edited by Mu Xuequan
ISLAMABAD — Pakistani Taliban’s fraction ” Punjabi Taliban” on Saturday announced to give up militancy permanently and vowed to start welfare work in the country, local media reported.
According to the reports, the militant wing distributed a pamphlet in the northwestern areas of the country, in which its leader Asmatullah Muawiya announced that they would not take part in militant activities in Pakistan any more.
Muawiya said they have decided to give up militancy and to surrender their arms.
The chief of the Punjab Taliban of the country’s eastern Punjab province also urged other Taliban leaders and fighters to follow their precedent to lay down arms and come to table for negotiations to solve their issues.
Muawiya said they are abandoning the armed struggle to start preaching and welfare work in the country, especially in the flood- hit areas.
Rustam Shah Mohmand, an analyst, said that Punjabi Taliban’s decision would be a big blow to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s ( TTP) because majority of the hardcore fighters were coming from the Punjab province.
In August last year, the TTP central committee dismissed Punjab ‘s chief Muawiya from his post over welcoming table talks offer by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. In response to the TTP’s decision, Punjabi Taliban rejected the TTP’s central council decision by saying that their group has its own entity.
The group was accused by police for attacking Sri Lankan cricket team in the country’s eastern city of Lahore in March, 2009, but the group never claimed the attack.
There was no response from government officials so far.
The announcement from the fraction came at the time when Pakistan’s armed forces are conducting their operation successfully against the militants in the northwestern tribal region of North Waziristan.
According to the Pakistan army, more than 1,000 terrorists have been killed and dozens of others arrested, while a number of hideouts and command and control centers of the militants have been destroyed so far in the operation.