Taliban chief orders militants to target Sharif's party

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Islamabad, Jan 9: Pakistani Taliban chief has ordered militants to hit the leaders of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's ruling party after the government lifted a moratorium on death penalty and set up military courts to try terrorists.

"I urge the Mujahideen to hit them (PML-N leaders) hard, so that either they come to the right path or sent to hell," Tehreek-e-Taliban chief Mullah Fazlullah said in a video message apparently recorded at his hideout in Afghanistan.

PML-N leaders facing threat

"I want to tell Nawaz Sharif that first our enemy was the red apostate of Awami National Party (followers of Bacha Khan also known frontier Gandhi) but now I order all Mujahideen who are part of jehad in Pakistan, that PML-N is our target," said Fazlullah, who is reportedly hiding in Afghanistan's Kunar province, bordering Pakistan.

Fazlullah, 40, nicknamed the "Radio Mullah", was the leader of the Taliban in Swat Valley and became the Taliban chief in November 2013 after the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud. Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province government has announced a bounty worth Rs 10 million for information leading to the arrest or killing of Fazlullah, the mastermind of the Peshawar school massacre that left 150 people dead, mostly students.

The PML-N government has so far not responded to the threatening message. Taliban killed about 800 leaders and workers of the left leaning Awami National Party and party chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, grandson of Bacha Khan, narrowly survived a suicide attack in 2008.

Fazullah criticised ongoing military operation in the tribal areas and claimed that civilians were being killed in the aerial attacks. However, Pakistan army has maintained that only militants are being targeted and killed in the precision attacks. The Taliban has been rattled by the start of executions, establishment of military courts and the Zarb-e-Azb operation which pushed militants out of North Waziristan.

PTI 

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