As an increasing number of suicide-attacks rock Pakistan's major cities, concerns for the country's security are rising. In recent years, many new terrorist groups have emerged and several existing groups have seemingly reconstituted themselves. A new crop of militants has surfaced, more violent and less conducive to political solutions than their predecessors. Links between many of these new and existing groups have strengthened, say experts. That has given rise to fresh concerns for stability and security. With Pakistan joining the US as an ally in its 'war on terror' since the 9/11, Islamabad has seen a vicious blow-back into the country on its policy of backing militants that could operate abroad. Leadership of Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban, along with other terrorist groups, have made Pakistan's tribal areas their home and are now running an insurgency there by working closely with a wide variety of militant groups. Security concerns are reverberating beyond Pakistan. The Pakistani Taliban, which were actually supporters of the Afghan Taliban in our tribal areas, have now metamorphosed into a mainstream terrorist force that can fight on its own. In December 2007, about 13 disparate militant groups coalesced under the umbrella of the TTP with militant commander Baitullah Mehsud from South Waziristan installed as their leader. After Mehsud was killed in August 2009 in a US missile strike, his cousin and deputy Hakimullah Mehsud took over as leader of the TTP. The TTP not only has representation from all the seven agencies of FATA but also from several settled districts of the province. They number in thousands. They have announced a defensive jihad against the army with the aim to enforce Shariah in Pakistan and fight as a united force against the NATO forces in Afghanistan. Baitullah Mehsud was also reportedly involved in assassination of Benazir Bhutto in December 2007. The group has proved since its inception, through a string of suicide attacks, that it poses a serious threat to the country's stability. Thus, the world war against terror has now turned into Pakistan's war against terror as Al-Qaeda and the TTP have turned their guns against the Pakistani state and its security forces. -SABA NISAR, Rawalpindi, December 9.