MOSCOW, December 18 (Sputnik) — In order to stop Pakistani Taliban's terror, like a recent attack on a school in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, which left more than 140 people dead, including 132 children, clerics all over the country should stop supporting and expressing sympathy for them, Dan Qayyum, editor of Pakistan KaKhudaHafiz.com, country's leading alternative policy institute and online news service told Sputnik Thursday.
The expert explained that Pakistani Taliban fighters use Islam as a cover and there are clerics from leading religious political parties, who refuse to condemn the actions of these terrorists and even try to justify them.
"All of the apologists and sympathizers of these terrorists need to be locked up immediately. No insurgency can survive without popular support from the people, and these clerics are the reason the Pakistani Taliban have survived for so long," Qayyum stated.
He added that former Pakistani President Parvez Musharraf was the one who originally launched military operations against these terrorists and even back then these clerics used to protest in the streets against Pakistan Army.
"They carry a major responsibility for the actions of those who they have defended for so long," Qayyum claimed.
Pakistani Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the massacre, calling it an act of revenge for Pakistani military operations against the terrorist group.
"They [Pakistani Taliban] are under severe pressure from the Pakistan Army," Qayyum continued. "Taliban's capabilities have taken a big hit due to the operation being carried out by the army called Zarb-e-Azb."
According to the expert, after the death of Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban militants, just over a year ago, the terrorist group is no longer a united force.
" There have been disputes over Hakimullah's successor and many factions have broken off altogether. The Mehsuds [Hakimullah Mehsud followers] are pretty much going at it alone at this point and their increasing desperation is evident in the choice of target this time around — unarmed, defenseless children," Qayyum stressed.
Qayyum linked the choice of the target for the attack to these ongoing military operations by the Pakistani Army against the terrorists, as the school they attacked was run by the army.
"Many of those killed were children of serving military men and at least two of the teachers killed were wives of army officers. Pakistan's armed forces have been sacrificing lives for years fighting the Pakistani Taliban, now their families have joined this sacrifice as well," Qayyum concluded.
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