Peshawar: The Pakistani Taliban has welcomed the resignation of Lt Gen Haroon Aslam, who quit after he was superseded, with the banned group saying no talks would have been possible if he had been made the army chief.
The Taliban said following Aslam`s resignation, they would "think once again" about possible talks with the government.
Claiming that Pakistan is being occupied by the army, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said in a statement: "(Prime Minister) Nawaz Sharif also demonstrated wisdom while picking the new army chief."
Describing Aslam as the "killer of Muslims of Swat", the group said "all wishes and desires of the Taliban of holding talks with the government would have died" if he had been made army chief.
Aslam was the senior-most general after outgoing army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who retired today.
But the Prime Minister on Wednesday appointed Lt Gen Raheel Sharif as the army chief and Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood as the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.
Both generals superseded Aslam, who led a successful operation to flush the Taliban out of Swat Valley in 2009. He sent his resignation to the Defence Ministry yesterday.
The current TTP chief, Mullah Fazlullah, earlier headed the militants in Swat and was forced to flee to Afghanistan because of the operation.
The Taliban recently pulled out of a nascent peace process with the government after their previous chief, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed in a US drone strike on November 1.