Profile: The revengeful TTP chief

After Baitullah was killed in a drone strike in August 2009, he became known by his birth name Hakimullah Mehsud and took over the reins of power. PHOTO:FILE

After Baitullah was killed in a drone strike in August 2009, he became known by his birth name Hakimullah Mehsud and took over the reins of power. PHOTO:FILE

DI KHAN: He was first named Jamshed, but when he became the spokesperson for Baitullah Mehsud, the former Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief, he was known as Zulfiqar Ali.

After Baitullah was killed in a drone strike in August 2009, he became known by his birth name Hakimullah Mehsud and took over the reins of power.

He belonged to the Ishangi, the sub-tribe of Mehsud, and was the eldest of three brothers. The TTP chief was fond of cricket and used to play the sport. His hobbies included speeding and firing, before and after he joined the TTP.

Before joining the Taliban, he had a small shop in Kotkai area of South Waziristan. He had studied till class eight from a government middle school for boys in Kotkai and had also received basic religious education in a madrassa.

Road to becoming amir

When he initially joined the TTP, he was a low-profile militant, but later, he was able to develop close ties with Baitullah, who appointed him commander of the TTP in Khyber, Kurram and Orakzai agencies, where Hakimullah played a frontline role in attacking Nato supply containers.

In 2010, Hakimullah appeared in a video with a Jordanian double agent suicide bomber claiming responsibility for the Camp Chapman attack killing seven CIA officers and contractors in the Afghan province of Khost. This appearance took him to the high watermark of popularity.

Political connivance plus revenge

Hakimullah had a smile on his face at all times, even when he took revenge. And he made sure he always took revenge from his opponents, including Mullah Nabi Hanafi from Orakzai Agency.

Differences between Hakimullah and Mullah Hanafi increased to the brim when Baitullah Mehsud appointed the former as the TTP head in Orakzai Agency instead of the latter. In early 2008, Hanafi parted ways with the TTP and formed his own militant group, called the Hanafi Caravan or Hanafi militia.

He gave the guns a rest when it suited him. He resolved situations through dialogue and maintained political ties with the Mullah Nazir Group of Wana, despite the expulsion of TTP militants from Wana after a suicide attack targeted Mullah Nazir.

He also maintained peaceful ties with the Hafiz Gul Bahadar Group in North Waziristan, where Hakimullah remained most of his lifetime.

One of his brothers was also militant and was killed during an attack on Razmak camp in North Waziristan. He was a cousin of Qari Hussain, known as the master-trainers of suicide bombers, who was also killed in a drone strike in October 2010.  He had two wives, one from his own tribe and the second from Orakzai Agency, and was the father of a son and a daughter.

June 2004

Nek Muhammad South Waziristan Agency

August 2009

Baitullah Mehsud  was killed in the Zangar area of South Waziristan

October 2010

Qari Hussain Mehsud was killed in Mirali town of North Waziristan

January 2013

Maulvi Nazir was killed in Birmal tehsil in Wana subdivision, South Waziristan

May 2013

Waliur Rehman Mehsud killed in Chashma area of Miramshah in North Waziristan

Published in The Express Tribune, November 2nd, 2013.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (41)

  • saeed
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:26AM

    America don’t want any peace in Pakistan….and with its lobby in Pakistan including some media houses they will continue to spread the propaganda…and poor Pakistanis specially pakhttons will take the burden and black lash of one is asking that why they did it only the day before when negotiations were starting…America only has one nine eleven which killed 4000 thousand people..and in return they totally destroyed 2 countries and almost destroyed one more with around one million human being killed…is this the price we have to pay for only one attack on american soil..speechless..


  • Unknownw
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:30AM

    Seriously, now ET will write autobiography for a terrorist, once again bravo ET


  • salman
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:41AM

    Good riddance and time for celebration – can we expect a national holiday?


  • Mulla Munasib
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:01AM

    Drones we trust in.


  • LOK
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:08AM

    Brutal killer, like every criminal, ran out of luck and couldn’t hide anymore.


  • shiraz
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:10AM

    What is their fate/status at this time?…one can see the punishment mentioned in the ‘Book’, with respect to people who create ‘fitna’-corruption on land.


