The Power Schism between Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) & Jamaat ul Ahrar (JuA)

A conspicuous chasm has emerged between the central echelons of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and one of its pivotal factions, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), stemming from the activities of TTP affiliates within the realm of media.

TTP, in an official communique, denounced Ghazi Media, serving as the official conduit for the prominent TTP affiliate, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), for disseminating declarations that run counter to the organization’s established doctrines and official standpoint. The statement further posits that Ghazi Media and other pro-TTP communication channels are bereft of the authority to represent TTP’s official stance, a prerogative vested exclusively in the central apparatus of the organization, Umar Media.

In a retaliatory move, JuA issued a resolute declaration via Ghazi Media, vehemently censuring TTP’s proclamation as reckless and myopic. JuA contended that Ghazi Media stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of JuA’s progenitor, Omar Khalid Khorasani, who met his demise in Afghanistan in 2022. The faction affirmed its unwavering commitment to sustaining the activities of Ghazi Media, which it regards as congruent with the overarching policies of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.

The root causes of terrorism orchestrated by TTP and JuA can be attributed to an insatiable quest for regional unrest, financial dominance, and the ability to exert influence over the political landscape. This unholy alliance initially emerged as a result of clandestine dealings with foreign intelligence agencies, underpinned not by any noble ideology or overarching cause, but rather by the allure of monetary gain.

The acts of terrorism perpetrated by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its offshoot, Jamaat ul Ahrar (JuA) essentially revolve around the pursuit of power, wealth, and influence. The alliance between TTP and JuA was primarily driven by pecuniary motives funded and orchestrated by foreign intelligence agencies, devoid of any noble cause or ideological underpinnings. TTP, in a proclamation branded JuA as traitors, and has declared a form of jihad against them. This prompts the inquiry were these self-proclaimed champions of Islam and mujahideen only until the day before yesterday. In actuality, the sanctity of the Islamic faith and its precepts are cynically exploited for the purpose of perpetrating activities that run contrary to the principles of Islam, resulting in terrorism against fellow Muslims.

While their leaders luxuriate in a life of ease within the confines of Afghanistan, they employ their foot soldiers as mere pawns in their campaign of terrorism within Pakistan, this is a calculated strategy intended to maintain their relevance, enabling them to continue attracting foreign funding and support in their campaign, it is a stratagem intended to maintain their relevance in the eyes of foreign sponsors, who provide financial support and assistance aimed against Pakistan. as the leadership of these factions is in the safe havens of Afghanistan, their fighters are cynically deployed as pawns in the chessboard of terrorism, particularly within Pakistan. The terrorists stand as a stark embodiment of an absence of moral compass, ethics, and the societal values enshrined in our rich religious and cultural heritage. These terrorists are bereft of any semblance of ideology, morality, ethical conduct, or the societal values enshrined in our religious and cultural heritage. Their sole pursuit is the unholy trinity of wealth, power, and authority, which is glaringly evident in their internal strife.

It becomes paramount to understand the multifaceted dimensions of this tumultuous narrative. The narrative is far from monolithic, as it unfolds the complex web of terrorism involving Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and its offshoot, Jamaat ul Ahrar (JuA).

The schism within this coalition is palpable, with TTP branding JuA as traitors and embarking on a self-proclaimed jihad against them. This radical shift raises the question: Were the members of this so-called Islamic army and mujahideen not united in purpose until just a short while ago? The reality has unfolded as a stark contradiction to their professed devotion to Islam, with the sacred tenets and injunctions of the faith cynically manipulated for the perpetration of un-Islamic activities and acts of terror against their fellow Muslims.

Their motivations lie in the pursuit of avarice, an insatiable thirst for wealth, power, and unrest. This naked ambition for supremacy is glaringly manifest in the internal strife and discord that plagues these extremist factions.

Asma Khan
Asma Khan
Author is an Islamabad-based expert in Strategic Affairs. Student of Defense and Strategic Studies, and a M.Phil. Scholar from SPIR Quaid-I-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan Reached at asmakhandurrani595[at] She tweets @AsmaKhan_47