New militant organisation formed in Pakistan

By Muhammad Najeeb,IANS

Islamabad : Six militant groups in Pakistan’s Mehmand Agency bordering Afghanistan have formed a new organisation, the Tehrik-e-Taliban, to fight for implementation of Islamic laws.

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According to a report in the Pushto daily Wahdat, 25 commanders from six groups gathered Monday morning in the tribal area and decided to form the Tehrik-e-Taliban, or Taliban movement, to fight against the presence of US forces in Afghanistan and areas bordering Pakistan.

Spokesperson for the new group, Abu Noman, said a 16-member council had been formed to guide future activities. Omar Khalid was appointed chief of the group while Maulana Gull Muhammad was deputy chief, he said. quoted Khalid as saying that the government and media had held the Taliban responsible for several activities, including murder and suicide attacks, but that was not true.

It was to put a stop to these allegations that “we decided to unite and form this joint organisation. Now all activities will be done through this group”, he said.

The US has been saying that the Taliban were uniting in Pakistan and may launch a big offensive. There had also been reports of some top Taliban leaders, who ruled Afghanistan for six years, hiding in Pakistan.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in government raids on suspected militant hideouts in tribal areas since 9/11. While the government claims air operations were conducted by Pakistani forces, opposition, religious organisations and locals say US forces were directly involved in the strikes in which most of the people killed were innocent civilians.