  • Aysha M
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:21AM

    At least he was the least barbaric looking among them all


  • Ikram
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:29AM


    From Millions of Pakistanis


  • Imran
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:34AM

    i think good looking taliban will be happy


  • water bottle
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:44AM


    I doubt there is such a word.

    Your main headline is a mistake?Recommend

  • Khan
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:52AM

    Sounds like another tribal story and IK is supporting them because he is also a tribal, period !!!


  • Jibran
    Nov 2, 2013 - 5:42AM

    Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif were hoping that after the negotiations he would give up his “Amaarat”, and power and will become a law abiding small shop owner again. How naive!


  • Kashif Naqvi
    Nov 2, 2013 - 6:51AM

    The purpose of this article seems just to glorify the Taliban. It is nothing but a paid-political slot,


  • Saleem
    Nov 2, 2013 - 6:56AM

    No regret on killing of someone who masterminded killings of human lives.


  • ;-)chief
    Nov 2, 2013 - 7:26AM

    Thank God….!!!
    SOB gone atlast….


  • Sall90
    Nov 2, 2013 - 7:32AM

    Yesss…Thanks US.


  • polpot
    Nov 2, 2013 - 8:00AM

    US needs to be congratulated on this successful mission
    Drones the great!


  • Amir
    Nov 2, 2013 - 8:22AM

    Sad a human life lost, but Glad one terrorist removed.


  • Sharath
    Nov 2, 2013 - 8:49AM

    Until now most of pakistanis say that hakimullah mehsud is the agent of RAW/CIA.Now he has been killed by us drone strike.Now what they are going to say ! Any other theory left !


  • fhad
    Nov 2, 2013 - 9:01AM

    well ET is portraying him like if he was a great leader,.hhahhaaha


  • clown
    Nov 2, 2013 - 9:12AM

    true believer, protector of islam.


  • ahmer
    Nov 2, 2013 - 10:08AM

    thank u usa. more of the same please especially now with some of the supporters in pakistan. high profie ones


  • Shailesh Karanjkar
    Nov 2, 2013 - 10:15AM

    ET has projected in this article as He is the real hero of Pakistan !


  • Silent Observer
    Nov 2, 2013 - 10:18AM

    Oh Shut up to all those who think that this drone attack will sabotage the peace dialogue, This guy was involved in killing 50,000 Pakistanis and he deserved to be killed that way.


  • Xnain
    Nov 2, 2013 - 10:38AM

    Well you can certain expect some more suicide attacks. So be ready to face the fire.


  • raw is war
    Nov 2, 2013 - 11:14AM

    Pakistan loses one more” strategic asset”.


  • Faqir Khan
    Nov 2, 2013 - 11:55AM

    After 9/11, fear has been used widely in the media to manipulate the public in favor war crimes and genocide and turning over power to elite groups with their own hidden agendas. The nightmare vision of a powerful, united terrorist organization based in Waziristan waiting to strike is largely an illusion. Wherever we look for al-Qaeda, TTP, from the mountains of Waziristan to the OBL sleeper cells in Abbotabbad, every time we will find that we are chasing a phantom enemy.

    From someone hailing from nearby Wazirtsan.


  • Faqir Khan
    Nov 2, 2013 - 11:57AM

    There are at least 40 active security agencies. If these agencies can instantly find if a common man fire on road crossing or tiny office suspicious, then how are they not aware of such large-scale terrorist organization, attacks, BB murder, daily bomb blast? And yet, everyone wonder how the blame for daily bomb blast is so easily attributed to some Waziristan cavemen due to mysterious calls received by Salim Safi, Rahimullah Yousafzai, Hamid Mir, CNN, BBC, Fox etc.

    The government, media and its functionaries know exactly who are behind daily bomb blast and terrorist attacks. And yet, they seem to be doing nothing. Because they are hiding and protecting those involved.

    Waziristan genocide and mass killings have been going on for over 10 years, and law enforcement agencies have not controlled it. This genocide for more than 10 years can not carry on without daily bomb blast and active governmental or media or civil society involvement. There are multi-layered, international cause at the crux of this genocide varying from political support to economic aid to NATO logistic contract to easy dollars. The policy makers of the country have deliberately allowed so much Pakistani blood to be shed to protect American, Arab and Iranian interests.

