Exactly six days after the church blast, on 27th September, the Taliban of the Mohmand faction released a written statement of Omar Khalid through their official media wing.[frame][/frame]
Omar Khalid mentioned the death of Major General Niazi and the Peshawar Church blast, but immediately accused the security establishment for a supposed fake encounter of TTP miscreants in Karachi. He stated that there was no cessation of hostilities between the negotiating parties, claiming further that the militants are strong and allied together under the leadership of Hakimullah Mehsud.
In the next paragraph, Khalid took a 180 degree turn by asserting that the militants will not back out from the demand of change in Pakistan’s Constitution; if any Taliban commander compromises on this, he will not be given any support. Furthermore, the agreement shall be applicable on the whole of Pakistan, and the militants (read foreigners) not belonging to the FATA areas will never be abandoned.
Abdul Wali Khan, instead of denying Taliban’s involvement in the bombing of the church, circumvented the argument towards the security establishment. Playing with the masses’ perception, he advertently referred to Karachi Police’s shooting down of three militants of Tehreek-e-Taliban, who were languishing in the prison lock up since the last three months, in a fake encounter. Although it is unclear whether Abdul Wali referred to the day before the church bombing in Peshawar or the day before Major General Sanaullah Niazi was martyred in an IED attack, his attempt to cover up the terrorists’ attacks failed pathetically. After sifting through the militancy database, no such killings have been discovered, neither on the 21st of September nor on the 15th.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban connection with Jundullah got highlighted in the wake of the attack at Nanga Parbat on 23rd June, 2013, when 10 gunmen dressed in Gilgit Scouts fatigues brazenly attacked and killed nine foreign tourists. On that same day, the responsibility of these attacks was initially accepted by Jundullah, but later, the Tehreek-e-Taliban spokesman accepted responsibility by claiming that Janood-e-Hafsa, TTP’s newly formed proxy, killed the foreigners.
TTP-Jundullah connection got a further boost on July 25th, 2013, after the latter outfit immediately claimed responsibility of a coordinated assault on an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) outpost in Sukkur. Yet again, the spokesman of the Mohmand TTP faction contacted the Media and insisted that the attack was carried out by the militants under Omar Khalid’s command jointly with the Punjab based Taliban contingent.
Wali Khan further iterated that there was no ceasefire between the negotiating parties. Throwing a loose ball in the Government’s direction, he misrepresented the facts about the status of negotiations.
On 9th September, the APC participants resolved that peaceful negotiations will be the way forward in curbing militancy. The Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, also expressed his satisfaction and stressed that the decision made by the political leadership will be implemented.
Independent sources confirmed that the back channel negotiations had already started with the militants. Hakimullah Mehsud is said to have established contact with the PML-N leader and former MNA from Kohat, Mr. Javed Ibrahim Paracha, to act as a mediator in the negotiation process. Although the security establishment refuted this development officially, but sources allege that on September 11, a swap of prisoners was made at Hakimullah’s residence in South Waziristan. This move was hailed as a successful confidence building measure. It was confirmed by Ehsanullah Ehsan the very next day. On Friday, September 13th, Tehreek-e-Taliban commanders met the officials of Pakistan government at Sra Rogha, South Waziristan, and handed over a name list of 4752 militants imprisoned in different jails of Pakistan.