Pakistan ceasefire doesn't mean respite in Afghanistan, Taliban warns
The ceasefire between some Taliban fighters in Pakistan and the country's government won't bring peace to nearby Afghanistan, a Taliban leader said Saturday.
Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban leader in Pakistan, said he wants to end the fighting with Pakistani government forces but will continue to battle Western troops in Afghanistan, where about 2,500 Canadian soldiers are part of the NATO force.
NATO commander Gen. John Craddock is concerned that the ceasefire will aid the Taliban because they will be able to use Pakistan as a base to launch attacks in Afghanistan, U.S. National Public Radio reported.
"If the safe haven is not taken away," Craddock said, "whenever the insurgents are under duress, then they can leave, reconstitute and come back at the time of their choosing."
The ceasefire followed a change in government in Pakistan earlier this year. The new government has been seeking to end the fierce battles along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Mehsud told reporters at a Taliban base that the holy war against the Western forces would continue.
He was the second militant leader to deliver the same message in as many days. On Friday, Faqir Muhammad said he would honour the ceasefire with Pakistan, but will continue fighting in Afghanistan.
The ceasefire in the lawless tribal regions along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border was announced in April.
With files from the Associated Press and Canadian Press