    It should not be surprising at all, why Waziristan protest over drones which was democratic, peaceful and exhibiting exemplary tolerance, is not given coverage by main stream media just like Malala , Hazara, Swat Flogging Vedio or Shahzeb Murder. Not a single culprit involved in war crime, human right violations in Waziristan has been arrested so far, a reflection of the utter apathy of civil society, media, NGOs towards humanity and Waziristan ?


  • Gaurav
    Nov 2, 2013 - 1:07PM

    Pashtuns will only suffer in the game of America and Pakistani punjabi establishmentRecommend

  • Ali S
    Nov 2, 2013 - 1:34PM


    What about the 50,000 civilians that died at the hands of Hakimullah Mehsud’s organization? They’re not humans, fellow Muslim brothers or fellow Pakistanis? People like you – not CIA, RAW, or any foreign hand – are the reason that Pakistan deserves to be in the hellhole that it is in.


  • Milli
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:01PM

    what was the point in doing it just a day before the negotiations? an eye opener this should be


  • ali ahmed
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:04PM

    ET should find ….how much properties he owns in gulf states..


  • Nov 2, 2013 - 3:26PM

    Stop making it ethnic issue, he was a terrorists.Recommend

  • Parvez Amin
    Nov 2, 2013 - 5:04PM

    He became what he was because of the failure of education and law enforcement systems. More like him are being produced because of these failures. Even if set out to change the system today, it will take time to raise tolerant productive Pakistanis. How much time? I don’t know but a lot. It is therefore better to start today for a better tomorrow.


  • Nauman
    Nov 2, 2013 - 7:39PM

    A class 8th-“educated” tribal wants to have his own territory and claims to know what true Islam is……..and mercilessly slaughters those he deems non-muslims! He was simply a butcher and a thug. He deserved to die…..perhaps should have been sooner.


  • unbelievable
    Nov 2, 2013 - 8:23PM

    Vengeful TTP meets Vengeful USA – we know who won that battle. Maybe the next TTP chief won’t be so stupid as to admit he was responsible for killing American’s.
    Also – lets hope this puts to bed all the conspiracy theory nonsense that the American’s are funding the TTP – how many TTP leaders does the USA have to kill?


  • Mullah Munafiq
    Nov 2, 2013 - 9:06PM

    Pakistan should award him Nishan-e-Haider for his services to peace and stability in the country. He was brave General and rendered great services. Chaudhry Nisar termed his death as the death of peace. The way our leadership reacted to his death clearly shows that he was great son of the soil.


  • Gp65
    Nov 3, 2013 - 7:49AM

    Well the conspiracy theorists are ingenuous. The latest I have read is that this PROVES that TTP was IS funded and when Hakimullah decided to become a whistleblower by agreeing to peace talks, he was killed. Go figure!

    Of course they never bother to explain why Pakistan had a 5 crore head money for this so called angel of peace?

    One has to know one’s enemy to have a hope of winning. But when the killing of enemy number 1 results in all political parties going into mourning and also revving anti-Americanism, one just feels really sad for the ordinary women and kids who are being killed in markets playgrounds and s hook buses. There is nothing else that one can do.


  • Nobody
    Nov 3, 2013 - 10:36AM

    While I agree with some of what you have to say and I’m not naive enough to argue that the US’s intentions are self less, I wish Pakistan’s government/army would assume the lead, as it’s their rightful responsibility to protect their own citizens and their own country but the sad fact is they’re busy either ignoring the problem, or attempting to negotiate “peace” with terrorists who are not interested in peace. If Pakistan took a more active role in seeking out and punishing (read: murdering) terrorists, US wouldn’t have to intercede to protect (I use this term very loosely), according to them, their own countrymen. Frustrating situation as many Pakistanis have died in the process, but they’re dying everyday at the hands of these terrorists who are finding safe haven in Pakistan.
    As a Pakistani American, I see both sides and while I’m thrilled at the death of another murderer, I hate that it takes US drone strikes to do it and I don’t blame Pakistanis for their feelings about it.


  • MM
    Nov 3, 2013 - 11:49AM


    9/11 you are talking about; was an inside-job done by the CIA itself.


  • Pir Monafiq
    Nov 3, 2013 - 1:21PM

    The holy ‘ababeel’, i.e., the drone has buried another killer of Pakistanis. Since killing of Pushtuns is an ‘ATM’ card for ‘takht-e-Lahore’, the mafia of Lahore is immersed in gloom because the killing may stop for some time.


More in K-P