 09:16pm

I don,t know as to when these thick headed paid killers will learn that the evil minded people are using them against their own people.

chamari Oct 04, 2014 09:19pm

Is this person not a suspected terrorist and what are Pakistan fighter jets and operation Zarb-i-Azb doing , did they not find this guy anywhere even if he is giving interviews to all news channels.

Usman Khan Oct 04, 2014 09:22pm

Is anyone actually surprised? One barbaric morally corrupt un-islamic group claiming to fight jihad but doing everything contrary to it is in support of another....They will end up fighting and killing each other, there is no possible way these blood thirsty murderers will tolerate one another...I'm not worried

Hakim Oct 04, 2014 09:28pm

@Akhand Bharat Bhia Jee not only you but every sensible human being's life is in danger except Pakistani government who was will willing to negotiate with the evil Talibans.

Taliban's so called chosen (Imran Khan & JI) are still holding the biggest and successful rallies in the country, so masses do support this ideology. Pakistan has been shipping these militants jihadis from a long time to Syria and now its time to face their supporters at home with new official allegiances.

Indus Oct 04, 2014 09:30pm

@karmat if Pakistan stop harping about Kashmir and stop helping terrorist problem will be solved.

deendyal lulla Oct 04, 2014 09:31pm


colin Oct 04, 2014 09:31pm

Now my friends...are you STILL going to insist this is all an American/Israeli/Indian conspiracy ? The bloke in the picture does not look like a Jew/Hindu to me.

At least be truthful to yourselves if not to the outside world.

mohammadnoonnanna Oct 04, 2014 09:34pm

@Bitter but true Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! but you failed or dare not to name their handlers / creators. . . . . . . . They are the USA,EU and all other white people who nourished them and now some how went out of their hands.

Jamal Oct 04, 2014 09:36pm

..........and operation zarb-e-azb continues.....scores of terrorists killed......................ISPR

Ahmed Oct 04, 2014 09:37pm

@Sayyar Khan Arabs look upon Pakistanis as naukars or as "lower caste muslims" at best. They would be insulted by your claim that they have adopted the Pakistani dress. Trouble is too many Pakistanis also consider arabs to be "upper caste muslims" and are flattered at the delusion (like you have) that Arabs adopt any part of Pakistani culture.

indian Oct 04, 2014 09:40pm

@chamari they are killing 'suspected' terrorist! So precise that their bomb can distinguish between terrorist and children

i2t Oct 04, 2014 09:41pm

And yet pakistan are sleeping with no opinion or published against the mess.

Salman Oct 04, 2014 09:44pm

In this day & age what's undisclosed location. Fail to understand. Taliban could have sent a pigeon with a message. Why use email developed by the west!!!!!!

Sufi Muslim Oct 04, 2014 09:45pm

This should not surprise anyone.

The evil truth of groups like this one keeps coming out in the open.

They are more like the Khwarijites against whom the Prophet (S) warned his followers.

That region was once very much influenced by the Sufis who generally practiced enlightened and very peaceful and universal forms of Islam.

I personally do not see any other remedy than a mass change in direction to the Sufi Tariqahs.

Sadly, the effects of puritanical forms of Islam have become deeper than was the case a few decades ago.

Moreover, there are external influences as well, which the governments have not been able to deal with.

Having said that, I do not see any other remedy than for people to go back to the various forms of Sufi Islam for their cleansing of the heart, so that it reflects the higher consciousness.

I realize it's not easy, but I see no other solution.

doctor Oct 04, 2014 09:45pm

Pakistan is gravely ill and cannot treat itself , need of the hour is competent team of doctors who can diagnose this unknown disease with lot of symptoms and no known cure.

Syed Oct 04, 2014 09:46pm

dawn, stop giving coverage to ttp. you are again making them relevant.

