Mullah Fazlullah vows new war in Pakistan


Afghanistan-based Pakistani Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah, a key figure in the insurgency, has vowed to return home to wage war as the country comes under renewed American pressure to tackle militancy. “We sacrificed our lives, left our homes and villages for the sake of Sharia and will do whatever we can to get Sharia implemented in the Malakand region and the rest of Pakistan,” Sirajuddin Ahmad, a close adviser, told Reuters, describing Fazlullah’s position. He was answering written questions submitted by Reuters.
Also known as Mullah FM for his fiery radio broadcasts, he regrouped in Afghanistan and established strongholds, and poses a threat to Pakistan once again, said army spokesman Major General Athar Abbas. Ahmed said all Afghans, especially the mujahideen, were supporting Fazlullah in Afghanistan. But he said the Afghan Taliban were not helping him stage cross-border raids in Pakistan. “We are more secure and happy in Afghanistan than Pakistan, where the armed forces ruthlessly killed our people and subjected us to brutalities,” Ahmad said. He alleged that Pakistani security forces had “executed” fighters in Swat. Military officials were not immediately available for comment, but they have in the past denied accusations of abuses.
But one military official, who asked not to be named, said about 2,000 militants were killed by security forces in Swat during a 2009 offensive. Fazlullah clearly re-emerged as a threat in recent months when his fighters took part in cross-border raids that killed around 100 Pakistani security forces, angering the army which faces threats from multiple militant groups. Fazlullah, a leading figure in the Pakistani Taliban insurgency, is based in Kunar and Nuristan provinces in Afghanistan, said Abbas.