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TTP wants Fazlullah to lead country

13 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: In a move that could affect ongoing peace talks with the government, Taliban have said they want commander Mullah Fazlullah to lead the country.

"In Pakistan, Mullah Fazlullah is leading us and he has all the qualities to lead the Pakistani nation," said Shahidullah Shahid, spokesman of the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Shahid further said in an interview with Newsweek Pakistan that the militants, who are fighting for Sharia (Islamic law) in Pakistan, consider Afghan Taliban spiritual leader Mullah Omar as their 'Amirul Momineen' (leader of the faithful).

Shahid said the TTP is at war with the government for two reasons - its 'friendship' with the US and the continuation of the 'un-Islamic democratic system'.

"We want the establishment of Sharia in Pakistan; this was the reason that Pakistan was created," he claimed. Shahid said his group is ready for a ceasefire but the government should announce it first. He also described the government's assertion that peace talks be conducted within the framework of the Constitution as a 'precondition'.

Asked about 15 demands the TTP has reportedly made for talks with the government, he said, "We do not disagree with the demands being attributed to us in the media. However, we have issued no such information to the media." The Taliban's position has been communicated to the government through a committee led by radical cleric Samiul Haq, he said.

The TTP wants the peace process to succeed even though previous talks failed because of the government's 'non-seriousness and foreign pressure', he claimed.

"If these talks fail, the government will obviously try to launch a military operation. But we have been tested before and passed such phases with success dozens of times," he said.

End.

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