The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has rejected Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of Daesh, as the global authority for Muslims. This latest statement from them comes amid speculation that the group’s leadership, whose goal is to topple the government and set up a Sharia state in Pakistan, is actually wary of IS (Islamic State). The TTP has stated that they believe IS has ambitions that have little to do with South Asia.

Last year, IS, an Al Qaeda offshoot, proclaimed its leader as “caliph” — the head of the state. Al-Baghdadi aspires to establish a global “caliphate” with himself as its head. However TTP has made it clear that he will never have that authority, as he only has command over a specific territory and not the world. Does this mean that the TTP will bow to IS if IS can take over the world? The statements sound, and are, ridiculous. The TTP feels that Baghdadi’s selection is not according to Islamic rules (as all these terrorist groups think themselves to be the owners and executers of God’s true will).

This is all very well and understandable as we knew that both power hungry groups may not get along. The TTP has, in the past, made it clear that there was only room for only “one flag, one leadership” in their fight to establish Sharia law. But the statements get even sillier when the TTP claims that the IS is barbaric, and that they condemns the savagery of IS. The TTP has made it clear that if the IS were a real caliphate, they would provide real justice “while Baghdadi’s men kill many innocent mujahideen (fighters) of other groups”. That the TTP has the audacity to condemn the savagery of any other group is beyond comprehension. These are men who kill children, what to talk of people of other sects and religions. Like their senseless killing, their condemnation of the IS is meaningless and an insult to the Pakistani people suffering at their hands. This statement proves perhaps that the TTP might be feeling threatened, or are trying to aim at a softer image. However after 16 December 2014, there is no scope for softness. They are the enemy.

The self-proclaimed IS is nothing but an army of ruthless murderers. And so is the TTP. We should have no qualms over not listening to them, or condemning them openly. They deserve nothing but continuous denouncement and censuring, so that any ideological hold they have over the Pakistan people can dissipate.