Pakistani Taliban Commander: We're Surging, Too
Waliur Rehman says he's sent thousands into Afghanistan to fight US
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 23, 2009 10:06 AM CST
Pakistani Taliban commander Waliur Rehman, left, gives interview to the Associated Press in Shaktoi area of South Waziristan, Pakistan, Dec. 21, 2009.   (AP Photo/Ishtiaq Mahsud)
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(Newser) – A top Pakistani Taliban commander says he sent thousands of fighters to neighboring Afghanistan to rebuff incoming US troops, a claim that comes as a Pakistani army offensive is believed to have pushed many of his men to flee their main redoubt. Waliur Rehman told the AP in an exclusive interview Monday night that the Pakistani Taliban remain committed to battling the army in South Waziristan tribal region, but they are essentially waging a guerrilla war.

"Since Obama is also sending additional forces to Afghanistan, we sent thousands of our men there to fight," Rehman said. The Afghan "Taliban needed our help at this stage, and we are helping them." But a US military spokesman says they haven't noticed a significant insurgent movement, and called the remarks "rhetoric." Rehman also promised to stop fighting Pakistan's government if it cuts ties with the US, a change from a recent proclamation that the group would settle for no less than an Islamic state.