Pak-Afghan Taliban join hands to counter US’s Afghan surge

March 27th, 2009 - 5:49 pm ICT by ANI  

Taliban Islamabad, Mar.27 (ANI): Pakistan based Talibani leaders have decided to join hands with their Afghan counterparts and jointly retaliate against the US led allied forces in the region, following the Obama Administration’s decision to send in 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan to facilitate the ‘war on terror’.

Both factions of the insurgent group came together following an appeal by the Afghan Taliban chief Mullah Muhammad Omar.

According to a New York Times report, the Talibani operatives based along the Pak-Afghan border region have already started recruiting teenagers to carry out a series of bombing and suicide attacks on the American troops in coming days.

The alliance has raised fears about an increase in terror activities in Pakistan, as well as Afghanistan, where NATO commanders have already warned about more fierce battles in coming days.

Pakistani officials also agreed that an alliance between the Talibani factions has increased their strength and made them more lethal.

“This would mean more attacks inside our tribal areas, something we have been arguing against with the Americans,” a senior Pak official said.

Baitullah Mehsud, Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Maulavi Nazir are the three top-most leaders of the Taliban in Pakistan who have their base in North and South Waziristan.

According to the report, Mullah Omar sent his representative to the Pak Taliban leaders in December and again in January this year, to urge discontinue fighting among themselves and focus on targetting the US forces.

“The Afghan Taliban delegation urged the Pakistani Taliban leaders to settle their internal differences, scale down their activities in Pakistan and help counter the planned increase of American forces in Afghanistan,” The NYT quoted Talibani operatives, as saying.

Pakistan officials, however, said that there is more than meets the eye in the alliance of the Taliban factions, as both the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban had other reasons too behind joining hands, and countering American forces was not the only reason.

” One important factor may have been to shift the focus of hostilities to Afghanistan in hopes of improving their own security in Waziristan, where more than 30 drone strikes in recent months have resulted in killings of two senior commanders,” officials said . (ANI)

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