The Pakistani Taliban has threatened to attack the country's lawmakers if they allow police to reopen NATO supply routes to Afghanistan. The threat makes it clear there is a strong bridge between some Pakistani forces and those of the Afghan Taliban across the border.
A spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) group told journalists, “If the parliament decides to restore NATO supplies, we will attack lawmakers and their overlords.” It also creates some doubt and confusion over a planned U.S. schedule to withdraw troops from the region by 2014.
Almost a third of all NATO supplies had previously been trucked into Afghanistan via two arteries through the Pakistani border. Both were shut down by Pakistan last November after 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed in NATO air strikes after helicopters allegedly responded to gunfire.
Pakistan has since refused to cooperate with NATO, and meanwhile came up with a long list of conditions for the U.S. to meet before it is willing to consider reopening the routes.
Among the conditions for Pakistan's cooperation with NATO's operation in Afghanistan are an unconditional apology for the deaths of the Pakistani soldiers killed in last November's operation; a halt to U.S. drone strikes in the Pakistani tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan; and payment of taxes on each truckload of supplies shipped along the route.
According to the U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations, Pakistani authorities have long had ties to terrorist groups based along the country's border with Afghanistan, including Al-Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban.
Al-Qaeda-linked Toulouse terrorist Mohammed Merah, who last week was killed by French commandos after murdering a rabbi, three Jewish children and three French Muslim paratroopers, confessed during the 30-siege attempt to capture him that he had trained in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The leadership of these groups are based in Pakistan's tribal areas along the Afghanistan border, which are semi-autonomous. A number of other Pakistani terror groups, are also based there, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which carried out a massive terror attack on numerous targets, including a Chabad House.
Chabad-Lubavitch emissaries Rabbi and Mrs. Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg and their four Jewish guests were murdered in cold blood by the terrorists that day. The Holtzbergs' 2-year-old baby son Moishe was the only Jew to survive the slaughter, saved by his courageous Indian nanny, Sandra.