Pakistani Taliban has warned that boys and girls of its suicide squad will launch "massive" strikes across the country, including the commercial hub of Karachi, if military operation in Swat and other tribal areas are not halted immediately.
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Maulvi Omar also said they had set up "modern anti-aircraft and missile systems" along the border with Afghanistan to avert any incursions by NATO forces and the Afghan National Army into Pakistan's tribal areas.
Omar said the Taliban had responded "positively to the government's peace overtures" but both the federal and the NWFP governments had failed to "meet their commitments".
He claimed the federal government was pursuing the policies of President Pervez Musharraf and trying to complete the "unfinished American agenda".
The warning issued by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan deputy chief Maulana Faqir Mohammad and Omar was the latest round in a war of words between the militants and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, a key political player in Karachi.
Over the past few days, the MQM has urged the federal government not to ignore the local Taliban's efforts to establish a presence in Karachi. It has said any failure to counter the Taliban could have serious repercussions for trade and commerce in the southern port city.
Addressing a press conference at Anayat Kalley, eight km from headquarters of Bajaur Agency, the duo said a fidayeen squad, comprising boys and girls from 10 to 20 years of age, is ready to carry out attacks and target top government functionaries if the government does not immediately stop its operations against the Taliban in Swat and reverse its decision to launch action in other tribal areas.
Omar said Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud had held consultations with key commanders and they were of the
opinion that the only way to effectively counter the government's "aggressive plans" is to launch massive attacks.
He said a plan had been finalised and the Taliban had decided to launch suicide attacks in Peshawar, Mardan, Dir and
other districts of the North West Frontier Province.
He also said arrangements had been made to effectively wage a "jehad against the infidels".
Omar asked MQM chief Altaf Hussain to "wind up his group's activities" and said Karachi would soon fall into the
hands of the Taliban, who were awaiting Mehsud's orders to launch action in the city.
"This is a warning for Altaf Hussain to cease his statements against the Taliban and end his kingdom in Karachi.
Otherwise we will launch attacks against the MQM and its leaders once we are given the go-ahead by Baitullah Mehsud," Maulana Faqir Mohammad said.
Hundreds of people were killed in about 70 suicide attacks carried out last year by the Taliban all over Pakistan.