Taliban threats only to help JUI-F

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Banned outfit Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s latest threats are likely to affect the former government allies and could only be beneficial to religious forces, especially to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its adjoining tribal regions.
The TTP a couple of days back threatened to target public meetings and rallies of the Pakistan People’s Party, the Awami National Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in election campaign. As a result of these threats people are least interested in participating in these parties’ gatherings.
Recently, a number of active and outgoing parliamentarians abandoned the ANP and majority of them had joined or will be joining the JUI-F soon. Former ANP MNA Istibal Khan is going to join the JUI-F on March 27.
Soon after 2008 general elections, former ANP MPA Shaukat Habib joined the JUI-F. Habib was later followed by PPP Bannu Division President Malik Riaz and several others. Whereas, the Pakistan Muslim League-N MPA from Lakki Marwat, Malik Munawar Khan, PPP (Sherpao) MPA from Hangu Attique Ur Rahman, ANP MPA from Charsada Fazal Shakoor and several others recently joined the JUI-F.
Sources informed that some of the political activists and former parliamentarians were joining the JUI-F JUI (F) due to Taliban threats. A close relative of a former lawmaker said his relative lawmaker had announced to join the JUI-F not only on grounds of declining ANP ticket but because of the Taliban fear. He claimed that the Taliban were directing people to join JUI-F on telephone.
A JUI-F stalwart from Buner confirmed that the ex-MNA was going to join them due to fear of the Taliban. However, the JUI-F provincial leaders were contradicting reports regarding support of the TTP in establishing cracks among the ranks of other political forces.
Though the banned TTP threats have confused leaders of the PPP, ANP and MQM regarding election campaign, but it also caused fear among the ranks of the PML-N, the PTI and the Jamaat Islami. Leaders of these political forces believe that the Taliban were supporting the JUI-F in election campaign.