ISLAMABAD - Claiming that Professor Ajmal Khan was released as a result of a prisoners swap deal with the government, Maulana Fazlullah, the head of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has said if the government and security agencies are unable to control 25,000 marchers in Islamabad, this suggests that ‘the situation is becoming favourable’ for the jihadists to start a struggle for the release of all TTP fighters languishing in different jails of the country.

Taliban on Sunday released a video message of Maulana Fazlullah who claimed that Professor Ajmal Khan - the Vice Chancellor of Islamia College University Peshawar who was kidnapped on September 8, 2010 - was released as a result of prisoner exchange.

“He has been freed as a result of prisoner swap and the time is not far away that we will get released our all fighters from the custody of the enemies,” said the Maulana.  The video showed Izhar Afzal, the militant who was released in exchange, standing next to Maulana Fazlullah. According to a statement of the security forces, the recovery of Professor Ajmal Khan was a result of ‘untiring efforts of Pakistan Army’ which was appreciated by civil society and his relatives.

However, Maulana Fazlullah said Taliban kept the professor for four years in their custody and did not accept any other offers except prisoners swap.

“We would keep him for another 20 years, if our men were not freed,” said Maulana Fazlullah.

The video is also showing Commander Saifullah Haqqani, TTP chief of Charsadda chapter, while introducing three persons to the public-commander Izhar Afzal, Muhammad Yousaf Noorullah Malang and Mujahid Abu Bakar- who were released in exchange with Professor Ajmal Khan.

“We had demanded the release of three people; the two were freed earlier while Izhar Afzal was the final fighter released this time and it made possible the release of Professor Ajmal Khan,” said Saifullah Haqqani.

Since going to hiding in 2009, it is the first video message of Maulana Fazlullah discussing the current situation of Pakistan.

Earlier, he had appeared in different videos but speaking over the general topics of jihad and others.  Referring to the ongoing protests in capital Islamabad, Maulana Fazlullah said, “If the government is unable to control around 25,000 marchers in Islamabad” it is encouraging for the militants to start struggle for the release of their comrades. “No one in the capital knows how to control the situation; parliament is closed; the justices are unable to make their order implemented; and even the protesters are not listening to the army,” said Maulana Fazlullah.

He further said, “You (the government of Pakistan) think that you will always remain in power but remember that only Allah is invincible. If He disintegrated Russia, made the US to face defeat (in Afghanistan) and toppled the governments of Egypt, Libya and Iraq. The government of Pakistani is not powerful than those countries. Allah will defeat the government of Pakistan in the hands of Mujahedeen”.

Mullah Fazlullah turned down reports that Taliban had lost their power and different factions had emerged within the TTP. “Media is reporting that Taliban are defeated but such reports are not true. Mujahedeen are united and all the factions are fighting for the same cause”.