Islamabad: A major TTP faction, Punjabi Taliban, has announced that the group will no longer carry out insurgent activities on Pakistani soil and instead shift its focus to Afghanistan.
The development comes amid major differences cropping up among factions within the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), with a new splinter group recently declaring its split from Mullah Fazlullah.
Punjabi Taliban chief Ismatullah Muawiya said in a pamphlet faxed to the media that the group would confine its practical jihadist role to Afghanistan in view of deteriorating situation in the region and internal situation of Pakistani jihadist movement, the Dawn reports.
Muawiya said the faction would limit its activities in Pakistan to preaching Islam alone, while it will operate in Afghanistan under the guidance of Mullah Omar, the spiritual leader of Afghan Taliban.
The announcement is a major blow to TTP, as the organization appears to be slowly crumbling with more groups announcing their split from the official leadership.
TTP faction `Jamatul Ahrar` recently announced that the group had split from the Pakistani Taliban and claimed that the outfit had the backing of 70 to 80 per cent of TTP commanders and fighters.
Meanwhile, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan expelled a commander of the Mohmand Agency chapter, creating further friction within the terror organization.
TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said on Thursday that following approval by the honourable Ameer, the TTP leadership removed Commander Abdulwaki, alias Omar Khalid Khorasani, as the chief of Mohmand agency unity and also cancelled his basic membership, the Express Tribune reported.
Offering explanation for the removal of the splinter group`s chief, the TTP said that Khorasani was expelled because of his interference in affairs of the Afghan Taliban and his contacts with the mysterious groups - Ahrar-ul-Hind and Junud-e-Khorasan.
An angry Jamaat-ul-Ahrar splinter group responded to the TTP`s move by expelling the group`s chief Maulvi Fazalullah.
Differences within the TTP started to surface following an assault launched by the Pakistani security forces on terrorist sanctuaries in North Waziristan.