Islamabad: Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Hakimullah Mehsud has warned that his fighters were planning orchestrated attacks against the government and the military to wrest control of areas that they had lost in the country’s northwest.
In an Eid message posted on the Taliban website in English, Urdu, Pashto and Arabic, Mehsud claimed his fighters had withdrawn from certain areas as part of a "war strategy" and were planning attacks to regain areas they had lost
control of in Swat, Malakand and the tribal areas.
He claimed some of the areas vacated by Taliban fighters had again fallen into the hands of the Taliban.
The militants were waging a guerrilla war and inflicting losses on Pakistani security personnel and US elements, he further claimed.
Mehsud has rarely been seen in public since the US stepped up drone strikes that targeted him and the Pakistani military launched operations against him and his fighters.
However, he claimed that the Pakistani Taliban were continuing the "open war" that was declared by slain TTP founder Baitullah Mehsud against the Pakistani state in January 2008 due to the country’s alliance with the US.
He reiterated the Pakistani Taliban's loyalty to Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar, saying Muslims did not recognise the Durand Line as the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Mullah Omar "is our leader, guide and Ameer (chief)", Mehsud said.
"The services and sacrifices made by the TTP for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan have been proven over time and our association with them will only continue to strengthen," he said.
First Published: Monday, November 14, 2011, 10:36