LAHORE – Calling democracy un-Islamic, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has planned multiple suicide attacks to target key politicians and public rallies ahead of general elections.

Sources, citing strong intelligence threats, told The Nation on Monday that the TTP were planning attacks to hit public rallies of politicians.  The banned outfit has also launched propaganda campaign against democracy, warning the masses against the electoral process.

“A propaganda leaflet distributed by militants of the Pasban-e-Shariat Organisation in insurgency-hit North Waziristan Agency, rejecting the democratic system in Fata,” a top security official said.  It is also learnt that country’s two leading intelligence agencies recently intercepted communication between the TTP commanders in the northwest region.  The intercepted information reveals a plan of targeting rallies by bombers and gun attacks during polls.  A senior intelligence official disclosed that some detained Taliban commanders told the interrogators that locals and foreigners were recruited to carry out acts of terrorism during election campaigns. 

The official added that the intelligence and security agencies were tasked to arrest the militants before they carry out any terror act.  Intelligence sources say that the nature of the inputs and threats cannot be overlooked, considering the history of attacks on civilians.

“The ruthless beheading of tribesmen, security personnel, and exploitation of ignorant Pakistani Muslims for suicide attacks reflect TTP’s un-Islamic and anti-social practices,” they said.  Over the years in war against terrorism, the brand of Taliban in Pakistan proved to be worst of its kind, highly insensitive towards humanity, sources added. 

The provincial governments in Sindh, Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and the administration in Fata are already alerted by the intelligence agencies to take all “necessary” steps to ward off any possible terror attempt.

The provincial governments are directed to make “special steps” for the security of different political leaders, religious scholars, and elections staff. The law enforcing agencies are directed to remain on high-alert 24 hours before the start of the rallies or processions.

The provincial governments may demand additional troops from Rangers, FC and Pakistan Army during political campaigns in sensitive constituencies.

Political pundits say that democracy does not tend to destroy the established cultural norms and tribal system. It makes police and security forces answerable to elected members. “In fact, democracy would strengthen the tribal elders by providing more powers to the local representatives,” they said.

Security experts say that the aim of the TTP is to denounce the process of elections and create an atmosphere of anarchy and lawlessness in Fata. “Labelling the government and Army un-Islamic is not fair. All tribesmen and religious leaders must consider seriously the true values of democratic system and they must take active part in the forthcoming elections”, the maintained.

Islamic laws can be implemented through a system of governance, so elections are essential for placing the elected representatives to make rules.

 “Democracy does not evaporate respect for elders of tribe or family and the process empowers the people to make their own rules for governance. No outsider ever gets a chance to interfere with political, social, cultural, and other issues under this system,” political analysts say.

POWER