A committee has been formed to resolve differences among various militant factions, said sources. – File Photo

LADHA: All jihadi groups, in consultation with Islamic Emirate Afghanistan (shadow Taliban government in Afghanistan), have decided to set up a committee to set aside differences in their ranks and step up support for war against western forces in Afghanistan.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Taliban Shura held at an unspecified place on Monday. A statement issued in the form of a pamphlet to the media in Waziristan after the meeting said: “All Mujahideen —local and foreigners —are informed that all jihadi forces, in consultation with Islamic Emirate Afghanistan, have unanimously decided to form a five-member commission. It will be known as Shura-i-Murakbah.”

The committee comprises Maulvi Azmatullah, Maulvi Noor Saeed, Maulvi Saeedullah, Maulvi Sadar Hayat and Hafeez Amir Hamza.

According to sources, Azmatullah (Taliban commander in Barwan) represents the Waliur Rehman group, Noor Saeed (Taliban commander in Barwan) the Hakeemullah Mehsud group, Saeedullah (from Afghanistan) the Haqqani group, Sadar Hayat (from North Waziristan) the Maulvi Gul Bahadar group and Amir Hamza (from Ahmedzai Wazir tribe) the Mulla Nazir group in Wana subdivision of South Waziristan.

Spokesman for the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan Ihsanullah Ihsan confirmed that the meeting had been held and the statement dated Dec 31 was issued after approval by Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Omar.

The sources said the committee had been formed to resolve differences among various militant factions, regroup them and investigate killings on spying charges and excesses, if any, committed by the Taliban against local people.

“All Mujahideen, local and foreigners, are informed that they should desist from killing and kidnapping for ransom innocent people and cooperate with this committee in curbing crimes. If any Mujahid is found involved in unjustified killings, crimes and other illegal activities he will be answerable to Shura-i-Murakbah and will be punished in accordance with the Shariah law,” the statement says.

The sources said the high command of Pakistani and Afghan Taliban had been trying for two months to reach an agreement on uniting different factions. The first meeting in this regard was held on Nov 27 in Azam Warsak near Wana.

It was attended by Waliur Rehman Mehsud, Hakeemullah Mehsud, Mulla Nazir, Abu Yehya Al Libi and Abdur Rehman Al Saudi of Al Qaeda and Sirajuddin Haqqani of the Haqqani network.

The second meeting was held on Dec 11 in Dattakhel area of North Waziristan. It was attended by Sabiullah Mujahid, Maulvi Sangeen and Maulvi Ashfaq from Afghanistan, Yehya Al Libi and Abdur Rehman Al Saudi of Al Qaeda, Hafiz Gul Bahadar and Maulvi Sadiq Noor from North Waziristan and Hakeemullah Mehsud, Waliur Rehman and Mulla Nazir from South Waziristan.

Talking to Dawn on phone from an unspecified place, TTP spokesman Ihsanullah said the Mujahideen groups had reposed their confidence in the leadership of Mullah Muhammad Omar and recognised him as the leader of Afghanistan.

He said the TTP would send its fighters to Afghanistan after March for waging jihad against “US-led infidel forces”.

The spokesman denied a media report that the Taliban would not attack Pakistani security forces. “It was a misleading and incorrect report.”

He said the meeting had decided that militants would target the Americans and their allies in Pakistan as well as Afghanistan.

Ihsanullah said the Taliban would also take revenge of what he called humiliation by security forces of tribal women, men and Mujahideen in the ongoing operation in Khyber agency.

It may be recalled that a rift occurred among Taliban groups when Mulla Nazir expelled Uzbek and Masud militants from Wana subdivision after striking a deal with the government during the operation Rahe Nijat.

However, Gul Bahadar and Maulvi Sadiq did not oppose the shifting of Mujahideen from South to North Waziristan.

AP adds: “For God’s sake, forget all your differences and give us fighters to boost the battle against America in Afghanistan,” senior Al Qaeda commander Abu Yehya Al Libi told Pakistani fighters at the meeting, according to a militant who attended it.