The Pakistani Taliban announced today that its leading ideologue, Khalid Haqqani, has been killed alongside one of his colleagues. Haqqani was a key jihadist thinker and author for the group.
Trump’s acquiescence to Pakistan, which has backed the Taliban’s deadly insurgency in Afghanistan, occurs less than two years after he accused Pakistan of providing “safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror”. Trump also said Pakistan returned billions of dollars in US aid with “nothing but lies & deceit.”
The Taliban has used female suicide bombers in the past. Years ago, a wanted commander known as Qari Zia Rahman established training camps to indoctrinate women and young girls to carry out the gruesome attacks.
Pakistan is a state where those who push the bounds of what is acceptable to the military and Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, including jihadists, politicians, journalists, and activists, end up missing or are found murdered. Pakistan has weathered nearly two decades of international condemnation over Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, yet he and his terrorist entities have not only survived, but thrived.
If history is any guide, Laskahr-e-Taiba leader Hafiz Saeed and his cadre will dodge the charges and continue to provide support to a wide range of terrorist groups, including al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban.
Ayman al-Zawahiri has released a new message entitled, “Don’t Forget Kashmir.” He criticizes the Pakistani Army and intelligence services at length, saying they can’t be trusted to support the jihad against Indian forces. He also calls upon Muslim scholars to explain that it is “individual duty” to support the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate.
On May 14, the UN Security Council added the Islamic State’s so-called Khorasan province to its list of sanctioned terrorist entities. The group has recently rebranded operations in Kashmir and Pakistan as the work of supposedly new “provinces.”
In his testimony to Congress in July 2016, Zalmay Khalilzad called for designating Pakistan a State Sponsor of Terrorism for its support of the Taliban, noted the enduring Taliban-al Qaeda alliance. Today he praises Pakistan for its desire for peace in Afghanistan and claims the Taliban will be an effective counterterrorism partner.