Days after reports of tentative negotiations between the US and the Taliban, Channel 4 News learns of a probable deal between the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban to fight under one banner, for one aim.
The Afghan and Pakistani Taliban have formed a five-member council and pledged to stop fighting their own armed forces, in order to concentrate their fight against US-led forces in Afghanistan.
After weeks of hectic efforts, a high-level delegation of the Afghan Taliban – sent by the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar – finally succeeded in bringing together different Pakistani militant groups under a single platform.
They have united and promised to stop the suicide attacks, kidnapping for ransom and killing of innocent people in the country, particularly in the militancy-torn tribal areas, which was all part of a fight against Pakistani security forces.
Taliban sources said Mullah Omar was not happy with the Pakistani Taliban’s actions and sent a message via his senior commanders: either stop what he termed ‘un-Islamic’ activities or to stop claiming him (Mulla Omar) as their supreme leader.
Sources also said that Mullah Omar was worried over increasing numbers of Pakistani Taliban diverting their attention from Afghanistan towards Pakistan and making it difficult for the Afghan Taliban to continue their resistance against the powerful Nato and ISAF forces in Afghanistan.
Mulla Omar, according to Taliban sources, wants Pakistani Taliban groups to focus on Afghanistan, where their fight against foreign forces was in decisive phase.
“Convey my message to the Pakistani Taliban that you had forgotten the real purpose. The real purpose was to fight against invading forces in Afghanistan and liberate it from their occupation,” a Taliban leader quoted Mulla Omar as telling him.
Convey my message to the Pakistani Taliban that you had forgotten the real purpose. The real purpose was to fight against invading forces in Afghanistan and liberate it from their occupation. Mulla Omar
The source also said that Mullah Omar was upset over the frequent kidnapping and killing of people who were suspected of spying for US forces, and urged them to stop it immediately.
The Taliban on Sunday issued a pamphlet in North Waziristan in which all militant groups were directed to stop kidnapping for ransom and killing innocent people. The five-member Shura council said it would investigate any complaints and would suggest punishment against the said group, if found guilty.
The militant groups which signed accord and promised to work together with the Afghan Taliban include the Maulvi Nazeer group in South Waziristan, Hakimullah Mahsud group, Maulana Waliur Rahman group, both operating in South Waziristan and part of the TTP, Hafiz Gul Bahadur group in North Waziristan, and the powerful Haqqani network.
All groups have one representative on the five-member Shura that will also aim to resolve internal differences between different militant groups.
The TTP leader and his deputy seemed to have separate groups as both were shown in the pamphlet having different people in the Shura to represent them: the leader, Hakimullah Mahsud, has given the name of Maulvi Noor Saeed, the TTP leader in Orakzai Agency, to represent him in the Shura while Maulana Waliur Rahman will be represented by Maulvi Azmatullah in the forum.
However some sources argued that Hakimullah’s nominee will represent the TTP while Rahman’s representative will be sitting in the council on behalf of the Taliban of South Waziristan.
The powerful Haqqani network has chosen Maulvi Saeedullah; Hafiz Gul Bahadur selected Maulvi Sadar Hayat; and Maulvi Nazeer nominated Hafiz Ameer Hamza to represent them in the council that will be called ‘Shura-e-Murakeba’.
Militant groups have now been directed to cooperate with the Shura members. The Taliban’s pamphlet also threatened that any individual or group if found guilty would be dealt according to the Islamic Sharia law.