Mullah Fazlullah head of Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP)
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) have released a statement via jihadi forums alleging that they have kidnapped 10 persons. They claim that after receiving information through Taliban Intelligence Agency, (TIA) on 4th January 2015, the Mujahideen Special Group (MSG) of TTP arrested 10 individuals in Balochistan.
In relation to those kidnapped, one Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) person has already been hung while another 9 persons allegedly belonging to the Pakistan Army may be hanged after a necessary investigation within 2 or 3 days. The official TTP spokesperson Muhammad Khorasani stated that a video of any hangings will be released shortly and that this is in retaliation for Mujahideen hanged by the Pakistani regime, (Nawaz Sharif government).
TTP claimed responsibility for the attack on Peshawar Army Public School and College (PAS) on the 16th December 2014 in which over 140 schoolchildren and adults died and 122 were injured. The Peshawar assault came after repeated warnings from TTP and another group, Tehreek-e-Taliban Jamaat ul-Ahrar (TTP JA) to the army and police to stop alleged torture and extra -judicial killings in custody or their families would be targeted. This was ignored and the bodies of young prisoners kept on turning up dead, showing signs of torture.
The government responded to the Peshawar School massacre by announcing it would lift the country’s six-year moratorium on executions and take “revenge” by hanging up to 500 prisoners not related to the attack. Insurgents directly involved in attacking PAS were killed on the day according to official statements, though efforts were announced to bring their “handlers” to justice.
Human Rights organizations have criticized the government hangings as a “knee-jerk reaction likely to create “martyrs” of those killed.” Several inmates on death row have now been hung and authorities anticipated that TTP would retaliate. Reprieve, a UK body which represents prisoners facing the death penalty highlighted that local lawyers for one inmate, Khalid Mehmood, a former Pakistan Air Force technician, confirmed that he was hanged on Friday 9th January in Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi, in defiance of a Lahore High Court stay of execution. Mr Mehmood’s lawyer, former Pakistan Air Force technician Colonel (ret’d) Inam ur Rahim, has filed a police report against the relevant jail authorities for their role in the unlawful killing.
A spokesperson for TTP confirmed their statement today saying, “the hanging of soldiers is part of the reaction” to state hangings. In a recent TTP video release, Mullah Fazlullah declared that “the announcement of hanging made by you (government) is for the detained prisoners but just telling you that whatever barbarism you can do, in the end noose will come to your neck.”
In a separate development DAWN media reports that “three suspected TTP militants were arrested from the Baghat area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu district on Friday”. In addition it was claimed,”four army uniforms, eight hand grenades, four Kalashnikovs, two bombs, detonators, explosives and hundreds of bullet rounds were also seized from the suspects’ possession.”
“Peshawar Review: Bombing civilians, torture and extra-judicial killings, major factors leading to army school massacre”
“Pakistan revenge hangings and a call to bring Musharraf to the noose”
“Mullah Fazlullah video states attack on Peshawar School was planned to take hostages for exchange but army firing altered scenario”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.