Maulvi Ahmad Jan is the second senior leader that the Taliban-linked Haqqani Network has lost over the past two weeks.
Maulvi Ahmad Jan, believed to be 47 years old, was treated as a member of the Haqqani family because of his loyalty. He hailed from Ghazni province in Afghanistan.
He was a deputy of Sirajuddin Haqqani, who leads the network.
“I would describe Maulvi Ahmad Jan as the right hand of Khalifa sahib (Sirajuddin),” said a local militant, who knew the slain Haqqani leader for years and had also met him two days ago at the site of the drone strike.
The Haqqanis had arranged a condolence meeting at the targeted seminary for Dr Naseeruddin Haqqani, who was shot dead in the outskirts of Islamabad on November 11. “Sirajuddin Haqqani had asked Maulvi Ahmad Jan to represent the Haqqanis in the condolence meeting on his behalf and he especially travelled there for this purpose three days ago,” he told The Express Tribune.
Sirajuddin used to nominate Ahmad Jan for jirgas whenever people would request him to resolve disputes among the residents and even militant groups.
Ahmed Jan had also mediated on Sirajuddin’s behalf with the Pakistani Taliban for the release of Colonel Imam, who was later shot dead by Hakimullah Mehsud, as some of the TTP hardliners had never endorsed Imam’s release.
A source confirmed that Ahmad Jan was highly respected among the Haqqanis, the Taliban and their sympathisers. “He was scheduled to leave the seminary in Thal as the condolence meeting was over, but he stayed on the requests from his friends,” said a tribesman, who had attended the condolence meeting.
Someone who met him frequently told The Express Tribune that Ahmad Jan had a sense of humour and was quick-witted.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 22nd, 2013.