In a statement claiming the suicide assault on a civilian airport in Karachi, Shahidullah Shahid, the spokesman for the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, said that his group would fight alongside Hafiz Gul Bahadar, the leader of an independent Taliban group that is based in North Waziristan. The portion of the statement below was obtained from the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan’s Facebook page, and translated by the SITE Intelligence Group:
All preparations have been finalized to launch a military operation in North Waziristan on behest of American and Western forces. Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan [Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan] has prepared its plan to retaliate against any such action and decided to defend the brave tribes if Hafiz Gul Bahadur declares war.
Shahid is responding to a statement from Bahadar’s spokesman in mid-May in which he said that the North Waziristan-based group was reconsidering its peace deal with the government after the military launched punitive airstrikes in the tribal agency. [See LWJ report, Pakistani military strikes anger ‘good Taliban’ commander.]
As detailed numerous times over the years at both Threat Matrix and The Long War Journal, Hafiz Gul Bahadar and other independent groups such as the Mullah Nazir Group in South Waziristan are considered to be a “good Taliban” as they do not advocate attacking the Pakistani state and instead direct their forces to fight in Afghanistan.
The bad Taliban are the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, the Punjabi Taliban, and other jihadist groups in the tribal areas that threaten or attack the Pakistani state.
If the bad Taliban would just turn their ire towards India, US and Western forces in Afghanistan, and the Afghan military and government, then they would be good Taliban.
Meanwhile, the good Taliban shelter the bad Taliban as well as al Qaeda and other regional terror groups.
So it is no surprise that the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan will come to the aid of good Taliban such as Hafiz Gul Bahadar.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.