Taliban Leader calls upon residents of North Waziristan to honor deals made with Pakistan


MIRANSHAH: Influential Pakistani Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur has asked North Waziristan’s residents to rise up against all forces trying to use their soil in accordance with an agreement they have ‘signed with Pakistan’.

The request, communicated through a pamphlet distributed on Tuesday, comes a day after the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed that they had taken prisoners, who they had released in their brazen attack on Bannu Central Jail, to Mir Ali.

In the pamphlet, titled Masool-o-Khuddamul Mujahideen North Waziristan, Bahadur said that the people of the agency will be fully supported by him in their battle against those who try to use the area against the interest of the people. “Do not let them operate [from North Waziristan]. Show them resistance, we are with you,” the pamphlet read.

Resistance will be put up if security forces try moving into the agency, the pamphlet said, also stressing that those hailing from South [Waziristan] should respect their own land and property.

The “agreement with Pakistan” is a clear reference to a peace treaty.

The pamphlet uses the word “Southerners” in a clear reference to the TTP, which comprises mostly of Mehsud tribesmen from South Waziristan. Differences between Bahadur and TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud grew stronger following former TTP head Baitullah Mehsud’s death in a drone strike in 2009. Previously, the Taliban had operated under the Shura Ittehadul Mujahideen but the group became defunct a few months after its inception in December 2008.

Bahadur’s relationship with the TTP may have soured, but his alliance with Mullah Nazir in South Waziristan remains intact.

The Express Tribune