PESHAWAR: The US State Department has offered a $5 million reward for information on the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah and $3 million each for information about Jamaatul Ahrar chief Abdul Wali and Lashkar-e-Islam (LI) leader Mangal Bagh.
The State Department said the Pakistani Taliban led by Fazlullah have claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist acts against Pakistani and US interests including the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar in which 148 people, mostly students, lost their lives. It said Fazlullah is considered killer of masses in Swat and he was also behind murder attempt on girls education activist Malala Yousafzai, now a Nobel peace laureate.
Mangal Bagh, the State Department said, a TTP ally, is involved in drug trafficking, smuggling and attacks on NATO supply convoys plying between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mangal Bagh, once the close ally of ISIS in Afghanistan, is now fighting against the group’s writ in eastern Ningrahar province of Afghanistan. Some reports suggest that ISIS inflicted heavy loses to Mangal Bagh led Lashkar-e-Islam and killed Bagh’s daughter and wife.
Abdul Wali is the leader of Jamaatul Ahrar which has claimed attacks on civilians, religious minorities, military personnel and law enforcement officials. The fresh announcement by US also contradicts reports of Mangal Bagh and Abdul Wali’s death in recent drone strikes.
The announcement came a day after Fazlullah’s son was reportedly killed along with around two dozen others in a US drone strike in Afghanistan.
Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua is currently in Washington for talks with US officials on improving counter-terrorism cooperation and on US President Donald Trump’s strategy for ending the war in Afghanistan.