Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

Taliban rule out talks, claim control over S. Waziristan

Published Dec 14, 2011 10:01pm

LADHA, Dec 14: The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan has ruled out any negotiations with the government and claimed to have control over most areas of South Waziristan.

In an interview with a three-member delegation of senior tribal journalists at a command and control centre of militants in South Waziristan, the key operational commander and chief of Laddah sub-division chapter of TTP, Shamim Mehsud, rejected any contacts with the government under the present circumstances.

He said the TTP would not hold talks with the government till the enforcement of sharia, pulling out of security forces from tribal areas, payment of compensation to tribals for destruction of their homes and properties and release of the Taliban from Pakistani prisons.

Shamim Mehsud said the US-led Nato forces and Pakistani security personnel were united against Taliban Mujahideen. He said if they had atom bombs, fighter jets, tanks and other weapons, “we have the assistance of Allah and spirit of Jihad”.

“They can't match our Fidayeen squad. The bones of Fidayeen are bullets and shrapnel, meat is explosive and blood is petrol for the infidel forces.”

The journalists were invited to meet commander Waliur Rehman, Emir of South Waziristan Taliban, but he was busy in meetings with some Taliban delegations from Afghanistan and other areas of Pakistan. Then they had to meet Shamim Mehsud.

The journalists were allowed to visit various sections of the centre situated at a distance of about three kilometres from a camp of security forces.

They spent a night there and met well-equipped Taliban militants whose number remained 30 during the day and 45 at night.

They were stunned to see heavy and light weapons, including 75RR guns, anti-aircraft guns, mortars, missiles, rockets, grenades and Kalashnikov, etc., in the godown of the centre.

The journalists witnessed a training session of 10 Fidayeen (would-be suicide bombers) whose ages ranged between 16 and 30 years.

“I am ready to jump in the fire if my commander orders me to do so,' a would-be bomber said.

Another bomber said: “Nobody forced him to take such an action. I am ready to die for the cause of Islam and inflict heavy losses to infidel forces.”

Commander Shamim Mehsud refuted the claim of security forces that the writ of the government had been enforced in the tribal area. “If there is control of security forces, how will we freely run our training, control and command centres.”

He said: “American forces are facing defeat in Afghanistan and here in tribal areas the Pakistani troops have stuck. After being deceived by America the security personnel have entered the Mehsud areas, but now they are facing humiliation here.”

During their stay, the journalists saw an exchange of fire between security forces and militants. Mortar shells landed near the centre, but no militant was killed or injured in the clash.

The Turmken Mujahideen had established camps in an area near the centre. Armed militants occupied hilltops and set up bunkers there.

The journalists reached their destination after a drive of 15 hours and another 15 hours of walk from Dera Ismail Khan via Shawa (North Waziristan). They saw most of the houses in the Mahsud area were vacated. Some of the houses on the east side were occupied by security personnel, who have established bunkers and posts.

On the west side (from south Baddar Mantay, Boragai, Darghal, Gutma to Shawal in the north) all the localities are in control of Taliban militants.