UNSC slaps sanctions on Pakistani Taliban

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United Nations: The UN Security Council has slapped sanctions, including an assets freeze and travel ban, on the al-Qaeda-linked Pakistani Taliban, which is believed to be behind a string of terror attacks in that country and last year`s botched bombing attempt on New York`s Times Square.

The powerful Council yesterday put the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on its international anti-terrorism sanctions list, a move highlighting the terrorist group`s growing capacity to strike.

The decision to target the Pakistani Taliban comes at a time when the UN is seeking to encourage the Afghan Taliban to pursue peace talks with the government there, a prelude to a US withdrawal from the war-ravaged country.

The UK welcomed the TTP`s addition to the sanctions list.

The move "sends a powerful signal of the international community`s solidarity and resolve in the fight against the TTP and international terrorism," said Mark Lyall Grant, the UK`s envoy to the UN.

"It (the group) has clear links to al-Qaeda at an operational level. Designating TTP under the sanctions regime will help to reduce its ability to operate effectively and perpetrate terrorist attacks."

The UN anti-terrorism blacklist imposes financial and travel ban aimed at restraining the extremists` capacity to strike.

According to the Obama administration, Faisal Shahzad, a naturalised US citizen of Pakistani origin who planted the Times Square car bomb, had acknowledged that he was trained in Waziristan, a stronghold for al-Qaeda and Pakistani Taliban.

The Pakistani Taliban, thought to be behind a number of terror attacks in Pakistan that killed hundreds of people, was formally established in 2007 and is headed by Hakimullah Mehsud.

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