Islamabad: Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud has threatened suicide attacks against former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, saying his bombers are waiting to "greet" her when she returns, Senator Saleh Shah told the Gulf News yesterday.
Shah is a close friend of Mehsud and is currently trying to broker a deal between the Mehsud tribe and the government to secure the release of about 250 abducted soldiers.
"My men will welcome Benazir Bhutto on her return. We don't accept President Musharraf and Benazir Bhutto because they only protect the US interests and see things through its glasses. They're only acceptable if they wear the Pakistani glasses," Shah quoted Baitullah as saying.
"Pakistan Peoples Party [PPP] chairperson Benazir Bhutto and General Musharraf are two sides of the same coin which is minted and polished by the Americans to secure their interests," he quoted Baitullah as commenting on the return of Bhutto.
Shah said that there is a strong opposition to former prime minister's statements on the situation in the tribal areas and the people of this region think that Bhutto is unaware of the ground realities, so she should refrain from issuing such statements.
"People of tribal areas are annoyed by the recent statements of Benazir Bhutto and feel offended, so they may take any action against her," the Taliban commander told Shah.
Bhutto has several times called for strengthening the forces of democracy in Pakistan, saying that the menaces of extremism and militancy can only be countered through democracy.