Christians Fear Taliban Killings In Pakistan


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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy

(Worthy News) – Christians in ’s border area near fear more attacks from the Islamist Pakistan group, aid workers told Worthy News.

The group, known locally as the Tehrik-e-Taliban or TTP, increased its presence in the region after the Taliban takeover in neighboring Afghanistan, Christians noted.

Though the TTP is separate from the Afghan Taliban group, both are allied and share a common extreme Islamist ideology, according to sources familiar with their thinking.

TTP activities include increased attacks on personnel as well as extorting money from local people and businesses. Militants already killed those refusing to obey their demands, aid workers said.

That has raised fears among Christians living in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and other border areas, noted Barnabas Fund, a Christian aid, and advocacy group.

“A TTP insurgence would aim to replace the present government of Pakistan with one more fully based on sharia, or Islamic law,” Barnabas Fund told Worthy News.

FOLLOWING AFGHAN EXAMPLE

They follow the example of the Taliban, which announced its implementation of sharia in Afghanistan, Barnabas Fund said.

The Christian charity claimed that many agree with TTP as an opinion poll among 2,170 Pakistanis showed 55 percent of respondents favoring an “Islamic government.”

Barnabas Fund agreed that Pakistan’s government and army “are in a much stronger position to repel a Taliban insurgency than were their Afghan counterparts.”

However, “the specter of TTP control of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or northern Balochistan raises fears for Christians living in those areas.”
explained Barnabas Fund. “They fear that they, like believers in Afghanistan, will be subject to strict or even attacked and killed for their Christian .”

The TTP reportedly aims to take control of the tribal regions near the Durand Line – the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

It was formalized in 1893, splitting tribal groups such as the Pashtuns in areas where the TTP claims most support, according to experts.

TTP LEADER

TTP leader Noor Wali Mehsud reportedly described the Taliban victory in Afghanistan as a “victory for the entire people.”

In published remarks, he added that “We are hoping to take control of Pakistan’s border tribal regions and make them independent.”

Barnabas Fund agreed that Pakistan’s government and army “are in a much stronger position to repel a Taliban insurgency than were their Afghan counterparts.”

But Christians remain uncertain. “The Afghan Taliban’s stunning success in defeating the American superpower has emboldened the Pakistani Taliban,” said Brian Glyn Williams, a professor of Islamic history at the University of Massachusetts.

He added, “They now seem to believe they too can wage a successful against the Pakistani ‘infidel’ state and have returned to insurgency mode.”

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