Taliban deny links with Pakistan militants

The Taliban have denied any links with the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban militants based in the lawless tribal belt in northwestern Pakistan.

“They have their own policies and agenda in Afghanistan and the TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) has no links with al-Qaeda,” Taliban’s top commander in Afghanistan Abdul Manan told a local TV channel.

Afghan Taliban leaders have not crossed the border, they are not hiding in Pakistan, but they are targeting coalition and NATO forces from Afghanistan only, said the militant leader, also known as Mulla Toor jan.

“Our mission is to eradicate from Afghanistan the US and allied forces … who had invaded our homeland. We have no influence over Pakistani Taliban based in the tribal belt.”

Mulla Toor Jan went further to criticize the TTP’s bombings and terrorist activities for taking lives of ‘innocent people’, adding al-Qaeda fighters only targeted foreign occupiers in Afghanistan.

The commander also condemned US drone attacks in both Afghan and Pakistani territories, warning Washington “has to pay the price for the blood of innocent civilians.”

The statement comes shortly after the US called on Islamabad to mediate direct talks with the Taliban as insurgency hikes in Afghanistan