Militant leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur will be immediately eliminated if spotted, said Major General Zafarullah Khan, the general officer commanding 7th infantry division Miramshah, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Maj Gen Khan also confirmed, as reported earlier, that the military has cleared 80% of Miramshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency where the military is engaged in a major offensive against Taliban militants.
He added that all terrorists would be eliminated without any discrimination based on race or ethnicity.
Hafiz Gul Bahadur heads a Taliban faction based in North Waziristan, and has close ties with the Haqqani network.
In the past, Bahadur is to said to have cooperated with both the government and Betullah Mehsud. However, he didn’t make permanent alliances with either.
In 2006, the Bahadur group formed a peace deal with the government, they threatened to violate the deal twice – once in 2008 and in 2011 – due to drone strikes in the region.
Lal Masjid operation
Maj Gen Khan also confirmed that the will of former Lal Masjid cleric Abdul Rasheed Ghazi has been found from the area.
On July 3, 2007, former president (retd) General Pervez Musharraf had ordered a military operation against Lal Masjid for challenging the writ of the state.
The military besieged the mosque for 12 days before assaulting the compound. Ghazi was killed in the operation.
Prior to this incident, it is reported that Ghazi and his brother Maulana Abdul Aziz had developed links with jihadi elements and foreign militants.
In 2004, Lal Masjid issued a fatwa that any Pakistani soldier killed in Fata did not deserve Muslim funeral prayers or burial in a Muslim graveyard.
In 2004, Rasheed’s car, was allegedly used for terrorist activities in Islamabad. The administration wanted to arrest both the brothers but did not do so on the intervention of a minister.