Commander Says Taliban Won’t Fight Pakistani Forces in Waziristan

In a statement delivered by spokesman Ahmedullah Ahmedi, local Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) commander Qari Gul Bahadar said that militants in North and South Waziristan will continue to abide by the peace deal signed with the Pakistani government earlier this year in spite of the escalating US attacks in the region.

Bahadar is reportedly an advocate of the wider peace deal offered by TTP spokesman Maulvi Omar earlier this week. Pakistan’s coalition government is reportedly split on whether or not to pursue the offer. The Pakistani military has ruled out any fresh offensives in North Waziristan, despite US pressure.

Several US officials have claimed the Waziristan region is the center of militant activity in the area, while Pakistani military action has focused further east on Bajaur and the Swat Valley. The US has launched over a dozen air strikes in North and South Waziristan, despite the objections of the Pakistani government.

Ahmadzai Wazir tribesmen in South Waziristan threatened last month to abandon a peace deal with the government if they were unable to stop the US air strike. Though the Pakistani government has continued to formally protest every US attack, Defense Secretary Kamran Rasool has warned that ending their alliance with the US would lead the country to international sanctions and financial ruin.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.