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Top Taliban commander threatens to scrap deal with army

world Updated: Nov 12, 2011 18:57 IST

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A top Taliban commander in Pakistan's restive North Waziristan tribal region on Saturday threatened to scrap an unofficial peace deal with the army, citing recurring US drone attacks and demolition carried out by the military in Miranshah.

Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who is believed to have links with groups like the Haqqani terror network, issued the warning in a Urdu pamphlet distributed in the market of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency, local residents said today.

Bahadur's move came in the wake of the demolition by the army of a multi-storey building in Miranshah on November 7. The building was dynamited after two rockets were fired on a nearby army camp.

"Today we announce the abolition of the peace jirga, which had been formed for negotiations with the government in 2007. We want to declare that if in future, the security forces resort to brutal acts, we will not remain silent spectators," Bahadur said in his statement.

He contended that people were aware that the "US is carrying out drone strikes with the help of the government of Pakistan, which has martyred hundreds of our people".

"In view of the sufferings of the people of North Waziristan we have shown restraint and patience. But the government is resorting to brutalities on the behest of others. Drones are killing innocent people, including children," Bahadur said.

He claimed the security forces, in a "brutal act", had demolished civilian buildings, including hospitals, hotels, shops and houses in Miranshah market a few days ago.

The Taliban group led by Bahadur struck a peace deal with security forces four years ago after which a peace jirga was formed in the area in 2007.