January 22, 2016
The Taliban faction that has claimed responsibility for the massacre at a Pakistani university that killed 21 people earlier this week says that assault was just the beginning of more attacks to come.
In a video message released on social media Friday, Khalifa Umar Mansoor, the leader of the breakaway Taliban group, promised more attacks on schools and universities across the country, like the deadly one Wednesday at Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.
Mansoor described Pakistan’s educational institutions as “nurseries” for those who challenge Allah’s law.
‘Will of God’
He said Pakistan’s educational institutions provide the future workforce for the military and the government who work against the “will of God.”
The spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, Mohammad Khorasani, said earlier this week that his group had nothing to do with the university attack, adding that non-military institutions are not on its list of targets.
Army spokesman Asim Bajwa released details of Pakistan’s investigation into the attack Thursday.
Bajwa said Pakistan’s military chief, General Raheel Sharif, telephoned the Afghan leadership and the commander of NATO’s Afghan mission and “asked for their cooperation in locating and targeting those responsible for this heinous act and bring them to justice.”
Pakistan alleges that leaders and commanders of the anti-state Taliban militants have taken refuge on the Afghan side of the border after fleeing army-led counterinsurgency operations.
Officials have previously also blamed these fugitives for planning cross-border attacks in Pakistan.
But Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Seddiqi on Thursday dismissed allegations that there are terrorist bases in Afghanistan being used against Pakistan.
Seddiqi strongly condemned the Bacha Khan University attack and reiterated Kabul’s allegations that terrorist sanctuaries are located in Pakistan and are causing instability in the region.
Pakistan observed a day of mourning Thursday following the gun and bomb attack on Bacha Khan.