TTP militants raided house of sacked Punjabi Taliban chief

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 22:34

Islamabad: Members of the banned Tehreek-i- Taliban Pakistan allegedly raided the house of sacked Punjabi Taliban chief Asmatullah Muavia in the suburbs of Miramshah in North Waziristan Agency in what has been described as an assassination attempt, a media report said on Wednesday.

The TTP had recently removed Muavia from his position as "punishment" for accepting the government`s offer to hold peace talks and hence, rejecting the decision of the umbrella organisation.

Muavia had said the Punjabi Taliban had its own shura (decision-making council) and the TTP had no authority to remove him.

An intelligence agency intercepted phone calls of people involved in the search and alleged assassination plan of Muavia, intelligence officials were quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.

After accepting the talks offer, Muavia had said that negotiations between the government and the militants would strengthen peace efforts.

The TTP leadership had tried to contact Muavia for an explanation after he welcomed the government`s proposal, but they received no response, the report said.

According to the TTP spokesman, the decision to remove Muavia was taken at a meeting chaired by TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud at an undisclosed location. The meeting directed all the militants not to contact Muavia.

After this meeting, TTP militants raided the central office, the resident and other hideouts of Muavia but he had already moved to an unknown location, the newspaper quoted unnamed officials as saying.

Muavia is suspected to have been the main agent for TTP?s recruitment activities in Punjab, particularly in the south of the province.

He is accused of providing chemicals to TTP from textile mills in Punjab, which were later used as explosives in the Marriott Hotel, Islamabad, bombings in September 2008.

The Nawaz Sharif government has expressed its desire to hold talks with the Pakistani Taliban but the banned group says its shura is yet to take a call on this.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - 22:34

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