'Taliban to back Pak army in case of war with India'
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Hunted by the US and NATO forces for committing acts of terror in Afghanistan, the Taliban said on Tuesday that they would back the Pakistan Army by deploying hundreds of suicide bombers in case of any military action with India.
Claiming that "thousands of our well-armed militants are ready to fight alongside the army if any war is imposed on Pakistan," chief of the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Baitullah Mehsud, told 'The News' daily by phone from an undisclosed location.
Hundreds of would-be bombers had been "given suicide jackets and explosive-laden vehicles for protection of the border in case of any aggression by the Indian forces", he said.
"The time had come, to wage a real jihad that the Taliban had been waiting for," Mehsud, for whom the Pakistani and US forces are on the look out claimed.
"We know very well that the visible and invisible enemies of the country have been planning to weaken this lone Islamic nuclear power. But the mujahideen will foil all such nefarious designs of our enemies," he said.
This is for the first time Mehsud has admitted that Taliban has marshalled thousands of fighters close to the Afghan-Pak border and where Pakistani army has launched a major operation to flush them out.
Mehsud said people might question how the Taliban would fight alongside the Pakistan Army when the militants had been fighting the force for a long time.
"Therefore, I want to make it clear that the army was acting otherwise (in the past). But now it would fight for the protection and survival of the country, which is why we will support them," Mehsud said.
Mehsud, who was accused by former President Pervez Musharraf of masterminding the assassination of PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto in December last year, significantly said the Taliban would defend the country's frontier with Afghanistan in the event of hostilities with India.