Peshawar: The Pakistani Taliban has disowned a leaflet issued in Dera Ismail Khan on behalf of the outfit`s Punjab chapter threatening to carry out suicide attacks on the peace march of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
"I would like to clarify that we have nothing to do with this leaflet circulated in Dera Ismail Khan on Saturday on behalf of TTP Punjab. This is rubbish as the TTP Punjab is not even aware of any such statement.
Anyone who issued this leaflet in Dera Ismail Khan to warn Imran Khan of suicide attacks on his rally might have his own political designs," The News quoted Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, as saying. Ehsan said that TTP Punjab, TTP Balochistan and TTP Sindh were integral part of the mainstream TTP headed by Hakimullah Mahsud.
"They consider Hakimullah Mahsud as their chief and me as their central spokesman. Whenever they carry out attacks in their respective areas, they call us and then I claim its responsibility. There is no way the TTP Punjab or anyone else in our network can operate without our consent," Ehsan said. He added that the TTP Punjab leadership was also astonished over this threatening leaflet issued in Dera Ismail Khan to target the peace march of Imran Khan. "The Punjab-based leadership of the TTP was surprised over this leaflet and wanted to know as to who could have used their name to terrorise Imran Khan and his party workers. Moreover, D I Khan is located in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where TTP Punjab never operated before," he said.
"People who consider this peace march as a threat to their political career might have issued this pamphlet on behalf of the TTP," he added. Ehsan had earlier disowned a similar threatening pamphlet issued on Friday by a previously unheard militant organisation, Jaish-ul-Mujahideen al-Khilafat that urged people not to participate in the PTI rally in South Waziristan, and warned that they would be responsible for their losses.
The Pakistani Taliban said they considered Imran Khan a secular politician and never offered any protection to his rally in South Waziristan, but did not give any indication to target the PTI peace rally in Kotkai area of South Waziristan.