Islamabad: A top Taliban commander in Pakistan's restive North Waziristan tribal region on Saturday threatened to scrap an unofficial peace deal with the army, citing recurring US drone attacks and demolition carried out by the military in Miranshah. (Agencies)
Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who is believed to have links with groups like the Haqqani terror network, issued the warning in a Urdu pamphlet distributed in the market of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency, local residents said on Saturday.
Bahadur's move came in the wake of the demolition by the army of a multi-storey building in Miranshah on November 7. The building was dynamited after two rockets were fired on a nearby army camp.
"On Saturday we announce the abolition of the peace jirga, which had been formed for negotiations with the government in 2007. We want to declare that if in future, the security forces resort to brutal acts, we will not remain silent spectators," Bahadur said in his statement.
He contended that people were aware that the "US is carrying out drone strikes with the help of the government of Pakistan, which has martyred hundreds of our people".
"In view of the sufferings of the people of North Waziristan we have shown restraint and patience. But the government is resorting to brutalities on the behest of others. Drones are killing innocent people, including children," Bahadur said.
He claimed the security forces, in a "brutal act", had demolished civilian buildings, including hospitals, hotels, shops and houses in Miranshah market a few days ago.
The Taliban group led by Bahadur struck a peace deal with security forces four years ago after which a peace jirga was formed in the area in 2007. Local residents said the Taliban were unhappy that the jirga's members had not intervened when the army demolished the five-storey building in Miranshah on Eid-ul-Azha.
Taliban commanders said jirga members should have stopped the demolition of the civilian building.
Dozens of owners of medical stores, doctors, paramedical staff and workers in medical shops observed a strike in Miranshah on Saturday to protest the army's demolition of private hospitals and medical facilities.
There was no official word on the incident from the army. The army action and the Taliban reaction have caused tension in North Waziristan.
The US has been putting pressure on Pakistan army to crack down hard on groups like that of Bahadur and others linked to the Haqqani terror network.
Islamabad: A top Taliban commander in Pakistan's restive North Waziristan tribal region on Saturday threatened to scrap an unofficial peace deal with the army, citing recurring US drone attacks and demolition carried out by the military in Miranshah.