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Pakistan Taliban rules out negotiations with govt

December 15, 2011 16:15 IST
The outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has ruled out any negotiations with the government and claimed that it has taken control of most areas of the South Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

Shamim Mehsud, a key operational commander and chief of the Taliban in Laddah sub-division, rejected the possibility of any contacts with the government under the present circumstances. He told a delegation of tribal journalists at a Taliban command and control centre in South Waziristan that the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan will not hold talks with the government till 'Shariah' or Islamic law is enforced, security forces are withdrawn from tribal areas, compensation is paid to tribals for the destruction of their homes and properties, and Taliban fighters are released from Pakistani prisons.

Mehsud refuted the claim of security forces that the government's writ had been enforced in South Waziristan. "If there is control of security forces, how will we freely run our training, control and command centres," he said.

He said the United States-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces and Pakistani security personnel were united against the Taliban fighters. He was quoted by the Dawn newspaper as saying that if the troops had atom bombs, fighter jets, tanks and other weapons, "we have the assistance of Allah and spirit of jihad." "They can't match our fidayeen (would-be suicide bomber) squad. The bones of fidayeens are bullets and shrapnel, meat is their explosive and blood is petrol for the infidel forces," Mehsud said.

The journalists were invited to meet commander Waliur Rehman, head of the Taliban in South Waziristan Taliban, but he was busy in meetings with Taliban delegations from Afghanistan and other areas of Pakistan. The journalists then met Shamim Mehsud, the report said.

The journalists visited sections of the command and control centre located about three kilometres from a security forces camp. They spent a night there and met well-equipped Taliban militants, whose number remained 30 during the day and 45 at night.

The godown of the centre contained heavy and light weapons, including 75RR guns, anti-aircraft guns, mortars, missiles, rockets, grenades and Kalashnikovs. The journalists witnessed a training session for 10 fidayeens whose ages ranged between 16 and 30 years.

"I am ready to jump in the fire if my commander orders me to do so," a would-be bomber said. Another bomber said nobody forced him to take such an action. "I am ready to die for the cause of Islam and inflict heavy losses to infidel forces," he said.

Shamim Mehsud said the US forces were facing defeat in Afghanistan and that Pakistani troops were stuck in the tribal belt. "After being deceived by America the security personnel have entered the Mehsud areas, but now they are facing humiliation here," he claimed.

During their stay in the region, the journalists witnessed an exchange of fire between security forces and militants. Mortar shells landed near the Taliban centre, but no militant was killed or injured.

Turkmen militants too have established camps in an area near the Taliban centre. Armed militants have occupied hilltops and set up bunkers.

The journalists reached their destination after a drive of 15 hours and walking another 15 hours from Dera Ismail Khan via Shawa in North Waziristan. They saw that most houses in the Mehsud area were vacated. Some of the houses were occupied by security personnel, who have established bunkers and posts.

On the west side -- from south Baddar Mantay, Boragai, Darghal, Gutma to Shawal in the north -- all localities are in the control of Taliban militants.



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