Pakistani Taliban justify attacks on liberal parties

Islamabad, Apr 28 (IANS) Pakistani Taliban Sunday justified attacks on the country’s three liberal parties for what they called the parties’ secular approach and their support to military operations against armed militants, reported Xinhua.

Taliban say they will target Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of President Asif Ali Zardari, the Pashtoon nationalist Awami National Party (ANP) and the powerful Urdu-speaking Mutahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for their support to the military operations in the tribal regions and the north-western Swat valley.

The Taliban statement coincided with two bomb attacks on offices of two parliamentary candidates in north-western Pakistan on Sunday, which killed at least 8 people and injured several others.

“The first reason for the political parties being under attack by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan(TTP) is their secular doctrine, and the other main and basic reason is that they are mainly responsible for the burning of the tribal regions, Swat and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province,” said TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan.

Taliban also attacked an election office and a political gathering in the port city of Karachi late Saturday, which also killed or injured dozens of people.

The Taliban spokesman claimed that the PPP, the ANP and the MQM are responsible for “displacement of millions of people, for the plight of Pashtoon Nation, for their abandoned villages, for the destroyed mosques for military operations and for the blood game since years”.

“Now they are suffering for their sins, Tehreek Taliban Pakistan will always avenge for the oppressed,” said Ehsan.

Leaders of the liberal parties say that they will not boycott the elections despite Taliban attacks and threats.

They accuse the Taliban of trying to weaken their election campaign and to pave the way for Islamic and right-wing parties to win the May 11 elections.

In a statement on Sunday, Taliban termed the democratic and election system as un-Islamic and also asked the people to boycott voting.

Pakistani religious scholars have disputed the Taliban notion and said that the casting of vote is “compulsory under Islamic injunctions”.

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