Who Benefits From The Attack On Mullah Nazir?

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Context
03-12-2012_Mullah-Nazir2Various interpretations have come to light on the assassination attempt against Mullah Nazir. There are two possible connections; one is linked to the benefit US, Pakistan and Afghanistan derive. The other has to do with the motives of Afghan Taliban, TTP, and Al Qaeda. There is obviously the evolving situation of the region to consider, especially the improving US-Pakistan ties.

Hina Rabbani Khar’s recent statement that US and Pakistan ties have been resorted, speaks volumes about the changed atmosphere. Far from media attention, there are indications that some kind of quid pro quo has finally been reached on how to tackle the complex relations between Afghan Taliban, TTP and AQ. Pakistan’s acquiescence towards a terrorist label for Haqqani network and US backing off from insisting on a military operation in North Waziristan may have accompanied this understanding.

In the aftermath of the collapsed attempt to open a Taliban political office in Qatar, another reconciliation attempt, this time led by Afghanistan, is taking shape. Pakistan has agreed to facilitate the intra-Afghan dialogue process with the release of Taliban prisoners, which may ultimately include Mullah Baradar, the deputy of Mullah Omar captured in 2010. The changing political landscape could have triggered power jockeying amongst the non-state actors that led to the attack on Mullah Nazir.

One of the key goal for the US and NATO strategy has all along been to create divides between AQ, Afghan Taliban and TTP. On the other hand, Pakistan is seriously concerned about the TTP, it continues to carry out attacks against the state. The attack on Mullah Nazir causes infighting amongst Pakistani Taliban and thus distracts them from targeting Pakistan and US troops in Afghanistan. Moreover, it also pressures Afghan Taliban to partake in the reconciliation talks.