Pakistan bans Taliban outfit amidst military campaign
More than 300,000 people have fled their homes as fighting worsens between security forces and militants.
The Pakistani government on Monday banned the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a militant group that has been responsible for many suicide attacks across the country since 2007. The ban, which may end the government's policy of sometimes negotiating with militants, comes as the government struggles to accommodate more than 300,000 people who have been displaced amidst fighting between security forces and militants in Bajaur Agency, a haven for Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters near the border with Afghanistan.Skip to next paragraph
Israeli general hints at another Gaza campaign
Unclaimed attack on Islamic school raises tension in Nigeria
See no evil? Activists doubt credibility of Arab League mission to Syria.
Arab League observers head to Syria's war-ravaged Homs
Christmas church bombings put global spotlight on 'Nigerian Taliban' (VIDEO)
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
According to the BBC, the Interior Ministry chief claimed the ban was implemented because the Taliban has "created mayhem against the public life." The Interior Ministry has also asked the state bank to freeze any accounts that the TTP may have.
"They themselves have claimed responsibility of several suicide attacks and the government cannot engage in a dialogue with such people," [Mr. Malik] said.
The TTP is headed by Taliban warlord Baitullah Mehsud, based in the lawless South Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan....
The previous government accused Mehsud of orchestrating the gun and suicide attack which killed former premier Benazir Bhutto last December but he denied involvement.
The Islamic fundamentalist movement has been involved in a wave of suicide attacks targeting security installations to demand an end to an army offensive against militants near the Afghan border.
The Pakistan government announced the ban a day after Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, said in an interview with the BBC that Pakistan and the world were losing the war on terror. He said that the Taliban currently had the "upper hand" and should therefore be listed as a banned organization. Mr. Zardari made the remarks soon after the Pakistan People's Party nominated him as a presidential candidate on Sunday. The Pakistani parliament is scheduled to elect a new president to replace Pervez Musharraf on September 6.
The ban also comes on the heels of the deadliest attack by the Taliban since they began their campaign against government sites last year. Last week, two suicide bombers killed more than 60 people outside Pakistan's largest weapons factory complex, The New York Times reported. Members of the TTP claimed that the bombings were in response to a Pakistani military campaign that has been targeting militants using fighter jets and helicopter gunships for the past two weeks in Bajaur.