The Pakistani military continues to shell the Swat Valley in hopes to wresting the region from the control of the rival Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), but as the TTP’s control grows, police are increasingly the ones finding themselves on the front lines, and deciding it just isn’t worth it.
Today, the TTP released 30 captured security personnel, but only after they swore an oath to quit their jobs. Its hardly an unfamiliar site, as recently as October the TTP was distributing pamphlets to the local police warning them to resign or face the consequences. With their colleagues being killed, many decided that quitting was a pretty good idea.
The Pakistani government may be presenting this as just another battle against an insurgency, but increasingly it is a case of two would-be states competing for control on fairly equal footage. Both sides are targeting their competition, and with control of in excess of 80 percent of the region, it seems the TTP is winning.