In a letter to the media, leader of banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has said that his group is focused on jeopardising democracy by hindering elections in the country.
“We have succeeded politically after we were asked to negotiate by the government,” said Hakimullah Mehsud.
He added that the group was now solely ‘focused’ on the next elections.
As elections are nearing, TTP’s aim would be to “end the democratic system,” the letter further said. Mehsud also urged TTP militants to target senior politicians and party leaders, while continuing the battle against security forces.
Furthermore, in a rare address from an undisclosed location, the militant chief claimed that the TTP was not just fighting a war on a tactical level, but were also able to ‘subdue’ politicians by making them negotiate.
TTP student union
A student union of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan was traced by the police while three of its members splashed posters and banners around Multan.
The publicity material was scripted with inflammatory messages, encouraging people to not vote in elections as democracy was ‘un-Islamic’. It demanded that the people of Pakistan should adhere to the shariah (Islamic law), and said that it was haraam for them to participate in the voting process.
Police claim that the three members were students belonged to Lahore, but were enrolled at the Bahauddin Zakarriya University in Multan. After posting 50 banners in the urban area, they were putting posters on the walls of the Multan press club when they were caught by the journalists.
Police officials claim that they were also making other plans which “could not be shared with public as of yet”.
Investigation officer inspector Ansar Ali told The Express Tribune that they are also planning to make their individual organisation for south Punjab to motivate people against the elections. “Investigations are underway and raids have been expanded to trace the whole network.”
However, two of the students were able to escape from the spot, while the third one was shifted to an unknown place by the intelligence agencies. Initial investigations have revealed that TTP student union works in the form of small groups.
The intercepted Usman Ghani is a student of architectural engineering at the Bahauddin Zakariyah University and was recruited by the TTP when he was only 18- years-old.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 30th, 2013.