Millennium Post

Pak Taliban says will not disrupt Imran Khan’s peace march

Pak Taliban says will not disrupt  Imran Khan’s peace march
The Pakistani Taliban have reportedly told Imran Khan’s Tehrik-e-Insaf party that they will not make any attempt to disrupt its ‘peace march’ to South Waziristan, according to a media report on Sunday.

The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan led by Hakimullah has also informed the leadership of the Tehrik-e-Insaf that the militants were even ready to provide security to the march to Kotkai town in the tribal belt, The News daily reported.

Kotkai is the hometown of Hakimullah and his cousin Qari Hussain, better known as a mentor of suicide bombers.

Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Asad Qaiser confirmed that the Taliban leadership had assured that the peace march to South Waziristan would not be attacked.

‘The TTP leaders have approached us and their response was positive,’ he said.

‘The purpose of our peace march is to inform the world about the destruction that the so-called war on terror has caused to the Pakhtuns in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the tribal areas,’ he said.

However, senior officials in Peshawar said the government was reluctant to allow the rally in the volatile South Waziristan Agency.

‘The situation is not satisfactory for public rallies in South Waziristan and it is yet to be decided whether or not the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf would hold its rally in Kotkai,’ a senior unnamed official said.

Taliban sources privy to a recent meeting of senior militant commanders chaired by Hakimullah said they were happy with Imran Khan’s role in highlighting the suffering of the tribal people affected by militancy and supporting victims of US drone attacks.

The militant commanders felt that it was their responsibility to welcome and protect the people joining the peace march since Khan and his supporters were coming to the tribal area to highlight the hardship and miseries of the tribesmen, and the Mehsuds in particular.

‘What Imran Khan and his party are doing today should have been done by the Pakhtun politicians and religious leaders hailing from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas,’ a senior Taliban leader said.

He said the Taliban commanders had informed the leadership of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf about the reported threat of suicide attacks against them in case they decided to march to North Waziristan instead of South Waziristan.

Khan had earlier planned to hold the rally against drone attacks in North Waziristan. Apparently, he changed his plans due to security reasons.

North Waziristan has been the main target of CIA-operated spy planes in recent years. ‘We took a group of people into custody as they had hurled threats at the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leaders on behalf of the TTP. They are under interrogation and will be punished for terrorising the people,’ the Taliban commander said.

He said the Mehsuds considered Imran Khan their ‘nephew’ and would welcome him and his guests on the soil of his maternal uncles. However, it remains to be seen if security agencies will allow Khan and his supporters to travel to the distant Kotkai area in South Waziristan.

Members of the Mehsud, Burki, Bhittani and Gandapur tribes have assured the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leaders of full cooperation in providing security to the peace march from Dera Ismail Khan to Tank and onward to Jandola in the Frontier Region to Kotkai in South Waziristan.

If Khan’s plan materialises, he will be the first Pakistani politician to organise a public rally in South Waziristan after the Political Parties Act was extended to the tribal region in August 2011. [PTI]


THE ‘NEPHEW’


The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan led by Hakimullah has also informed the leadership of the Tehrik-e-Insaf that the militants were even ready to provide security to the march to Kotkai town in the tribal belt [Kotkai is the hometown of Hakimullah and his cousin Qari Hussain, better known as a mentor of suicide bombers]

The militant commanders felt that it was their responsibility to welcome and protect the people joining the peace march since Khan and his supporters were coming to the tribal area to highlight the hardship and miseries of the tribesmen, and the Mehsuds in particular. Mehsuds consider Imran Khan their ‘nephew’ .

If Khan’s plan materialises, he will be the first Pakistani politician to organise a public rally in South Waziristan after the Political Parties Act was extended to the tribal region in August 2011. However, it remains to be seen if security agencies will allow Khan and his supporters to travel there.
Rezaul H Laskar

Rezaul H Laskar

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