Pakistan Places a Bounty For TTP Chief's Head
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah.
NEW DELHI: The government of Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on Monday announced a 10 million rupees (US $100,000) bounty for information leading to the arrest or death of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah.
“The provincial government has set a bounty of RS 10 million for any information/help that can lead to the arrest or killing of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah," a senior official in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government told AFP, requesting anonymity. The official added that the KP government had prepared a list of 615 militants and was offering a combined bounty of RS760 million (US$7.5 million).
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s parliament deferred, till Tuesday, a vote on legislation involving the setting up of military courts for terror-related cases. The legislation will enable military courts, which currently only deal with the military, to rule on all terror-related cases -- a proposal that was put in place by Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after the TTP carried out a brutal attack on an army-run school in Peshawar, killing 150 people, in December.
Seperately on Monday, reports have emerged that the TTP has released a new video featuring Mullah Fazlullah, in which the TTP chief threatens, “We will do something which will make you forget the Peshawar attack."
The Citizen has not been able to independently verify the video. The video, if authentic, will contradict unconfirmed reports that have emerged from Pakistan that the TTP chief was killed in an airstrike in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province.
The following excerpts are sourced from media reports.
In the video, Mullah Fazlullah defends the Peshawar school attack, saying “Our men attacked the school and killed children of army personnel - not civilians.”
"They asked about their identity before killing them.
"These people will always be our target and we will kill them in the streets, markets, everywhere.”
"If the army knows our situation - then we also know theirs. Army camps everywhere are our targets."
"Were our children not children?” the TTP chief said.
"Even if the US or Nato comes, we are ready to fight them," he declared.
Mullah Fazlullah concluded by threatening with a “spectacular” terror attack that was currently in the works, and said, "I warn the Government, if you don't stop the torture of our prisoners, then there would be events that would make you forget Peshawar. It's a War between us and the Army. You kill ours, we will kill yours."
In the aftermath of the Peshawar attack -- which the TTP said was in response to Pakistan’s military operation in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency -- Pakistan has stepped up its offensive against the militants. The country has also reinstated the death penalty, lifting a six year moratorium, for those convicted in terror-related incidents.
Following the reinstatement of the death penalty, Pakistan executed four death-row prisoners who were convicted for their involvement in an attack on former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. Two former military men were also executed in the Faisalabad district jail: Usman, a former soldier of the army’s medical corps was executed for involvement in an attack on the army headquarters in Rawalpindi in 2009, and Arshad Mehmood, a trooper who was convicted on the charges of an assassination attempt on Musharraf in late 2003.
Hundreds more could face execution in the coming weeks. "Interior ministry has finalised the cases of 500 convicts who have exhausted all the appeals, their mercy petitions have been turned down by the president and their executions will take place in coming weeks," a senior government official reportedly told AFP on the condition of anonymity.