Taliban video solves two mysteries

Published: February 20, 2011

The video shows Hakeemullah Mehsud standing behind Col Imam. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: A video released by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) seems to have put to rest debates about the fate of two men: One, the chief of the outlawed outfit, and two, of a former official of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

US officials had claimed in January last year that the young TTP chief, Hakeemullah Mehsud, was killed along with 10 other militants in a drone attack in the North Waziristan tribal region.

Though the TTP were quick to rubbish the reports, the Western media insisted that Hakeemullah was dead. There was no official confirmation of his death, however.

Hakeemullah Mehsud had taken over the dreaded TTP following the death of his cousin Baitullah Mehsud in a US missile strike in South Waziristan in August 2009. Hakeemullah went into hiding following reports of his death, providing grist for the rumour mills.

However, the mystery was solved on Saturday when the Taliban released a video showing the execution of former ISI official Sultan Amir Tarar, commonly known as ‘Colonel Imam’.

Clips from the undated video aired by Pakistani television channels show Hakeemullah, flanked by two armed men, standing behind Col Imam as he sat on the ground.

“Col Imam is no more in this world,” TTP spokesperson Ahsanullah Ahsan, said in a message in the video, which apparently shows his execution.

In the video, Hakeemullah said that all those collaborating with the Americans against Muslims would be killed. He said that the Taliban would continue their ‘jihad’ to defeat the Americans and their allies in Afghanistan.

Col Imam, along with another former ISI official, Squadron Leader (retd) Khawaja Khalid, and British journalist Asad Qureshi, was seized by a hitherto unknown TTP-linked group – the Asian Tigers – while travelling in North Waziristan on March 26, 2010.

Qureshi was released in September after paying a ransom of Rs20 million, while Khawaja was executed by his captors.

Last month, there were reports that the captors had executed Col Imam after authorities turned down their demands. However, officials and family did not confirm the death.

Again the TTP had claimed on Sunday last that Col Imam had died of cardiac arrest in captivity and made a pledge to release a video to prove their claim.

But Imam’s family rejected the claim, saying that they were negotiating with the captors to secure his release. The captors were reportedly demanding Rs50 million besides the release of some of their associates currently in the custody of Pakistani security forces.

Interestingly, former ISI chief Lt-Gen Hameed Gul is reluctant to trust the video. “It appears to be a drama,” he told The Express Tribune. He said he has spoken to Major Nauman, son of Col Imam, and told him not to offer Fateha for his father unless the execution is confirmed by independent sources.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2011.

Reader Comments (22)

  • Hunter
    Feb 20, 2011 - 11:22AM

    You “Hakeemullah Mehsud” and ur associates will InshaAllah burn in the depth of hell murderer of innocent people.Recommend

  • LoL
    Feb 20, 2011 - 1:09PM

    N where is your credibility as a reporter? first you confirmed his killing citing sources close to family and now making a third person quoting his son to not to trust news of his death, unless it is independently confirmed. Recommend

  • shc
    Feb 20, 2011 - 1:44PM

    After the drama of a quetta shopkeeper fooling the entire NATO setup, things could not be trusted as easily.Recommend

  • saamia
    Feb 20, 2011 - 2:54PM

    How Brutal ! How can they make families suffer like this, what kind of people are they? Recommend

  • Ali Abbas
    Feb 20, 2011 - 4:03PM

    these people are professional killer. Col Imam praises so called TALIBAN and no killed by TALIBAN. TALIBAN are using the name of Islam to conduct there profession. Recommend

  • Feb 20, 2011 - 4:57PM

    As you sow, so shall you reap.Recommend

  • Pakistani!!
    Feb 20, 2011 - 7:23PM

    Two wrongs donot make one right! @Tribal: Recommend

  • Sardar Khan
    Feb 20, 2011 - 7:25PM

    @saamia: These are the same brutes that the likes of Colonel Imam have created themselves. These monsters are the creation of this very Pakistan establishment to destroy the ethnic identity of Pukhtoons. These monsters have destroyed the lives of Pukhtoons and brutalised their culture. Now these very monsters who been created and nurtured by Col. Imam and others like him, have turned against their creators.Recommend

