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Taliban make decision on Imran Khan’s Waziristan rally

Published Oct 01, 2012 04:23pm


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In this photo taken Aug. 6, 2012 Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan, center, flanked by his body guards talks to The Associated Press in the militant group’s stronghold of Shawal in the tribal region of South Waziristan.—AP Photo

KARACHI: The banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has said that the militant organisation has made a decision regarding cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan’s peace march to South Waziristan; however, the decision will be announced a day before the rally actually takes place.

According to a report by the BBC Urdu on Monday, a spokesman for the TTP Ehsanullah Ehsan said that the decision was taken during an important meeting of the Taliban council on Saturday attended by the TTP’s central leaders.

The spokesman said that the Taliban has made a final decision; however, he added that he was unable to disclose whether the decision was in favour of Khan’s rally or against it.

Ehsanullah Ehsan, speaking to correspondent Zahir Shah Sherazi over telephone from an undisclosed location, confirmed that the banned organisation had made the decision at a meeting of its central leaders Saturday, but will announce it a day before the proposed rally.

Imran Khan, the chief of the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), has vowed to rally to South Waziristan against drone attacks along with thousands of people, including 30 civil society activists from the US.

At a press conference in Islamabad on Sunday, the PTI chief said claimed that the Mehsud, Burki and Bhittani tribes of Waziristan had assured him of providing security to the participants of the rally.

The rally, starting from Islamabad, will pass through Balkasar, Talagang and Mianwali, reaching DI Khan on October 6. On October 7, the participants will gather in Tank and then will move towards South Waziristan where a public meeting will be held at Kot Kai.

South Waziristan is one of the seven regions in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), governed by tribal laws. An Islamist insurgency led by the Pakistani Taliban plagues the region, which is close to the Pak-Afghan border, while the area is known to be infested with militants, including the al Qaeda, the Taliban and several other armed extremist organisations.

The tribal areas, especially North and South Waziristan, have also been the stage of US drone strikes, which many say are ineffective and have claimed the lives of several innocent civilians.

No sympathy for liberals

Earlier in August, Taliban spokesman Ehsan had said that a reaction to Khan’s proposed visit will be made public after the “Shurah [council] of TTP…decide what to do a week before his (Khan’s) sure arrival.”

The spokesman, denying earlier reports of a TTP death threat to the PTI chief, however, had made it clear that the Taliban ‘have no sympathy for Khan or liberals, a term they associate with a lack of religious belief.

“It’s sure and clear that we don’t have any sympathy with Imran Khan. Neither [do] we need his sympathy, as he himself claims to be liberal and we see liberals as infidels,” he said.

The spokesman had said that by calling himself a ‘liberal’, Khan had proved that he was a ‘slave of the US and Europe’, and that the Taliban are not satisfied with his policies.


