On Nov. 8, the Pakistani government and the violent jihadist group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, announced a preliminary one-month cease-fire. While the development was shrouded in secrecy, it has potentially major implications for the future of jihadism in South Asia.
The agreement—brokered by the Haqqani Network, a group of militants that are designated as terrorists by the United States—gave the Pakistani state respite from a campaign of violence waged by the resurgent, reconsolidated TTP, which maintains loose ties with the Afghan Taliban but is a separate entity. The group’s attacks on security forces along the border with Afghanistan have intensified since 2019.
Both sides stood to gain from the deal. Islamabad got some breathing space as it adjusts to heightened uncertainty in neighboring Afghanistan, which faces a potential economic collapse after the Taliban took power in August. Likewise, the TTP had an opportunity to regroup. Like previous cease-fires between Islamabad and the TTP, this one could simply allow the militant group to grow.