TTP spokesman claims the militants are ready for battle and will target foreigners and multinational companies.
All foreigners should leave Pakistan or face the consequences, the spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said on Monday, less than a day after the government announced Operation Zarb-e-Azb to free North Waziristan of the militants.
“We know the Pakistani government was not serious in offering peace talks, as a military operation has been launched against the Taliban with its approval,” said Shahidullah Shahid, the spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). Speaking to Newsweek from an undisclosed location, Shahid said any foreigners who chose to remain in Pakistan would only have themselves to blame. “I, on behalf of the TTP, would like to warn all foreigners, airlines, and multinational companies to leave Pakistan. [If they don’t] they will have only themselves to blame for damage caused to their properties or staff,” he said.
“The TTP is ready to face the military, since we understood that sooner or later, this would happen. We are prepared for battle,” Shahid told Newsweek by phone. “But this time our fighters will bring the battle inside the territory of Pakistan and our prime target will be foreigners, multinational companies and airlines, along with Pakistani government installations,” he added.
Referring to the failed peace talks, Shahid said the government had failed to implement its plans. “We were always ready [for talks], but they [government] never was, and never will be.”