TANK/WANA, Dec 14: Local Taliban from tribal areas and some districts of the NWFP on Friday decided to set up a centralised organisation for a joint war against US and Nato forces in Afghanistan and appointed Baitullah Mehsud as their Central Amir, a spokesman for the militant commander told Dawn.

The militants have named their movement as Tehrik Taliban-i-Pakistan and said the aim of the movement was to enforce Sharia in their respective areas.

The decision was taken at a meeting of 40 Taliban leaders, held in an undisclosed place in South Waziristan Agency.

“The sole objective of the Shura meeting was to unite the Taliban against Nato forces in Afghanistan and to wage a ‘defensive jihad’ against Pakistani forces here,” Baitullah’s spokesman Maulvi Omar said.He claimed that Pakistani forces were bombing seminaries and killing people and the Taliban wanted to avenge the forces’ action.

The meeting asked the government to call off military operation in Swat and North Waziristan and abolish all military checkpoints within 10 days. Otherwise, it warned, a suitable course of action would be chalked out in the next meeting of the militants.

Taliban leaders from seven tribal agencies, six Frontier Regions of Fata and NWFP districts of Swat, Kohistan, Buner, Dir, Malakand, Kulachi, Bannu, Lakki Marwat, Tank and D.I. Khan attended the meeting.

They demanded release of Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Abdul Aziz and other Taliban jailed across the country.In another development, Baitullah Mehsud on Friday withdrew his threat to subvert the polls and allowed candidates to run their election campaigns in the South Waziristan.

Maulana Hassamuddin and Maulana Mairajuddin, candidates for NA-42, South Waziristan, told Dawn that they had been allowed to take part in the election by Baitullah during their one-to-one meetings with him.

Baitullah had earlier written a letter to elders of the Mehsud tribe and asked the candidates to withdraw their nomination papers and warned them of serious consequences if they contested the election.

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