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—File Photo

PESHAWAR: The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Friday threatened to target the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), vowing to ‘deal’ with the largest political party in Karachi, a spokesman for the banned extremist militant organisation said Friday.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, in a statement issued Friday, said that they had decided to the MQM, vowing "not to show any mercy to the apostate tyrants of Karachi".

MQM chief Altaf Hussain has been a vocal critic of peace talks with militants and his party has taken a visible anti-Taliban stance in the wake of the assassination attempt on 15-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai by TTP gunmen.

“How can we hold talks with those who fired shots on Malala Yousufzai, Shazia and Kainat? How can we talk about peace with those who beheaded personnel and officers of the army, police and FC?” the MQM chief said in a speech to party workers on Oct 20. Hussain has also urged the Army to take the ‘bold decision of acting against the terrorists’.

The Pakistani Taliban spokesman also called out to Pakistan’s judges to work for an Islamic system.

“I call out to all the judges who are part of Pakistan’s secular laws and courts: You will also be held accountable in front of God some day. Therefore, you should also work for an Islamic system rather than this godless system,” said Ehsan in the two-page statement.

Moreover, the Taliban spokesman also called out to separatist armed movements in Balochistan and Sindh provinces, urging them to “continue their fight in an Islamic way”.

“I urge the leaders of the nationalist parties in Balochistan and Sindh, like the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and the Sindh Liberation Army (SLA), to fight for their rights in an Islamic way,” said the statement.

The Pakistani Taliban also said that they were in the process of forming a strategy with regard to the upcoming general elections.

“We are in the process of forming a policy and will make it public it as soon as a final announcement for elections is made. All current political parties in Pakistan will be divided into three categories in that strategy,” it added.

However, the statement failed to specify what categories these would be.

MQM response

While speaking to Dawn.Com, MQM leader Faisal Sabzwari said that threats against the MQM were not new, but they in turn have never threatened anyone.

He said that MQM wants to make Pakistan the country that the founding fathers, in particular Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, envisioned it to be.

Faisal Sabzwari said that Pakistan belongs to all Pakistani's regardless of their color, creed, race or views.

He also said that the MQM will continue to raise its voice for the rights of women, children, education and minorities.

The MQM leader also said that to advocate the spread of Islam through violence and force only maligns the faith, and they will continue to speak out against it.

ANP condemnation

Speaking to Dawn.Com, ANP Sindh leader Bashir Jan said that his party strongly condemns the statement made by the TTP.

Bashir Jan said that they will never condone the actions of the TTP and condemn the statement in the strongest terms possible.

"We will continue to fight these people and will never allow the rule of terrorists and extremists in this country," he said.

Bashir Jan said that they are the followers of Bacha Khan and will never support unprincipled and undemocratic acts. He also said that they will always support those who are being oppressed.

"Our political differences with the MQM are over small issues, we will support any political party that is being oppressed," he said.