Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Islamabad: Reiterating its demand to stop US drone strikes in Pakistan, the militant outfit Pakistan Taliban has warned that it would keep on attacking “America and its friends”.
"We have targeted those who are with the infidels, America, and we will continue to target them," Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud said in an interview with the BBC.
Speaking in an interview conducted by BBC`s Ahmed Wali Mujeeb, Hakimullah Mehsud also said that the terror outfit was ready for serious talks, and blamed the government for not making any contact yet.
The Pak Taliban chief added that for any ceasefire to succeed, American drone strikes must stop.
"We believe in serious talks and we are ready to sit down for them, but the government has not taken any serious steps," said Mehsud who carries a FBI bounty worth $5 million on his head.
He said that he did not want to communicate to the government through the media saying, "The proper way to do it is that if the government appoints a formal team, and they sit with us, and we discuss our respective positions."
Hakimullah Mehsud leads the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) since 2009 and operates dozens of militant groups in Pakistan’s northwest tribal areas.
The terror group has been blamed for various suicide attacks and bombings in Pakistan and responsible for thousands of deaths.
But Mehsud steered clear of having any role in the recent deadly attacks in Pakistan public places, claiming that it was carried out by secret agencies and it was an attempt to defame Taliban.
“We consider the safety of Muslims, of scholars, of mosques and madrassas as our sacred duty.”
"As for explosions which cause damage to the life and property of Muslims, we have denied any link in the past, we deny any link today," Mehsud said.