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TTP ‘expel’ Punjabi Taliban leader for welcoming govt talks offer

Published Aug 24, 2013 06:55pm


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Asmatullah Muawiya, head of the Punjabi Taliban faction, listens to reporters at an undisclosed place in the tribal region of Waziristan. —Photo by AP
Asmatullah Muawiya, head of the Punjabi Taliban faction, listens to reporters at an undisclosed place in the tribal region of Waziristan. —Photo by AP

PESHAWAR: A spokesman for the main Taliban group in Pakistan claimed Saturday that the head of the Punjabi Taliban faction has been stripped of his leadership for welcoming the government’s peace talk offer.

Shahidullah Shahid, spokesman for the Hakimullah Mehsud-led Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), said Saturday that the Taliban central shura (council) had taken ‘serious notice’ of Asmatullah Muawiya’s recent statement as he was not authorised to respond to the government’s offer for talks.

“The Taliban decision making body met under Commander Hakimullah Mehsud and decided that Asmatullah Muawiya has no relation with the TTP,” Shahid told news agency 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.

Shahid claimed that the council has removed Asmatullah Muawiya from the leadership of the Punjabi Taliban militants, and that the TTP leadership will later issue their stance on the offer of peace talks.

Muawiya responded to The Associated Press that the Taliban shura did not have the capacity to remove him because the Punjabi Taliban is a separate group. He said his group has its own decision-making body to decide leadership and other matters.

Last week, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had offered dialogue to “those elements which unfortunately have taken the course of extremism”.

On Thursday, Muawiya said Sharif had demonstrated political maturity by reiterating his offer to hold negotiations. Muawiya had said militants in Pakistan should respond positively if the government is serious about resolving the conflict.

Muawiya, who heads the Taliban’s faction of fighters from Punjab province, was previously known to be a principal ally of the TTP, an umbrella group of radical religious militants fighting the Pakistani government.

The latest development shows signs of growing divisions between Taliban groups over the issue of holding negotiatians with Sharif’s government, which swept to power in the May 11 general elections.

But TTP distanced itself from Muawiya’s comments and said that the commander has no further role in the outfit.


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Comments (19) Closed

Irshad Khan Aug 24, 2013 07:49pm

Good news , I hope both groups of Pakistani Talibans kill each other.

Tas Aug 24, 2013 08:12pm

Good luck for all those who want to negotiate with the multi-headed snake known as TTP. It is clear right from the beginning that TTP is making a fool out of the government and their is nothing to be negotiated. Is it Pakistan or pandemonium?

Ramesh Aug 24, 2013 08:13pm

A doctor's job is to treat patients, an engineers job is construction and a terrorist's job is to create terror by killing people..There is no point in talking with them..If Nawaz Sharif is truly concerned about pakistan he should conduct an all out military offfensive against them in the tribal areas..Talks will be misused by taliban to regroup and procure more weapons..

Ramesh Aug 24, 2013 08:26pm

Taliban don't want peace..they will use talks as a time for regrouping..If nawaz wants 2 elliminate terrorism he should conduct an all out military offensive against ttp..early the best 4 pakistan..

Raza Aug 24, 2013 09:49pm

Same old "bad cop good cop" routine. These people are trying to fool the nation.

Mike pakistani Aug 24, 2013 09:54pm

We should give the punjabi Taliban and the ttp and all the Taliban a piece of land in a remote inhabited part of country with some tanks to fight it out amongst themselves. At least they will leave us alone.

Kesar Aug 24, 2013 10:04pm

Lets hope they now go after each other.

syed baqar ahsan Aug 24, 2013 10:17pm

Those who think that TTP is made to talk are living in fools world,destruction of Pakistan is mission of all types of Taliban in PAKISTAN

Agha Ata Aug 25, 2013 12:24am

The difficulty in TTP and Government talk is that both parties have impossible demands and nothing to offer unless their impossible demands are accepted. The impossible demands includes to embrace extinction willingly as a political entity with its attributes, and let the other party take over!

Danish A. Aug 25, 2013 02:01am

Here's an idea: why don't we just kill them all, hunt them down before they take any more innocent Pakistani lives.

M. Siddique Aug 25, 2013 02:56am

This tells us how Mullahs operate. They work in authoritarian way and lack maturity of discipline. These are the people who aspire to be rulers. People must stand up and get rid of these thugs.

Imran Aug 25, 2013 03:38am

Now Muawiyah should go to Hakimullah , embrace him and blow himself up. Isn't that how these guys express their disagreements?

Ayaz Aug 25, 2013 10:54am

Is Asmat Ullah Muawia still alive? I thought the punishment for even a slight difference of opinion in TTP was death....

mazharuddin Aug 25, 2013 12:50pm

Government should help TTP to remain united and discuss peace talk which is a must inorder to bring stability in the country. All those should have general amnesty except those who involved in attacking countries' defense installations.

Government should also take necessary measures to eradicate sectarian extremism and un Islamic culture i.e processions and congregations at public places having their solidarity with above than thousand years old dead people as such activities disturb people who engaged in their daily need. It is very serious all religious activities should be at outside of cities and towns where the group is in minority. Moreover such suspicious material should not be allowed to relay or print on media that is suspicious and hateful to majority.

Sacchi Talwar Aug 25, 2013 02:07pm

The only compromise with these animals is through the barrel of a gun "extermination"

khanm Aug 25, 2013 05:23pm

Is there is a possible negotiation with these killers?. What was our aim, our aim is to win over terrorism. Only by being firm we can stop terrorism. We must be firm fighting the terrorists and opposing their final aims they want to achieve. Let us not make the mistake of setting an example

Sarfraz Aug 26, 2013 01:50pm

@mazharuddin: what about killing of normal people whats the justification? Talking to them means we have failed

Sarfraz Aug 26, 2013 01:51pm

@mazharuddin: i can see what you want sir but 20-25% is not what is called an ethnic majority? why minority has to suffer? agree that hate blowers should be blown away

JH Aug 26, 2013 02:42pm

@Sacchi Talwar: Ahan Extermination ! Why are you unable to do so ? Why has the Pakistan Government failed to do so ? Why is US trying to negotiate with them ? The End of every war is negotiation. Killing is not the answer.