The announcement by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan to block Nato supplies in protest against drone attacks is an appreciable step, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson said on Friday.
“Imran Khan has taken a welcome step,” TTP central spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said while talking to reporters from an undisclosed location.
“No there is no question of ceasefire,” he said responding to a query regarding any chance of respite for peace.
“We are being attacked in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa where we are fighting a defensive war, so we will continue to hit the area from where we are targeted,” Shahid said.
But one thing is clear, Shahid said, “We are exacting revenge from security forces and not the public.”
Here he specified that the public did not include the ANP, PPP and MQM, the three leading secular parties of Pakistan that the Taliban will never pardon.
He said there was no question of dialogue with the government after the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud. “However, peace dialogue is possible if the TTP Shura and Mullah Fazullah decide.”
The way Nawaz Sharif is begging the US to stop drone strikes shows the lack of power of the government, Shahid said adding even a simple tribesman can ask the US to stop drone attacks.
Referring to Jamaat-e-Islami chief Munawwar Hassan’s statement that Hakimullah Mesud is a martyr, Shahid said, “Hassan has rightly conveyed the feelings of the Muslims.”
Regarding the slain TTP chief, Shahid was adamant on revenge. “We know the killers of Mehsud. We will track them down,” Shahid said concluding, “Hakimullah would be avenged like Sheikh Osama and this is not just a threat.”
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2013.