Top Pakistan Taliban commanders 'at each other's throats'

Published: January 3, 2012

Any division within the TTP could hinder the Afghan Taliban, al Qaeda's struggle in Afghanistan against the US. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ISLAMABAD: Al Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban and Pakistani militants have held a series of meetings aimed at containing what could soon be open warfare between the two most powerful Pakistani Taliban leaders, militant sources have said.

Hakimullah Mehsud, the head of the Pakistani Taliban, also known as the Tehreek-i-Taliban (TTP), and his deputy, Waliur Rehman, were at each other’s throats, the sources said.

“You will soon hear that one of them has eliminated the other, though hectic efforts are going on by other commanders and common friends to resolve differences between the two,” one TTP commander said.

Any division within the TTP could hinder the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda’s struggle in Afghanistan against the United States and its allies, making it more difficult to recruit young fighters and disrupting safe havens in Pakistan used by the Afghan militants.

Despite multiple reports of the Rehman-Mehsud split, Rehman told Reuters on Tuesday there was no problem between the two.

“There are no differences between us,” Rehman said.

The TTP, formed in 2007, is an umbrella group of various Pakistani militant factions operating in Pakistan’s unruly northwestern tribal areas along the porous border with Afghanistan.

It has long struggled with its choice of targets. Some factions are at war with the Pakistani state while others concentrate on the fight against the United States and its allies in Afghanistan.

There has been a noticeable decrease in militant attacks in Pakistan, but there continue to be random acts of violence across the country.

Al Qaeda and Afghan Taliban commanders are asking the TTP to provide more men for the fight in Afghanistan and are looking to smooth over the dispute between Mehsud and Rehman.

Long-standing feuds

Taliban sources said Rehman had ordered his fighters to kill Mehsud because of his increasing closeness with al Qaeda and its Arab contingent.

Mehsud’s former deputy has also alleged the TTP chief received money from Pakistan’s arch-rival, India, to kill a former Pakistan spy agency official acting as a mediator between the Pakistani Taliban, Afghan insurgents and the Pakistani government.

The reported enmity between Mehsud and Rehman is not the only conflict within the TTP ranks.

Mehsud has a long-standing feud with militant commanders Maulvi Nazeer in South Waziristan and Hafiz Gul Bahadur in North Waziristan, both of whom have non-aggression agreements with the Pakistani military.

Mehsud’s men have also fought with the militia under the control of Fazal Saeed Haqqani, the former TTP head in the Kurram tribal region. He has accused Mehsud of killing his commanders and innocent people and kidnapping for ransom.

Haqqani, who is close to the militant Afghan Haqqani network, broke away from the TTP last year.

A pamphlet distributed by militants in North Waziristan this week announced the formation of a council to try to resolve the conflicts.

“All jihadi forces have jointly, on the recommendation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, formed a five-member commission which will be known as the Shura Muraqba,” the pamphlet said, using the term by which the Afghan Taliban describe themselves.

“The Shura Muraqba will be working to resolve differences and problems between mujahideen.”

It said that any “mujahideen” found to have committed an “unlawful” killing or kidnapping would be punished under Islamic law. It is likely any attack on a fellow “mujahideen” commander would be considered “unlawful”.

“All mujahideen should respect the decisions of the council that has been set up,” a senior commander of the Haqqani faction in Kurram said.

“If people continue to do as they like, the situation will not improve. Things will instead get much worse.”

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Reader Comments (21)

  • abdul jabbar
    Jan 3, 2012 - 6:40PM

    these are nothing but power hungry warlords who mistakenly think they are some great religious warriors fighting for a worthy cause.these jihadi terrorists fought amongst one another in afghanistan after the russians left and killed thousands of people in the process to cement their hold on power.we shouldn’t let them kill any more of our people.Recommend

  • Zeffos
    Jan 3, 2012 - 6:49PM

    Let them eat each other up, make them fight each other. Thats the best we sane Pakistanis can hope for.

    Recommend

  • Mard-e-Haq
    Jan 3, 2012 - 7:07PM

    Wonderful news!!!

    Recommend

  • Roflcopter
    Jan 3, 2012 - 7:08PM

    “Mehsud’s former deputy has also alleged the TTP chief received money from Pakistan’s arch-rival, India”

    Who could have thought? Also I would like to thank ISI for shattering TTP. Peace is close now, either Hakimullah Mehsud makes peace or his days are numbered.

    oh and this will have no effect on Afghan Taliban so western media needs to stop dreaming as if this is a big blow to Afghan struggle.