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Comments (45) Closed

Ghayyas Oct 02, 2012 03:05am
what will Imran Khan gain from this march he should focus on winning the elections rather than wasting time on going to Tribal areas where there would be no election taking place. Once he becomes the PM, it would be a good idea to go over there. No need now.
Iftikhar Husain Oct 02, 2012 10:43am
The report clearly shows that TTP are not interested in this rally soit is sensible not to go there when foreign visitors are involved it does not made any sense. I also agree Mr Naveeds proposal.
Farhan Khan Oct 02, 2012 06:09am
He didnt take their permission... they are providing it for free...
Yawar Oct 01, 2012 09:46pm
This shows that Imran Khan is not a politician. If the rally occurs without incident then it would appear that Imran Khan has become buddy buddy with the TTP, an arrogant terrorist organization that has committed thousands of murders. Clearly this would not help him. If TTP does something really bad, then everyone will say that he is short sighted or God forbid that Pakistan has lost another worthy leader.
Capt C M Khan Oct 01, 2012 10:12pm
Ahmer so correct... Shame on Imran etc. A Pakistani can go anywhere in Pakistan without taking permission of Gangsters liek TALIBAN. JAGOO Imran and others????
sher khan Oct 01, 2012 10:20pm
Ahmed , what about you getting off your computer and joining the march to waziristan? or you a chicken like me?
View from Abroad Oct 01, 2012 10:02pm
When Imran started to talk about his Peace March towards Waziristan quite a few months back, I started to think that he was perhaps Joking. Then he continued to talk and talk about this march...and every time, I was not sure what he wants from this march? Its a politically immature move and the Khan is going to bring his own ranking further down... Also, I wonder why IK always claims on the media that he knows a lot about Pathans while in reality he has been only in the KPk and a few tribal areas mere as a guest/cricket star? Khan has started to play with fire at a time when he should have concentrated on his election campaign and pinged the PPP in Sindh, the ANP in the KPK and the PML-N in Punjab. It is an immature move aimed at nothing...I wonder who advised IK on this? Couldn't be one of his friends!!!!!!
Shaikh Mohommad Oct 01, 2012 05:26pm
Imran Khan is playing politics. Rather he is playing dirty politics. We all know that drone attacks take place with full co-operation of Pakistan Army. See Iran. Drone entered Iran's airspace and it was shot down. In Pakistan drone attacks are having a field day. The conclusion is that Pakistan Army which receives American Military aid is in full co-operation with USA. Has Imran Khan said anything about Pakistan Military's collusion with USA?
Raw is War Oct 02, 2012 12:15am
what is the difference
MSAlvi Oct 02, 2012 12:19am
No drone was shot down in Iran. It crashed due to technical fault. Drones fly too high to shoot down. Pakistan wants to eradicate Taliban and violence. I don't see any reason why Pakistan should not cooperate with US on drones issue. Are they not just helping Pakistan? But you have to set aside your ego and be real.
Khurram Oct 01, 2012 06:29pm
How about PPP and ML(N) leaders? Would they be courageous enough to land a foot on the troubled land?
BEA Oct 01, 2012 08:44pm
Good luck
Karachi Wala Oct 01, 2012 09:35pm
Taliban's decision will be what Bush's decision was after 9/11. Either you are with us or against us. Meaning, if Imran endorses what Taliban stand for, he will have a joint rally with Taliban and Al-Qaida. Otherwise, Imran and people who dare to accompany him will be on Taliban's mercy. Meaning, on their hit list.
Ahmed Khan Oct 02, 2012 01:03am
Imran Khan should not take this , so called "Peace March" into Waziristan. You cannot trust a bunch of Jahil Talibans, who are nothing but bandits, murderers and outlaws. These prople don't understand civil discourse and reasoning. They will not even accept advice or edict from the highest Islamic scholar. So, Imran Khan don't put yours and the lives of overseas visitors in jeopardy by marching to Waziristan. Talibans should be totally eradicated after PTI comes to power. My vote to PTI will be predicated on the premise that PTI will try to save our religion from the clutches of these poor specimens of humanity. If not, then PTI will not get my vote the next time around nor will they get votes from the educated civil society which matters in Pakistan.
Yawar Oct 01, 2012 09:33pm
to keep from getting shot or abducted
pathanoo Oct 01, 2012 06:16pm
Does Imran Khan has an alternative to deal with the Taliban and Al Qaeda in lieu of Drones? Or, he thinks he will talk these murderers in to becoming non-violent Mahatma Gandhi's followers just becuase the Great Imran Khan stopped the Drone attacks? The Great Imran Khan should concentrate on : eradicating indigenouos Pakistani created terrorism, offer solutions to alleviate poverty, talk about the pathetic school situation, how he intends to resolve the current financial bankruptcy, what would he do when the IMF and World Bank loan payments come due.....I know he will grovel privately in their chamber but boast in front of the Pakistani crowd and lie like a banchi, how heintends to resolve Balochistan situation and last but not final, how does he intend to get the justices to dispense justice and not politics? Or, does he think Allah will solve all these problems? I have not heard a sensible word, leave aside a solution, to any of these maladies that inflict paksitan.
