The Pakistani Taliban today threatened that they would attack Myanmar to avenge the targeting of Rohingya Muslims if Islamabad does not cut off ties with the government of that country and shut its embassy here.
The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) sought to portray itself as a defender of Muslims in Myanmar and said in a statement that “we will take revenge of your blood”.
Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan demanded that the Pakistani government cut off relations with Myanmar and close down its embassy in Islamabad.
“Otherwise we will not only attack Burmese interests anywhere but will also attack the Pakistani (friends) of Burma,” Ehsan said in a statement.
There was no word from the Myanmar embassy and its officials could not be reached for comment.
This was probably the first time that the TTP has commented on an issue that is not related to Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Experts questioned its capability to carry out strikes in Myanmar.
However,the TTP was linked to a botched car bomb attack in Times Square in New York by Pakistani-American terrorist Faisal Shahzad in 2010. TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud has been charged in the US for the 2009 killing of seven CIA agents at a US base in Afghanistan by a Jordanian suicide bomber.
Recent clashes between Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims in western Myanmar have left dozens dead and tens of thousands homeless.
Last week,Amnesty International said hundreds of people had been detained in areas populated by the Rohingya and that there were credible reports of abuses — including rape,destruction of property and unlawful killings by both Buddhists and security forces.
Pakistanis have been debating the attacks on Rohingya Muslims on the internet,especially social networking sites,and the clashes have received widespread coverage in the Pakistani media.
Rohingya Muslims are considered by most in Myanmar to be illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and are not one of the recognised ethnic groups of the country.