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Secular Muslims are enemies, says Pak Taliban

Last updated on: July 4, 2012 11:23 IST

'The jihad against infidels will continue'

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The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has vowed to fight alongside the Haqqani Network if the Pakistan Army launches an offensive against it in North Waziristan Agency.

Rediff.com's Tahir Ali has received an exclusive video interview of TTP's spokesperson Ihsanullah Ihsan, who vows to continue jihad against 'secular forces'.

What would be the reaction of the TTP if an operation was launched against the Haqqani Network?

The TTP will fight side by side with the Haqqani Network against Pakistan's security forces. Our first target would be Pakistani security forces posted there.

How are the drone strikes affecting the movement of the Taliban?

We have lost a large number of our companions in drone strikes but the mujahideen are neither afraid of them nor can they discourage the jihad. The jihad against the infidel forces will continue.

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Image: Pakistani Taliban fighters receive training in Ladda, South Waziristan tribal region, in this still image taken from a video
Photographs: Reuters

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'Our friendship and animosity are based on religion'

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Why you are against the United States' presence in Afghanistan while your movement is based in Pakistan?

The TTP is not only interested in US forces leaving Afghanistan; we are actually against the secular system they have introduced there. We have no enmity with Americans because they belong to the US but we detest their secular and un-Islamic system.

If someone in the US is Muslim, he is our brother and if even a Pashtun is following a secular ideology, he would be our enemy. Our friendship and animosity are based on religion. We hate Americans for their secular ideology. If the same ideology is followed by Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari or Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, they are our enemies.

What is the status of TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud?

Hakimullah Mehsud is leading the TTP. He is safe and sound and is busy in his jihadi activities. He is keeping away from the media under our strategy; actually there is no need for him to appear before the media.

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Image: Handcuffed Pakistani soldiers with Taliban fighters in this still image taken from a video
Photographs: Reuters

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'We are in a state of war'

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Why is the TTP attacking media personnel?

We have no enmity with media personnel but most of them are promoting Western agendas. Our media is promoting Western culture; they call us extremists and terrorists instead of Taliban and mujahideen. The media carries one-sided stories without knowing our point of view, so we target media personnel and organisations.

Why have you asked Mehsud tribesmen not to return home?

Actually, these people have left their homes due to the bombardment by Pakistani forces; they have not left the area due to the Taliban. We have asked these people to stay away from government forces. We are in a state of war so they should stay away until the situation is under control.

What is the policy of the Taliban about the tribesmen who are taking up the role of armed militia against the militants?

Pakistan supported the US in its war against terror and became the enemy of the mujahideen. In the same way, the private militia, by supporting security forces, have become a part of the secular forces. They are our enemy.

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Image: A supporter of the Pakistan People's Party holds the country's national flag while cycling during an anti-US rally
Photographs: Athar Hussain/Reuters
Tags: TTP , Taliban , Western , US

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'We don't believe in any borders'

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Why is the TTP against the Awami National Party?

The ANP leaders are secular and they have played a vital role in the anti-Taliban movement. They claim to represent the Pashtun community but there is no sign of Pashtunwali (the Pashtun code of conduct) in them. The flag of ANP is red while red is not considered to be a good sign.

Is there any difference between the mission of the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban?

All the mujahideen are same, whether they are Afghani or Pakistani. We don't believe in any borders. Our kingdom was spread from Spain to Turkistan and China. Until we reoccupy this area, we will not rest and the jihad will continue.

What do you think about the current Islamic government of Pakistan?

You cannot call a government Islamic until there is implementation of Shariah law. Our struggle will continue until the implementation of the Shariah.

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Image: A man mourns next to his dead relative at a morgue, after his body was recovered from the site of a double suicide bombing in Quetta
Photographs: Naseer Ahmed/Reuters

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