Shashi Oct 04, 2014 09:49pm

"The Pakistani Taliban, funded by local as well as foreign charity donations from wealthy supporters in the Gulf ".. We need to cut this supply

Khwaja Oct 04, 2014 09:57pm

This is what the great game players want. Indeed the purpose of IS is fine. But what about the method. It is beyond doubt that some kind of international great game is all behind this. Just like the 9/11. How can a camel runner hit 100+ floor? Even the Afghans didn't know how use the electric lifts.

Krishna Prasad Oct 04, 2014 09:58pm

Let us see what Pakistan - state and its establishment would respond to these groups. If your government has a direction and action plan. If these institutions are pro-active and ensure that these weeds in lovely crops needed to be removed once for all and ensure that there is clarity as regards its approach and timeliness, it would be better for entire Pakistan's population and entire world. Trust me a good dead is supported by 1000 others once they see the intent and will of the government. Sitting on the fence and not knowing what to do will not take away the problem on hand.

Gaz Oct 04, 2014 09:59pm

IS are the enemies of Islam and if it was not for a bad economy Pakistan ground forces should have joined the up coming assault on them cuz you cannot rely on the arab armies they experts in defeat and in oppressing their own people.

A shah Oct 04, 2014 10:01pm

Come on where are the conspiracy stories? Non state actors, foreign hand, Raw, Mossad, CIA etc... These people are not Muslims Bla bla

ahmed Oct 04, 2014 10:03pm

Ha ha now literally broke organization is trying to get help. Lol

Ganga Din Oct 04, 2014 10:03pm

Obviously this guy escaped from Azb-i-Zarb or Zarb-i-Azb, whatever that is. Bombings are still going on and innocent lives are being lost. Does any one care? I don't think it was very wise move to send in the troops and destroy legitimate businesses and properties of ordinary people. Every day there are reports of bombings. So what was achieved other than disruption of so many lives? There is a cheering crowd for the army's action but what's the end point? Was army given a specific mission or is it another occupation by the state. In the later case, don't expect peace any time soon.

Yawar Oct 04, 2014 10:17pm

Birds of a feather flock together

mba Oct 04, 2014 10:19pm

What does it mean that the trend has been of growing concern to global powers .... It should be great concern to us. The Government and the people of Pakistan should see this unholy trend as a dire threat to our society. The great powers are far away. They may loose some people here and there but our people are and would remain the main target of these madness. STOP it. TTP and IS are working against the basic and long-term interests of countries with Muslim majorities.

Yawar Oct 04, 2014 10:28pm

@Arif Khan I dont agree with your request to Dawn to stop printing such stories because such articles clarify that TTP is nothing but a bunch of brutal terrorists filled with hatred.

Sridhar Oct 04, 2014 10:40pm

@Syed Let us all close our eyes and ears, the problem will disappear!

Parvez Oct 04, 2014 10:41pm

When you fail at home........the next step is to claim you are conquering the world.

Akhtar Oct 04, 2014 10:52pm

These criminals and terrorists should be eliminted from Pakistan for good. Expel them to India.

Akhand Bharat Oct 04, 2014 11:05pm

@Hakim Dude do you realize what this can become? Remember how ISIS captured Iraq in just 1/2 weeks with the blitz? They have strategists and are working hard to establish the Caliphate. High time Pakistan wakes up !!! ISIS has lots of money to offer to TTP if they want to.

hattori Oct 04, 2014 11:12pm

pakistan must know....this people will not giveup till last their goal is to use religion to grab power...fighting them will require not only military force but ideological force as well to keep people away from accepting their ideology....

bkt Oct 04, 2014 11:18pm

@karmat > No Kashmir has nothing to do with these groups. These groups are like blood sucking vermin who live off the animal until it dies. Then they move to another animal to suck the blood of. They contribute nothing but death and violence. If you apply Islamic law to them, not a single one of them will survive.

Akhand Bharat Oct 04, 2014 11:19pm

Here is something I want to know. TTP wants sharia state in Pakistan. So what is the problem Pakistanis have?

