PESHAWAR: The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced on Thursday to withdraw its dialogue offer to the new government, confirming that their number two in command, Deputy Chief Wali-ur-Rehman was killed in a US-led drone strike on Wednesday.
Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan told media that the TTP would take revenge over the killing of their deputy chief.
The TTP spokesman said the Taliban consider the Pakistani government fully responsible for drone strikes in the region, because the government is passing information to the United States.
“I confirm the martyrdom of Wali-ur-Rehman Mehsud in a drone strike on Wednesday. We are shocked at the martyrdom of our leader but are proud of his sacrifices,” Ehsanullah Ehsan said.
“We had sincerely offered peace dialogue to the government but we strongly believe that the government has a role to play in the drone strikes,” he added.
Earlier, Pakistani intelligence officials had said the TTP’s deputy leader was buried at an undisclosed location after his death in a US drone strike.
Khan Said aka Sajana Mehsud was reportedly nominated to succeed Wali-ur-Rehman as the deputy of the TTP. Said is believed to be a close aide of the former deputy, Wali-ur-Rehman, who was killed in a US-led drone strike on Wednesday.
The US had accused Rehman of involvement in a 2009 suicide attack in Afghanistan that killed seven CIA employees.
Wali-ur-Rehman’s killing could rattle the incoming government’s goal of negotiating with the Taliban. He had previously been considered amenable to talks.
Two intelligence officials say informants on the ground told them Wali-ur-Rehman was buried on Wednesday night. Two militants claimed they attended the funeral. All four spoke on condition of anonymity.