Pakistani Taliban sack commander for welcoming govt talks offer

TTP distances itself from Muaweea's comments, says the commander has no more role in the outfit.

Afp August 24, 2013
File photo of Taliban fighters. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban on Saturday announced that they have removed a key commander for welcoming a call for dialogue by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif over ending bloodshed that has left thousands dead.

Ismatullah Muaweea, the head of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan's (TTP) Punjab province chapter, on Thursday hailed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's offer, saying that the prime minister had shown maturity.

Sharif made the offer to extremists on Monday in his first televised address to the nation since taking office after winning elections in May – a sweeping, hour-long speech that focused on Pakistan's myriad problems.

"Wisdom demands that we follow a path where we minimise the loss of innocent lives," said Sharif.

But TTP distanced itself from Muaweea's comments and said that the commander has no more role in the outfit.

"The Taliban decision making body met under Commander Hakimullah Mehsud and decided that Ismatullah Muaweea has no relation with the TTP," Shahidullah Shahid, Taliban spokesman, told AFP.

"He is respectable for us, but he has no relation with the TTP. The decision about the new head of TTP's Punjab chapter will be taken in next meeting of our decision makers," he said.

Muaweea's response to Sharif's speech was surprising for many because the Taliban had earlier withdrawn their own offers for peace talks after one of their main commanders was killed in a US drone strike in the North Pakistan.

In his statement distributed in Wana, South Waziristan, Muaweea had praised the government's step.

"The prime minister has shown maturity with his talks offer and he has also strengthened the desire for peace by staying executions," he said.

Pakistan on Sunday ordered a temporary stay of executions following objections from the president and rights groups, days before they were due to resume after a five-year moratorium.

However, one beneficiary of this moratorium are Taliban militants, who had threatened that they will consider the executions of any of their prisoners a declaration of war.


Sexton Blake | 9 years ago | Reply

@numbersnumbers: Dear numbers, csmann, You guys keep on with the same old mantra. Why don't you look at the big picture and say something intelligent.

Aisha | 9 years ago | Reply

Please stop calling Taliban 'mujahideen'. They are the worst enemies of Pakistan and Islam. They have created a negative image of Islam. They have held our country hostage. They kill Pakistani civilians. They are thugs, criminals and murderers. We Pakistanis pray that these killers are eliminated from our country once and for all.

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