Peshawar is not Srinagar that we want to capture: Taliban

June 28th, 2008 - 2:44 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Benazir Bhutto

Islamabad, June 28 (IANS) The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has denounced reports that it planned to attack Peshawar, saying the North-West Frontier Province capital “is not Srinagar that we want to capture it”. In a statement, the chief of the Taliban militants, Baitullah Mehsud, accused the government of sponsoring propaganda about an impending attack on Peshawar to justify new military operations against his men, The News reported Saturday.

“Peshawar isn’t Srinagar that we want to capture it. Taliban cannot think of damaging their beloved Peshawar, which is the capital and identity of our province,” Mehsud said in the statement.

The Taliban commander was referring to the summer capital of India’s Jammu and Kashmir, the urban hub of Pakistan-backed separatist campaign that has raged for nearly two decades.

Mehsud, however, added that the Taliban had the capacity to take Peshawar if it wanted to do, according to the newspaper.

Mehsud, accused of planning Benazir Bhutto’s assassination, threatened to scrap peace pact with Islamabad if the government did not stop acting against the Taliban.

“Friday onwards we would not tolerate any more action against the Taliban. If the government continues to take such anti-Taliban measures and launches new military operations against us, we would be justified in retaliating with attacks in the cities of Pakistan,” Mehsud was quoted as saying.

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