- Taliban spokesman terms Sajna’s separation an ‘indirect trick by Pakistani agencies to weaken TTP’, says TTP’s fight for implementation of Shariah would continue
A spokesman of Hakimullah Mehsud group on Sunday said the banned terrorist outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) led by Mullah Fazlullah is serious in peace talks and the government needs to show sincerity.
Talking via telephone from an undisclosed location, Haji Daud said that the separation of Khan Said alias Sajna Mehsud group from the TTP would not affect the terrorist group because Sajna has a limited number of fighters.
“Separation of Sajna from TTP is an indirect trick of the Pakistani secret agencies to weaken the militant organisation,” Daud said, adding that such conspiracies would be thwarted by the TTP.
“If the government shows seriousness for talks then Hakimullah Mehsud group under the TTP leadership is serious for holding talks to bring peace in South Waziristan Agency,” Haji Daud added. Haji Daud said the Hakimullah Mehsud group was trying to reach a peace deal with Sajna in the light of Shariah.
FIGHT FOR SHARIAH:
“We have confidence and trust in Fazlullah and will follow his instructions as we were following the instructions of ex-TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud,” Daud said, adding that TTP’s fight for the implementation of Shariah would continue.
On May 28, spokesman of Khan Said group, Azam Tariq announced separation from TTP during a press conference at an unknown location in Waziristan and also leveled allegations against the TTP.
“The present TTP system has fallen prey to invisible hands due to conspiracies hatched by an organized group,” Azam Tariq had said, adding that TTP was promoting sectarianism and criminal activities such as armed robberies and extortion.
He had alleged, “Affairs of TTP have been handed over to incompetent elements under a well-planned conspiracy.” He, however, had claimed that they made hectic efforts for reforms but were unsuccessful.
Accusing leaders and office-holders of the banned terrorist outfit for involvement in criminal and other anti-social acts, Tariq had said, “Affairs of the organisation are being run through resources generated from extortion money and robberies.” He had also said that they had reservations over banned TTP’s involvement in violent acts, especially suicide attacks and bombings in mosques and madrassas.
On May 5, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had said he was still hopeful that talks with the Taliban can succeed, despite the terrorists ending a ceasefire. Nawaz had also said that talks offered the “best option” of ending the country’s long conflict.
However, on May 20, Chief of Army Staff Raheel Sharif told the PM that the time for peace talks with the Taliban terrorists was over.
Nawaz Sharif came to power a year ago promising to find a peaceful settlement with the TTP, but as round after round of talks failed, security forces came up with a military solution.
Their patience finally ran out during a meeting last month in which the army declared it would override a crucial plank of the government’s strategy and take matters into its own hands.
“The army chief and other military officers in the room were clear on the military’s policy: the last man, the last bullet,” a government insider with first-hand knowledge of the meeting told a foreign news agency.
Asked to sum up the message General Raheel Sharif wanted to convey at the gathering, he added, “The time for talks is over.”
The next day, Pakistan Air Force launched airstrikes against terrorists holed up in the remote, lawless tribal belt near the Afghan border. On May 22, they backed that up with the first major ground offensive against the Taliban there, undermining Sharif’s year-long attempt to end a bloody insurgency across the country through peaceful means.