Islamabad, Nov. 6: As Pakistani troops continue to track down al Qaida and Taliban operatives in the country’s border regions, a self-proclaimed, senior Taliban leader has declared President Pervez Musharraf as an “enemy who would not stay for long in power.”
“President Musharraf and a few generals betrayed Taliban and will, therefore, not be in power for long,” the Daily Times newspaper quoted Maulvi Akhter Mohammad, an economic adviser to Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Muhammad Omar, as saying.
Maulvi Mohammad, who spoke to the paper from somewhere in southern Afghanistan, said the Taliban high command hoped the government would soon change hands in Pakistan. “Islamabad’s help to Islamic militia will also resume with President Musharraf's exit from power,” he said.
Since October 2001, Pakistan — a key ally in the US-led war on terror — has deployed thousands of troops along its 2,450-km-long border to hunt remnants of the Taliban militia and al Qaida militants. Pakistani authorities have so far handed over more than 500 fugitives to the US in the last two years.
In the bloodiest operation since the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, 12 Taliban and al Qaida suspects were killed and 18 arrested in a shootout with security agencies in a raid on a terrorist hideout in Angor Adda, south Waziristan.
The Hezbollah has denounced comments by Musharraf in which he listed the Lebanese militant outfit among the league of terrorist organisations. Hezbollah described Musharraf’s comments as “political aggression.”