Khar, Aug 6 : The Pakistan unit of the Taliban - the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has reportedly threatened to launch attacks in Karachi, particularly the MQM offices and its leaders, and that it could take the control of the port city anytime it wanted if the party chief Altaf Hussain, who stays in London, didn't immediately end his kingdom there.
A TTP spokesman said that the militant outfit was "prepared to wage jihad to counter US and NATO forces in the Tribal Areas", and had established anti-aircraft "missile systems" along the Pak-Afghan border for this purpose.
"The MWM must immediately end his kingdom in Karachi, as it was ripe for the Taliban to gain control of the city," the Daily Times quoted the spokesman as saying.
"This is a warning for Altaf Hussain to cease his statements against the Taliban and end his kingdom in Karachi, otherwise we will launch attacks against the MQM and its leaders once we are given the go-ahead by Baitullah Mehsud," TTP chief Maulana Faqeer Muhammad and spokesman Maulvi Umar told a joint press conference at Inayat Kalay.
Umar boasted that the Taliban had 'massive' support of Karachi's residents and that TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud "could take control of the city whenever he wanted to".
The TTP spokesmen also warned that they would instigate militant action across the country if the government did not stop the ongoing military operation in Swat and continued to pursue a military option in the Tribal Areas.
Umar said that, on the directives of Baitullah Mehsud, the TTP had convened special meetings of Taliban commanders to design a strategy against the government if the military operations continued. He further said that the organisation had given a "positive response" to the government's proposals for peace.
Following the TTP threat, MQM Rabita Committee Deputy Convener Dr Farooq Sattar said that the federal and provincial governments needed to take measures to ward off Taliban threat to Karachi.
Sattar told media persons that the MQM would take up the matter with Pakistan People's Party, Awami National Party (ANP) and other "like-minded parties". "If we do not take notice of the threat and fail to take corrective measures against the spread of Talibanisation, future generations will never forgive us," Sattar said, and added that the Sindh government must not "hide the truth" of the matter.