PESHAWAR - Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah is currently in the tribal regions of Pakistan, and not in Afghanistan as claimed by Pakistani officials.

In an interview with BBC on Thursday, TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid said that Mullah Fazlullah was not under the influence of the Afghan government even when he was in Afghanistan and added that the TTP has never been aided by any government.

Shahid also said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government treated the negotiations between the government and the Taliban as a joke, saying they mishandled it even more than the governments of Musharraf and Zardari.

Islamabad maintains that Mullah Fazlullah is based in the Kunar province of Afghanistan and has sought extradition of the TTP chief from Kabul as well as the dismantlement of terrorist sanctuaries in Afghan provinces of Kunar and Nooristan.

The Army is currently engaged in a major military offensive against the Taliban in the North Waziristan Agency.