Islamabad: Taliban commander in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region has warned that he will send suicide bombers to target top officials of a state-run power utility if electricity is not restored in the area in 48 hours, a media report said on Tuesday.
    
Maulana Abdul Khaliq Haqqani, the Taliban commander who heads the Gulshan-e-Ilm madrassa at Miranshah in North Waziristan, on Monday issued a strongly worded statement that threatened officials of the Tribal Electric Supply Company (TESCO).
   
Haqqani also warned local journalists of "dire consequences" if his statement did not appear in the media.
   
He said he had, as a first step, directed Taliban militants in Darra Adam Khel and Mohmand tribal region to abduct TESCO Regional Chief Pervaiz Khan and engineer Jamshed Ali Khan and to bring them to North Waziristan, where they would be given "exemplary punishment" for their alleged failure to ensure power supply to Waziristan.
    
If this failed, Haqqani warned he would dispatch suicide bombers to "eliminate" the two officials.
   
He claimed he had the addresses and other details of the two officials.
   
"I would give cash rewards to my fighters if they kill Pervaiz Khan and Jamshed Ali Khan in front of their house and I will claim responsibility for their killings," Haqqani said in his statement.
    
People have taken to the streets across Pakistan to protest prolonged power cuts of up to 20 hours.
   
The protests turned violent in some parts of the country on Monday, with mobs vandalising the offices of power utilities and burning vehicles.
   
About 150 people were arrested during protests in Punjab province alone.

(Agencies)