US designates Pakistani Taliban leader a 'terrorist'

US designates Pakistani Taliban leader a
# 14 January 2015 02:43 (UTC +04:00)

The designation falls under an Executive Order that targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

It prohibits Americans from engaging in transactions with Maulana Fazlullah and will freeze all of Fazlullah’s U.S. property and interests.

Under Fazlullah’s leadership, the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan group claimed responsibility for the Dec. 16, 2014, attack on a school in Peshawar that killed at least 148 victims, mostly students.

The U.S. announcement came during U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Pakistan’s capital of Islamabad.

Kerry met with Pakistani officials Tuesday for the fifth ministerial level Pakistan-U.S. Strategic Dialogue, according to State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf.

The last ministerial level session of the talks were held Jan. 27, 2014, in Washington.

"Secretary Kerry conveyed condolences on the tragic loss of lives in the terrorist attack on Army Public School in Peshawar,” Harf said in a statement. "He expressed solidarity with the people of Pakistan and appreciation for Pakistan’s efforts to fight terrorism."

She added that Kerry welcomed assurances of Pakistan’s intent to dismantle all militant safe havens for terrorist and criminal networks.

Kerry pledged to continue U.S. support for Pakistani efforts "to strengthen governance, expand development, and facilitate the return and rehabilitation of temporarily displaced persons in the tribal areas," she noted.

Harf also said that the U.S. has committed approximately $250 million to assist in the relief, return and rehabilitation of displaced people in tribal region, and would continue discussions as needs emerge.

Fazlullah's terror designation was also a part of the dialogue between the two countries in efforts to fight against terrorism.

Fazlullah was chosen commander of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan in November 2013, following the death of former TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

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