Mumtaz Khan Oct 04, 2014 11:23pm

Can we stop publishing their news? The media needs to shut them out completely. Nobody is interested in their declarations.

nilesh Oct 04, 2014 11:25pm

Worry about teenage kids... These jokers make them target to poison their thinking.. Lets grow our youngerones with safety.... I hope call for help to international community on flood displaced is not linked with funding recruitment.

Alam Oct 04, 2014 11:28pm

A statement from Aiman Al Zawahri forced Modi to declare that Indian Muslims are true Indians. One statement from TTP make Indians expect from Pakistan to take action against them which Pakistan is already doing. Military action is already going on. Hope Indians will understand that Pakistan itself is biggest sufferer of terrorism.

Bharat Kumar Jaiswal Oct 04, 2014 11:36pm

@karmat It is not related to Kashmir. It is their nature. Just see the example of Afganistan, Taliban raised for Russian Force. But after Russian left the Afganistan, still they are fighting. So, it is never going to end, if these terrorists are alive. We need to finish them all.

Dhk Oct 04, 2014 11:40pm

The longer the pakistan is ambivalent towards Islamists more painful it will be to recover from. The only way fwd is to seperate the ideology of son transnational Islamic grandeur and focus on its development of a critical thinking intelligent people who don't live in fantasy world of over glorified past and conspiracy theories to explain the present.

pakiboy Oct 04, 2014 11:42pm

this is the thing which destined to happen .. they r all sprouted from the same source .. getting funded from same source .. they have to help there dollar sharing brothers .. after all uncle sam and zionist have to take down pakistan !! .. this is one reason being created .. just like being done in syria !!

Victim Oct 04, 2014 11:54pm

I am very hopeless.

PC Oct 05, 2014 12:06am

The greatest mystery is so called operation being carried out by Pak army. They are even bombing using Air Force. After so many days of operation, if these groups are so adamant, it raises a big question: is the operation an eye wash or the group is too powerful. One thing is clear, there should be accountability and security forces are accountable too : if not for human rights, definitely for their effectiveness.

mjk Oct 05, 2014 12:07am

Time for a pinpoint drone fired missile to get rid of this scum .

Danish Oct 05, 2014 12:38am

PML-N, PPP are supporting these radicsls so as Kiyani and Iftikhar Choudhry had been doing.

indian rat Oct 05, 2014 12:40am

India should join hands with Pakistan to eliminate these terrorist before they eliminate us

Frank Oct 05, 2014 12:44am

And this is the disease of young men, black flags, long hair and guns - surely we need to understand the manifestation of darkness in the heart and the death of our souls.

Ajay vikram Singh Oct 05, 2014 12:45am

Ye to sirf trailer he. Picture abhi baki he...merey dost.

Sameer Oct 05, 2014 01:06am

@colin well said man. Exactly the type of mentality that's blinding Pakistanis from the obvious truth

Joe FL Oct 05, 2014 01:09am

Can someone please enlighten me?

Are these the Good Taliban or the Bad Taliban?

I've lost track.

NN Oct 05, 2014 01:20am

Ralph peters prediction coming true .... Google him up. Anyhow this news should not surprise any one except only the naive

Ibrahim Mustafa Oct 05, 2014 01:49am

@Mohsin This will remain your dream to wipe out Taliban . US could not do it in 15 years how can Pak Army do it ?

ahmedj Oct 05, 2014 01:51am

Ayman al-Zawahiri of Al-Qaida and Amir ul-Momanin, Caliph Ibrahim of ISIS have dagger drawn relationship. TTP always had been showing its allegiance with Al-Qaida in the past. Wouldn't this development offend Al-Zawahiri?

romy Oct 05, 2014 02:03am

@mohammadnoonnanna so what are you trying to say sympathize and support terrorists? Or in your opinion they are not terrorists? I think you need to come out clearly if you support or oppose terrorism

Ash Oct 05, 2014 03:56am

@Victim You never say that you're hopeless. others and situation may be hopeless.

rama Oct 05, 2014 05:07am

@kashmiri Is every terrorism in the world related to kashmir ? , your comment does not make any sense

Rana Saifuddin Oct 05, 2014 05:57am

@Yawar Mr . Ya war I agree with you.

kumail Oct 05, 2014 06:33am

@Hakim I agree with your comment except people are definitively not supporting, it's all media.

