Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fazlullah vows new war in Pakistan

Afghanistan-based Taliban leader Maulvi Fazlullah, a leading figure in the insurgency, has vowed to return to Pakistan to wage war as the country came under renewed American pressure to tackle militancy.

“We sacrificed our lives, left our homes and villages for the sake of Sharia (Islamic Law) and will do whatever we can to get Sharia implemented in the Malakand region and rest of Pakistan,” Sirajuddin Ahmad, a close adviser, told Reuters, describing Fazlullah’s position.

He was answering written questions submitted by Reuters.

The Taliban threat was issued as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and top US military and intelligence leaders delivered a tough warning to Pakistan to crack down hard on militant groups, an issue heavily straining ties between the uneasy allies.

Fazlullah was the Taliban leader in Swat Valley, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Islamabad, before a 2009 army offensive forced him to flee.

Also known as FM Mullah for his fiery radio broadcasts, he regrouped in Afghanistan and established strongholds, and poses a threat to Pakistan once again, said army spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas.

The Pakistani Taliban, which is separate from but aligned to the Afghan Taliban fighting foreign forces in Afghanistan, has declared war on the Pakistani state for providing support to the US-led war on militants in the region. more