The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) said on Wednesday that it was not involved in last week’s attack on PTI MPA Malik Liaquat Ali in which four people, including the MPA’s brother and teenage nephew, were killed.
In a statement, the TTP condemned the incident in Maidan area of Lower Dir, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The banned group, which controlled the area in 2009 until it was cleared in a military operation, said that it was investigating the attack. “If any TTP member is found involved, we will taken action against him in line with Shariah rules.”
The banned group said that it was observing the ceasefire, confirmed by the Pakistan government in June, as the two parties continue talks in Kabul under the supervision of the Afghan Taliban.
“However, [the TTP] reserves the right to defend itself against action by the army or police,” it added. “Any action taken by TTP personnel has been to defend themselves.”
There has been an uptick in militant activity in Pakistan’s northern regions, particularly those bordering Afghanistan.
Several incidents involving militants have been reported this week, including a suicide attack in North Waziristan that claimed the lives of four soldiers.
In another brazen incident, militants took hostage members of a police party, including a high-ranking police officer in Swat’s Matta sub-district. The hostages were released after almost 12 hours following talks with between militnts and delegation of the local jirga.
The issue was also raised in the National Assembly session on Wednesday, with Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif expressing concern over the effectiveness of ongoing talks with the TTP. He pointed out that anti-Taliban protests were held in various parts of KP after MNA Mohsin Dawar highglhited the ise of terrorism in the province.