NORTH WAZIRISTAN – A top Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader has warned Islamabad that it will face only failure as it has been facing for the last 10 years in different parts of the tribal region.

Maulana Waliur Rehman, known in militant circles as ‘Molvi Sahib’, carries a Turkish-made Zigana-K pistol and a Russian AKS-74U assault rifle. Rehman, a former activist of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, was one of the founding members of the TTP in South Waziristan, when it emerged in late 2007. Rehman, officially a deputy in the TTP, is at present serving as de-facto chief, as his leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, is in deep hiding to avoid US drone strikes. According to Taliban sources, a Taliban shura (consultative council) recently advised Mehsud to keep a low profile and avoid militant meetings.

“As far as operations in North Waziristan are concerned, the government will face only failure as they have been facing for the last 10 years in different parts of the tribal regions, “ Rehman told Asia Times Online.

“Despite government claims of success, they have faced failure in all areas during their operations. The Taliban and Mujahideen are even stronger despite the operations against them.”

“If Pakistan launches operations in North Waziristan against the Haqqani network, we will react in the same manner as we have in other regions against the wrong policies of the Pakistan government,” Rehman reiterated in the interview.  “The US has long been trying to dismantle the Haqqani network in Afghanistan but they only face failure. Pakistan will also face trouble if it launches operations against the Haqqanis. Such operations will not halt the attacks of the Haqqani network against the US forces in Afghanistan,” Rehman said.

“Everyone knows that this is a war of others that has been imposed upon the Pakistanis by corrupt rulers. The people in this region have strong sentiments for jihad while the non-believers consider it a threat.

That is why this region is always affected by war.  “Our war is not based on a nationalist or separatist agenda. This is a joint Jewish-Crusader war which has spread throughout the whole world, including China, Yemen and Gulf countries,” said Rehman.

Rehman threatened media persons and outlets, calling for them to restrain themselves from demonising the Taliban.  “Non-believers are relying on the media more than actual war to achieve their goals. As they have complete control over media, they try to impose their ideology on Muslims.

“We are not against the free media but it should present neutral reports while giving coverage to both sides and presenting facts. The media persons should not become tools of media war against Mujahideen. Such persons were terminated in the past and they will face the same in the future as well,” he said. “This is a final conflict taking place between Islam and infidel forces, and our struggle will continue till the conclusion, whether it is in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India or Western countries.

This is an ideological war, and our mission will continue regardless of the restrictions of borders,” said Rehman.

“The Arab Spring is a good omen. Finally a struggle based on Islamic fervour and restoration of peoples’ rights has been launched against dictators who ruled their respective countries for decades. No one knows what will be the end result, but still it is a better effort and heading towards right direction. The sacrifices of the people, who shed their blood in this struggle, will pave the way for a revolution in future as well. We hope for a better end result.” The interview was conducted at a secret location in North Waziristan Agency.