– MAULANA FAZLULLAH ESCAPED TO AFGHANISTAN
One of the most wanted Tehrik-e-Taleban – TTP leaders in Pakistan, Maulana Fazlullah has escaped to Afghanistan and is planning new attacks on Pakistani forces, he has told the BBC, in a phone interview on Monday 11/16/2009.
Maulana Fazlullah founded the Swat Taleban to enforce a hard-line version of Islamic law. The government at first accepted his demands (see – Swat Truce II), but later accused the militants of reneging on a peace deal and sent troops into the valley (see – Swat-Crisis). Maulana Fazlullah was said by officials to have been wounded or killed in July 2009 and has been incommunicado for several months..
“I have reached Afghanistan safely,” Maulana Fazlullah told BBC Urdu. “We are soon going to launch full-fledged punitive raids against the army in Swat.” The voice was recognisably Maulana Fazlullah’s – he has a very distinct way of pronouncing words.
Maulana Fazlullah said that those claiming success for the Swat operation should try to prevent drone attacks and the US security firm Blackwater from operating in Pakistan. He issued a warning to the NWFP’s information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain.
Talking about US President Barack Obama’s Afghan policy, Maulana Fazlullah said there was no need for the USA to send in more troops. “Hundreds of thousands of Pakistani soldiers are already involved in furthering the US agenda in the region,” he said.
His return is likely to be a morale booster for the increasingly beleaguered Taliban in Pakistan. But it appears unlikely that his militants will be able to take the fight to the army, so soon after being soundly defeated in Swat.
Read more –