    Recommend

  • sam
    Jan 3, 2012 - 7:09PM

    we heard similar stories right after Baitullah Mehsud dies. but nothing happened. they did not harm each other. now same stories coming up in media. i dont think its more than just a propaganda war.

    Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jan 3, 2012 - 7:56PM

    Let the evil forces die killing each other for whatever reasons, it is not only good for Pakistan but also the whole region.

    Recommend

  • Max
    Jan 3, 2012 - 7:57PM

    That is a good news. Bacteria eats bacteria. Hope both shoot at each other at the same time.

    Recommend

  • American Muse
    Jan 3, 2012 - 7:57PM

    This report from Reuters is bogus. Reuters often misreports and distorts news coverage to suit the interests of its mercantilist sponsors. These sponsors would indeed be happy if the Pakistan Taliban (whose Afghan incarnation is driving out the invading AmNato forces from Afghanistan) would fight among themselves. So they make it up!

    Recommend

  • incognito
    Jan 3, 2012 - 8:02PM

    oh please fight among your selves and spare us the agony, thank you very much!

    Recommend

  • Salman
    Jan 3, 2012 - 8:03PM

    also some of the Pakistani talibans want to deal with Pak Army but Hakimullah group are quite reluctant regarding this which further depicts their problems against each other

    Recommend

  • Zamil
    Jan 3, 2012 - 9:01PM

    “TTP chief received money from Pakistan’s arch-rival, India, to kill a former Pakistan spy agency official”

    whats new about it? TTP is just like Al-Q, like “contract terrorists”. TTP’s lower levels may not know what their commanders do, its lower levels only think that they are doing “Jehad”, but they don’t know the reality. TTP is used by Indians, Americans and some powerful corrupt Pakistani politicians as well, whoever wants to use it in their benifit. Anybody can conclude this because of their activities. Whatever TTP do, it only harms Pakistan, its innocent people and its image worldwide. And its activities only benifit US officials, US policies and US/Indian media. So its obvious that who is working for whom…Recommend

  • Imran
    Jan 3, 2012 - 9:03PM

    These guys arent mujaheedins they r war lords. They are greedy for money n power. They will switch sides as they please. They use islam to hide there true colours.

    Recommend

  • Ashish
    Jan 3, 2012 - 9:42PM

    The whole article resembles to a Erle Stanely Gardner novel where we remember only the initial names and for every additional name , we have to look back to see its relevance.

    Recommend

  • Hu Jintao
    Jan 3, 2012 - 9:45PM

    TTP is nothing but group of warlords terrorizing locals. They get their funding and weapons from three big evils (you know who). I’m so glad that Pakistan Army with their limited resources tore them apart.

    Proud of my forces. Recommend

  • Sana
    Jan 3, 2012 - 11:49PM

    Good! They should kill each other and give us Pakistanis some relief.

    Recommend

  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 4, 2012 - 12:58AM

    It is really good news for all peace loving people of Pakistan.

    The Mullah Party is going to kill each other to take revenge.

    Finally no body will survive to conduct terrorist activities in Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • hedgefunder
    Jan 4, 2012 - 3:26AM

    Watch out for the fractions of these groups acting out their own agendas and possibly doing it for their respective paymasters too !
    There could be a real possibility of having two proxy groups fighting on behalf of the opposite partners in the War of Terror, here and the theatre of performance will be Pakistan !!!
    Not smart of Pakistanis to have supported some of these groups as their assets for long !
    This could very well turn out to be disastous for Pakistanis in near future,

    Recommend

  • sunny
    Jan 4, 2012 - 4:33AM

    The report well defines the reasons that why Taliban are unable to attain a meaningful success in their struggle despite sacrificing thousands of precious lives. Unless they fully submit themelves to the order of Alimighty Allah and sincerely following their Ameer their struggle wont bear any fruit and instead cause hatered against them amongs the muslims in particular and rest of the world in general.
    This is an eye opener.

    Recommend

  • Imran
    Jan 4, 2012 - 5:17AM

    Trafficking with the lives of 30,000 Pakistanis… I’m outraged!

    Recommend

  • duck
    Jan 4, 2012 - 5:51PM

    The sooner this lot annihilate , murder & blow up each other, the better for Pakistan, Islam & everything else.

    Remember that Islam encourages knowledge & learning for men AND WOMEN.

    Recommend

  • TrueMuslim
    Jan 4, 2012 - 10:32PM

    We must support Taliban in Afghanistan not in Pakistan!! Taliban in Pakistan are criminals, warlords, receive money from all kuffar nations. Our Afghani Taliban brothers who are purly indeigenoius are heroes of Islam!! We support them fully. We don’t support traitor Afghani seculars!!

    Recommend

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