Agha Ata Oct 05, 2014 06:57am

We were told that the army has broken their back and they are no more there to attack us. But this article tells us a different story. We all know that Islamic states has very big training grounds in Syria and Iraq, that means their cooperation with Alquaeda would make them even more dangerous.

Sunil Oct 05, 2014 07:09am

The cat is out of bag.

It is very big.

And it is roaring ; not meowing!!!

skp Oct 05, 2014 07:19am

@Ahmed actually reverse in true

Abdul Oct 05, 2014 07:20am

@Mohsin wishful thinking.

Sayyar Khan Oct 05, 2014 07:31am

@Ahmed No I have no delusion about anything I can careless about Arabs or non Arabs. If you are watching the news you can see for yourself what they are wearing not just the Arabs but in Nigeria also. That of course if you have a TV.

realitycheck Oct 05, 2014 07:43am

@Mohsin. LOL.

Indian Oct 05, 2014 09:02am

I wonder if they considers these people Good Taliban or Bad Taliban. After all, some do have such classifications for terrorists.

Ajaya K Dutt Oct 05, 2014 09:11am

@kashmiri - Solved to your taste.

Lalat Oct 05, 2014 09:48am

@Alam Your comment sounds like a statement from Pakistan Foreign Office.

A sane Voice Oct 05, 2014 10:11am

How can one expect peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan as long the other powers equip and provide funds to the terrorists involved in terrorism?

Aman Oct 05, 2014 11:20am

@Akhtar thats what you are doing till now. U run a factory and send product to india to trouble india. Now some people start using product in your own contry.

Kunal Oct 05, 2014 01:44pm

@Akhtar Do you routinely throw your own trash in your neighbors house? That just proves you are unfit to live in a civilized world. Don't make the neighbor enter your house and slap you.

Harmony Oct 05, 2014 02:06pm

@Lalat - So what is wrong with that if what Alam said is right?

karthik Oct 05, 2014 05:54pm

The smell of blood attracts all vampires.. "Let us be united to Kill and divided to Love".. Beautiful..

Khalid Oct 05, 2014 06:39pm

Yes!... and "Inshallah a drone will be hunting you out pretty soon" and send you to the deepest bowels of hellfire"

Sierrabrave Oct 06, 2014 11:15am

Run with the hare and hunt with the hounds: an old and sure shot strategy for self inflicted tragedy. Well done Pakistan!

akram Oct 06, 2014 02:55pm

They declared allegiance to the afghan taliban before, next it will be the arsenal football team!

INDOARYAN Oct 06, 2014 08:44pm

All our unemployed citizens seeking employment in oil rich lands. Peoples of south Asia origin are deft at taking on anything relinquished by others.

Goga Nalaik Oct 06, 2014 08:58pm

Terrorists from the same school of thought (wahabi/salafist) are joining their hands. Pak army is on the job to crush them...

ravi vancouver Oct 07, 2014 01:19am

@karmat Inner fightings among sects is not dependent on the issues facing muslim world. Peace shall never come unless muslims follow peaceful teachings in Islam this happens to be most peace oriented religion. Muslims have to learn to be tolerant to diversity within their religion and also other religions. Millitants only use very minor part of teachings, and twist them to suit their agenda.

khan Oct 07, 2014 01:25am

So IK wants to talk to these guys and give into their demands, but won't talk to the elected government, however flawed it might be. Nice visionary indeed.

zaman Oct 07, 2014 04:09am

Pakistan's weak leaderships have some how contributed to these groups embryonic growth to flourish, one legged institutions of education, welfare. parliament, justice and law have been the fertiliser

K N BHAT Oct 08, 2014 02:59pm

@Joe FL Terrorists are terrorists . There is no "good terrorism" and "bad terrorism". All are anti humanity. If you dont finish them, they will finish you. They are brutal killers.