Agha Ata (USA) Oct 01, 2012 06:32pm
I think and I hope, Imran Khan has a plan B, in case he is denied entry into Waziristan. Knowing that this peace march was supposed to be the triggering move for his Tsunami, he might have to move another rock to get the desired- political eruption.
shadab Oct 01, 2012 06:52pm
Security forces should have escort this rally. In case if Taliban thugs invade the rally then security forces should silent them with full power so that in future no one dare to do so.
nadsc Oct 01, 2012 06:43pm
It will be interesting to note if the "Mummy/ Daddy" group follows Mr. Khan to Waziristan. This will be the litmus test! It will differentiate men from boys .
Ahmer Oct 01, 2012 08:49pm
Isn't South Waziristan part of Pakistan? Why does a citizen of Pakistan need permission from anybody to go to any part of his country?
G.A. Oct 01, 2012 05:56pm
Who are the TTP to run a state within a state. It's every Pakistanis right to go to any corner of Pakistan as they wish. Nobody is stopping TTP from moving around in Lahore or Karachi or any other part of Pakistan.
Naved Oct 02, 2012 07:11am
Imran's proposed rally is nothing, but a political gimmick. Why Imran is so concerned about the killing in US drone attacks only. Why he is not taking out any rally on relentless killings of shias and other minorities in Pakistan. Why he is showing selective sensitivity? Unfortunately, he is not saying & doing enough on the grave law and order problems in settled areas of Pakistan, but for FATA he is quite vocal. I strongly suggest Imran to take out rally and demonstrate against the sectarian killings and religious hatred in Pakistan. By his action he has to prove that he is a leader of all Pakistanis & have no sympathy for cruel taliban and their supporters.
Jamshed Khan Oct 01, 2012 05:59pm
ram Oct 01, 2012 10:43pm
Dont suggest him anything...He doesnt like advice... Is over 18?
ram Oct 01, 2012 10:40pm
khalid saeed Oct 02, 2012 02:27am
Well said. Pakistan army has made a real mess in Pakistan. They are sucking blood of poor pakistani even after retirements
khalid Oct 02, 2012 01:25am
imran khan support taliban as he is afghan (taliban without beard)
waqasakbar Oct 02, 2012 01:10am
Darawal Oct 02, 2012 01:37am
According to writers like Farhat Taj, local Pakhtuns leaders have been systematically killed so that people like Imran could be imposed .....
BK Oct 01, 2012 06:05pm
Good Luck IK. May god be with all the people joining the march to South Waziristan.
SP Oct 02, 2012 08:12am
Absolutely on the money, but unfortunately we are as bankrupt morally as economically, hence the lack of courage to deal with this cancer that is fast eroding every fabric of our society. I have a lot of respect for Imran but I am not sure what he is trying to prove here. Rally or no rally the decision to rein in on the Drone strategy is beyond him or anyone in Pakistan for that matter. He should focus on many more pressing issues that are plaguing Pakistan if he really is honest in what he says.
Sekar, USA Oct 01, 2012 11:34pm
It shows Imran can not be a half taliban. It is like pregnancy either you are pregnant or not. So Imran are you a Taliban (as Musharef said about him as a Taliban without a beard) or not?
U. Saifi Oct 03, 2012 10:50am
This is all a farce - I dare PTI to go deeper into South or North Waziristan. Kotkai is a safe area.
abc Oct 01, 2012 10:38pm
Easiest way to patch up with taliban is to offer a bigger bounty for blsphemy. I'm sure he is capable of doing so and he will not disappoint us.
Imran Ahmed Khan Oct 03, 2012 11:54am
If IK was any less Liberal he would be a Taliban himself. A man who openly supports Jirga who publicly supports Amir Liaquat and Sh. Rasheed and who is beholden to the Army for its support is hardly a paragon of Liberal thought.
akhter husain Oct 03, 2012 03:16pm
If one can break in the frequency at which drones operate ,it can be brought down.
Shah Farman Oct 02, 2012 01:08am
Stand firm with Imran and PTI in this decision. He is taking bold steps while others are doing lip service. There is no representative government nor real opposition. All parties in government are enjoying perks and making money. My vote and support for PTI.
Ali Oct 01, 2012 07:07pm
oh deary me!
saif Oct 01, 2012 07:34pm
talebans are just like enemy of Islam.
Shafiq Oct 01, 2012 08:49pm
Mommy can I go with Imran Khan to waziristan? Answer : No!
Ahmed Oct 01, 2012 08:49pm
How about Imran Khan protesting against the killing of 30,000 Pakistanis by the taliban while he is there in fata?
khalid saeed Oct 02, 2012 02:23am
I wonder how army official can criticize IK, they have to look in the mirror. Was,t it Pakistan army who surrendered in thousands in east Pakistan and made the history. Army in Pakistan is a mini Pakistan within Pakistan. Those who are serving armed forces in Pakistan have nothing to show up except to acheive lucarative benefits this mini Pakistan group has.
Nizar Oct 01, 2012 11:21pm
@Shadab: ha, ha, ha..... hope that says it all.
Nizar Oct 01, 2012 11:19pm
Well said Ahmed!
Tariq Oct 02, 2012 04:46am
sham for all those people who against libral; thinking and peace march either imran or do