ISLAMABAD: The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan has as many as 500 female suicide bombers ready to act, Maulana Abdul Aziz, one of three negotiators representing the TTP, said in an interview with Bloomberg News. The TTP sees no urgency to reach an agreement with the government, the Maulana said at his Islamabad seminary.
“You should know that at the moment they have at least 400 to 500 female suicide bombers in Waziristan and other tribal areas,” said Maulana Aziz, referring to the TTP.
“The government should realise the situation and their demands.”
Maulana Aziz said the Taliban were most interested in implementing Sharia. The US military presence in Afghanistan is “a very small factor” in the fight, he added, disputing statements by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan and others.
“They (Taliban) are fighting for the implementation of Sharia,” Aziz said at the seminary where some 1,300 female students are studying. “It’s the law of nature that when people don’t get their rights, they pick up arms.”
The number of female suicide bombers mentioned by Maulana Abdul Aziz “is a very exaggerated figure”, said Muhammad Amir Rana, director of the Islamabad-based Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies.
“The Taliban are way ahead in the propaganda war, and they have given a tough time to the state,” he said. “Female suicide bombers have been used, but not too many.”
Maulana Aziz, who was jailed for two years after the raid on Lal Masjid, last week temporarily withdrew himself from the talks with TTP because the government insisted the negotiations be held under the Constitution. He will remain on the TTP’s committee, he added.
“The Taliban are in no hurry,” the Maulana said, when asked whether the group wanted a deal soon to avoid a military strike. “They say they are not worried about it. They have been in a state of war for the past 10 years.”
“If the military has weapons and air power, they (Taliban) have suicide bombers,” Maulana Aziz said of the Taliban. “You cannot match them. Suicide bombers even destroyed the power of America in Afghanistan.”
By arrangement with Washington Post-Bloomberg News