Why Do Terrorist Leaders Reside in Pakistan Military’s Backyard?

Sameera Ehteram
The death of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud is one of the hottest topics on the international stage.

Hakimullah Mehsud

The death of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud is one of the hottest topics on the international stage.

As the world speculates on who the next leader will be and what turn peace talks between TTP and Pakistan’s government will take, there’s one aspect of Mehsud’s death that hasn’t been given its due attention.

Here are some facts.

  1. Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by a drone strike in his $120,000 farmhouse in North Waziristan, a kilometer away from Pakistan army’s headquarters in the region.
  2. Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, home to the Pakistan military's main training institution, the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul.

See the similarities?

Two notorious terrorist leaders, responsible for some of the worst atrocities, built their properties right under Pakistan military’s nose.

         i.            Is the Pakistani military incompetent?

         ii.           Are they in cahoots with the terrorists?

         iii.          Do terrorists seek out such places because hiding in plain site is effective?

         iv.           Or does the military have a clever strategy behind their actions (or inactions)?

Pakistan’s intelligence agencies have long been accused of having ties with domestic militant groups like the TTP. While the latter is up for debate, the fact that Pakistan’s tribal areas have made Pakistan's their home is not.

But to say that the military would be in full support of terrorists that are responsible for killing tens of thousands of Pakistanis would be a stretch.

Read: Abbottabad - City Where Osama Bin Laden Lived Underneath The Military's Noses

I believe that the third option makes more sense. What better place to hide than right under the army’s nose?

It’s the last place they'll ever think to look.

This was probably the case for Osama Bin Laden because the compound he was killed in was designed to hide those who were living inside. It was also reported that Bin Laden never left the vicinity so one is willing to give the Pakistan military the benefit of doubt.

However, in Mehsud’s case, the fourth scenario is more appropriate because at a time when the government is working on peace talks with TTP, why would the military take action against it leader? It would jeopardize the process – as ridiculous as the notion seems. Killing the TTP leader was not on the military’s agenda.

You may also like to read: Have ‘Peace Talks’ Gone Down With The Pakistan’s Taliban Chief Death?

Of course all of this is pure speculation.

It is just as likely that the terrorists know how to play Pakistan’s intelligence agency (ISI) better than we think.

After all, didn’t Pippin in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers share the same wisdom?

"The closer we are to danger, the further we are from harm."