Taliban threatens to target PML-N leadership: Report
Taliban has warned that it "will soon start targeting" the ruling PML-N leadership for its alleged support to the US in the region.
Islamabad: Blaming the Pakistan government for the killing of its chief Hakimullah Mehsud, Taliban has warned that it "will soon start targeting" the ruling PML-N leadership for its alleged support to the US in the region.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan also announced that it would not hold any peace talks with the Nawaz Sharif government and threatened to avenge the killing of Hakimullah in a CIA-operated drone strike.
Geo News quoted an unnamed senior militant commander operating in Afghanistan as saying that they would soon start targeting the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership for its alleged support to the US in the region.
TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said the group`s leadership knew that the government was not sincere in peace talks but had decided to hold negotiations "for the sake of the Pakistani people".
"We did not want innocent Pakistani people to suffer any more and therefore decided to hold negotiations with the government. But the government, by helping the US in the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, proved that there was zero sincerity in the mind of the rulers. It was neither sincere nor serious in peace negotiations," the Taliban spokesman was quoted as saying by the report.
He warned the government would have to pay the price for, what he termed playing a double game with the TTP.
Shahidullah said Hakimullah`s killing was a "huge loss" to the Taliban, adding they would always feel his absence.
"We are passing through a difficult phase and are still in the state of mourning. And that`s the reason we could not sit to choose his successor," he remarked.
He said the TTP Shura would hold its meeting within the next few days and would choose the next Taliban leader.
When told about reports that the Shura had held its meeting in North Waziristan but could not develop consensus over one name, the Taliban spokesman said it was not true.
He said all the Shura members had been informed about the meeting and they would soon gather at a safe place to choose Hakimullah`s successor. For the time being, Shahidullah said the Taliban
commander from Jandola in the Frontier Region Tank, Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani, had been appointed as Ameer of the TTP central Shura.
"He is not an acting Ameer of the TTP as reported by the media. He would work as Ameer of the TTP central Shura and would, along with other members of the Shura, oversee affairs of the network till the new Ameer is nominated," the spokesman explained.
About the announcement of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf- led government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to stop the NATO supplies through the province, the spokesman said, "It is an encouraging attempt as it would at least cause some damage to our enemy but it will not help restore our trust in the government."
However, other militant leaders welcomed this decision, saying "though we oppose the PTI leadership as it is now a party to the system, we appreciate this decision of stopping the NATO supplies."
Talking about the election of its new chief, a militant commander said, "The Shura held several sessions on Sunday but they could not convince each other on one name. The meeting has been postponed for three days. It has been decided to invite senior members of the TTP and create a consensus".
He said three names of senior Taliban commanders were presented at the Shura meeting. They were Maulana Fazlullah, Hafiz Saeed Khan and Maulana Gul Zaman.
Maulana Fazlullah is the leader of the Swat Taliban and is presently based in Afghanistan?s Kunar province.
Hafiz Saeed Khan is the TTP leader in Orakzai Agency.
He belongs to the Orakzai tribe and is a resident of the Mamozai area in the militancy-plagued Orakzai Agency.
Among the militant circles, he is known as one of the most hardline and dangerous militant commanders, the report said.
Besides his native Orakzai Agency, Taliban sources said he had organised dozens of deadly attacks on key installations in major cities of the country, including the US Consulate in Peshawar through four suicide bombers, the Peshawar airport, military checkpoints, mourning processions of the Shia community and worship places of Ahmadis.
It is said it was Said Khan who organised a suicide car blast on the tribal jirga in Orakzai Agency on October 10, 2008 and killed over 50 people.
He proudly claimed the recent suicide car attack on the compound of Mulla Nabi Hanafi in Orakzai Agency.
The third militant commander is Maulana Gul Zaman. He, too, belongs to the Orakzai Agency and is the TTP Ameer in the Khyber Agency.