  • Ben
    Feb 20, 2011 - 7:31PM

    It is simply incomprehensible; how could Taliban kill their own guru. The Colonel was a decorated hero of a war known as Charlie Wilson’s war. Afghans and their generations should be grateful to him. I think those who killed him only use the Taliban name and are playing someone else’s game. How could Taliban kill their own guru?Recommend

  • Pakistan One
    Feb 20, 2011 - 7:31PM

    @shc what with the Quetta shopkeeper drama? Can you post a link?Recommend

  • Abu Huzaifa
    Feb 20, 2011 - 7:33PM

    @ Ali Abbass: There is a difference between Pak and Afghan tabs. Col Imam was a god father of afghan tabs while Pak tabs are an affiliate of al qa i da,Recommend

  • asif
    Feb 20, 2011 - 9:46PM

    I would like to see the reaction of so called good taliban (afghan taliban lead by mullah omer), afghanis seems to declare themselves the “best” muslims on earth so they should know the status of teacher in Islam and we all know Col Imam was the teacher of mullah omer and hundreds of other talibans.

    Now i want to hear the reaction of mullah omer about mahsood, if no reaction comes then i am damm sure there is nothing good or bad taliban, its just a myth to create confusion in our minds, how could they link man like col imam to usa, this is just madness.

    I pray to ALLAH now tht pak should shoot down drones and send its own PAF with the orders of carpet bombing, they r not humans so they should not be dealt like humansRecommend

  • noor lodi
    Feb 20, 2011 - 10:08PM

    @Tribal: Kindly cut your non-sense about your shall sow, shall you reap, are you telling me the the 3000 people killed in world center reaped what they sowed. Are you telling me that 300 people who were killed in Egypt 2 weeks ago reaped what they sowed. Are you telling me the that 6M jews killed by Hitler reaped what they sowed.

    If can’t say anything positive to contribute to the world, shut your mouth and go away. NO BODY wants to hear from you or people like you.Recommend

  • Feb 21, 2011 - 1:48AM

    This incident is further proof that the TTP terrorists have nothing to do with the Afghan Talibs. Why on earth would they kill someone that Mullah omar and others considered as a father figure?

    My mind goes to the revelation made in Bob Woodwards’ bok Obamas War, that both karzai and zardari believed that the TTP are funded and supported by the Americans in order to destabilize and weaken pakistan.Recommend

  • Omar Khaayam
    Feb 21, 2011 - 5:10AM

    I wonder why people are surprised at the fact that the Taliban have murdered their ‘godfather’. As if Taliban are some sort of Angels who can do no evil. History is full of events in which brothers have killed brothers, sons their fathers and so on. It is all about power. The Taliban are after power and their juggernaut is trampling everything in its wake. General Gul has the luxury of being ‘untrusting’ of the video, after all he is also one of the godfathers of the Taliban beast.Recommend

  • xplorer
    Feb 21, 2011 - 8:23AM

    @LoL:
    could’nt understand ur logic as scribe hasn’t but the video has confirmed the death….while it is just the statement of Gul apparently did not have any base…Recommend

  • Sardar Taimur Hyat-Khan
    Feb 21, 2011 - 9:38AM

    Your terrorists and my terrorists are killing our terrorists!Recommend

  • Hanif Awan
    Feb 21, 2011 - 11:11AM

    Independent reports n Gen.GUL………….HAHAHARecommend

  • noor
    Feb 21, 2011 - 11:35AM

    Why do we expect ‘normal’ murders from those who have been trained as ruthless mercenaries? In the name of Islam, in the name of strengthening Pakistan’s strategic interests, the like of Col. Tarar (alias Col. Imam) have nurtured an organic cancer that is lethal and self-destructive simultaneously.

    This video reminds me of the soldiers who were being beheaded every now and then by the people trained by Col. Tarrar and his comrades!! Recommend

  • RizwanTKhan
    Feb 22, 2011 - 10:38AM

    TTP is supported by US which has finally been emerged in Reymond Davis case. So TTP cut the bull. Recommend

  • abdulrehman
    Feb 27, 2011 - 11:59PM

    its good misionRecommend

  • Musilm
    Mar 27, 2011 - 7:54AM

    Taliban are dogs which are bring up on the bone of India & U.S.A.

    These all are big dogs. Taliban, U.S.A , Europe & India.Recommend

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