ISLAMABAD, Nov 4 – Blaming the Pakistan government for the killing of its chief Hakimullah Mehsud, Pakistani Taliban has warned that it “will soon start targeting” the ruling PML-N leadership for its alleged support to the US in the region.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also announced that it would not hold any peace talks with the Nawaz Sharif government and threatened to avenge the killing of Hakimullah in a CIA-operated drone strike.
TTP spokesman ShahidullahShahid said the group’s leadership knew that the government was not sincere in peace talks but had decided to hold negotiations “for the sake of the Pakistani people”.
“We did not want innocent Pakistani people to suffer any more and therefore decided to hold negotiations with the government. But the government, by helping the US in the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, proved that there was zero sincerity in the mind of the rulers. It was neither sincere nor serious in peace negotiations,” the Taliban spokesman was quoted as saying by the report.
He warned the government would have to pay the price for, what he termed playing a double game with the TTP.
Karzai Slams Timing of Killing
Meanwhile Afghan President Hamid Karzai has criticized the “unsuitable” timing of the US killing of Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud and expressed hope it will not derail regional peace efforts.Karzai told a visiting US Congress delegation that the attack “took place at an unsuitable time but he hoped as a result the peace process is not harmed,” said his office in a statement released late Sunday.
Karzai, who recently returned from talks with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in London, said fraught relations between Kabul and Islamabad had improved.
“The president said the meeting was one of the best with the Pakistani side and said he hoped that the attack the other day on the leader of the Pakistani Taliban was not harming the peace process in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” his statement said.
Afghanistan expects Pakistan to stop militants crossing the border to launch attacks in the run-up to the April presidential elections for Karzai’s successor.