Fazal Saeed ‘defects’ from TTP

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Fazal Saeed, a militant commander from Kurram Agency on Monday said he had broken with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and would form his own anti-American group along the Afghan border. Highly-placed tribal sources told Pakistan Today that after his revolt against Hakimullah Mehsud, Saeed had announced forming a separate group, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Islamic Pakistan. According to AFP, Saeed said he had run out of patience with the TTP for killing civilians. Saeed revolted against Hakimullah when the TTP chief announced that Sirajuddin would head the TTP Kurram Agency a couple of days ago. Saeed seemed very close to Sirajuddin Haqqani network. Saeed and his gun-totting loyalists seem to be behind the violence against the Shia community in Kurram Agency. After announcing his disassociation with the TTP, Saeed denounced deadly terrorist attacks on mosques, schools, madrassas and other public places as contrary to Islamic norms. He also opposed suicide attacks, saying they were against humanity.
“I repeatedly told the leadership council of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan that they should stop suicide attacks against mosques, markets and other civilian targets,” Saeed told AFP by telephone.
Saeed claimed that he was a patriotic Pakistani and was against attacks against its security forces. However, he said, “We oppose the government’s un-Islamic policies and alliance with the US.”
“Islam does not allow killings of innocent civilians in suicide attacks,” he said, likening what TTP does in Pakistan to “what US troops are doing in Afghanistan” and vowing to continue the fight alone against the Americans. “I have therefore decided to quit TTP,” Saeed said, claiming to have defected along with “hundreds of supporters.” A 10-member consultative council will meet within days to formulate the group’s programme, he told AFP.
He denied that his defection had anything to do with the government, or Pakistani intelligence and security agencies. “I have no links with them,” Saeed said, adding that he considered America as “our main enemy” and describing attacks on foreign troops in Afghanistan as “justified”. He said his goal was to enforce sharia and Islamic rule in Afghanistan and Pakistan, claiming that he had supporters all over Pakistan.The sources said after Saeed, several other militant commanders from all over FATA and other districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were likely to announce disassociation with the TTP of Hakimullah Mehsud.