High-profile hit: A life in infamy ends

Published: November 2, 2013
SHARES
Email
TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud presumed dead in US drone strike; Chaudhry Nisar calls drone strike ‘attempt to sabotage talks with Taliban’.

TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud presumed dead in US drone strike; Chaudhry Nisar calls drone strike ‘attempt to sabotage talks with Taliban’.

ISLAMABAD / MIRAMSHAH: 

The United States offered a $5 million reward for his capture. He succeeded his mentor, Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in August 2009. Hakimullah Mehsud, the young, ferocious and vengeful chief of Pakistan’s most feared militant group – the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – survived at least two US drone strikes in the past. However, on Friday, his luck might have just run out.

Several intelligence, army and militant sources confirmed that Hakimullah, who was in his thirties, had been killed in a US drone strike in North Waziristan Agency on Friday evening. On record, however, government officials refused to confirm the death of Hakimullah, who emerged largely unscathed from previous attempts to kill him.

Officially, the government was quick to denounce the deadly drone strike which, analysts believe, could scuttle an embryonic peace process with the TTP. A team of government negotiators was scheduled to leave for Waziristan to kick-start formal talks with the militants.

“A remotely piloted US aircraft fired two missiles at a house in the Dandi Darpakhel area, one kilometre north of Miramshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan, around 7:15pm,” a security official told The Express Tribune. The account was corroborated by an official of the local political administration.

They said six suspected militants were killed and two others injured in the strike. They also confirmed that Hakimullah was among the fatalities. Local tribesmen identified the other victims as Hakimullah’s cousin Tariq Mehsud, his driver Abdullah Mehsud and his personal guards.

A militant source said the drone fired two missiles on Hakimullah’s double-cabin SUV while it was driving into his newly constructed house. Two militants sitting in the front seat and three in the back seat were killed, while two guards sitting on the rear cargo bed of the 4X4 were critically wounded.

Soon after the attack, TTP insurgents swarmed over the attack site, the source added. They shifted the mutilated bodies that they recovered to the house and covered them with sheets. They also surrounded the house and barred people from going inside.

Security and intelligence officials also confirmed the news to AFP and Reuters. However, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, who has been tasked by the prime minister to make peace with the Taliban, said there was no confirmation of Hakimullah’s death.

The local political administration imposed a routine weekly curfew in North Waziristan, informing tribesmen to remain indoors.

Earlier Friday, the Shura of the Mujahideen in North Waziristan warned tribesmen living in Dandi Darpakhel, Miramshah, Dattakhel, Tol Khel, Tabbi, Danday and Machis to leave their areas within a week. Pamphlets distributed in these areas read that a peace agreement between the group and the government would remain intact. The warning was prompted by the recent skirmishes between the TTP and security forces.

North Waziristan is the stronghold of militants which, US officials believe, is used by the Haqqani Network, the deadliest of all Afghan Taliban factions, as a springboard for launching attacks on foreign forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The attack came a day after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that peace talks with the Taliban were already under way – a claim denied by TTP spokesperson Shahidullah Shahid earlier Friday.

Earlier, credible sources said the government had finalised the makeup of a team that would negotiate with the Taliban. “The team comprises government officials, politicians, clerics, intellectuals and defence experts,” one source told The Express Tribune.

Sources added that formal talks were expected within a couple of weeks. And during the talks, both sides would observe an unannounced ceasefire. However, after the drone strike interior ministry sources said a three-member government team leaving for Bannu via Peshawar on Saturday has been asked to suspend their trip till further instructions.

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, in his immediate reaction, said the drone strike was aimed at sabotaging the peace talks with the Taliban. In order to control damage, he called up Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawwar Hasan and JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

“The drone attack took place at a time when the government was about to send negotiators to formally engage the Taliban in talks,” sources quoted him as telling the two politico-religious leaders. Interior ministry officials were not available to confirm the phone calls.

Officially, the government condemned Friday’s drone strike.

Foreign Office spokesperson Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry said in a statement that drone strikes are a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. There is an across the board consensus in Pakistan that these drone strikes must end.

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

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (57)

  • Raj - USA
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:13AM

    One terrorist with a $ 5 million reward for his head is gone. Next target will be a terrorist on whom a $10 million reward is on offer.

    Recommend

  • Javed
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:22AM

    Just as the last TTP commander died and a new one came and nothing changed except terrorism increased.. expect the same, new TTP commander has probably been appointed already.
    America played this one well.

    Recommend

  • Chan JI
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:38AM

    Thank you Drone Operator. It was long due. Glad the monster is gone and having little fun with his seventy two whatever. His buddies will soon be there with him.

    Recommend

  • Ali (Texas)
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:40AM

    BRAVO !!!
    Drone did what Pakistan could not do in years !!!

    Recommend

  • modi
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:45AM

    The guy worked for Indian & Afghan intelligence , AT LAST such a relief it is to hear about his death.. thank you god & thank you drone :)Recommend

  • lalai
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:45AM

    The way he is killed made him a hero. It is unfortunate for us as a nation. He must have been hanged through a legal procedure so that the world knows this is how Pakistanis treat the worst convicts.

    Recommend

  • humayun
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:04AM

    His trial has finally begun, infront of the highest court.

    Recommend

  • PS
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:08AM

    Shukr Alhamdulillah

    Recommend

  • shiraz
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:08AM

    good riddance,but he goes down with a lot of unanswered questions, including as to who supported him during these 4 years?
    A person cannot be at the helm of such a powerful insurgency, just based on local means.

    Recommend

  • Kolsat
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:20AM

    The fact that Pakistan government shows concern about these murderers of citizens indicates that they have always supported the Taliban. Hence this outpouring of indignation of the drone strike. This tells me that Pakistani regimes past and present have been in cahoots with these murdrerers.

    Recommend

  • RJ
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:41AM

    Praise be to Allah Almighty

    Recommend

  • erudite
    Nov 2, 2013 - 5:04AM

    Great work by US drone, love US.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Farooq
    Nov 2, 2013 - 5:15AM

    When Talibans keep killing innocent citizens they are not sabotaging the peace process? Why these dual standards?

    Recommend

  • Jibran
    Nov 2, 2013 - 5:38AM

    Thank you USA. You are doing what our incompetent government was supposed to do. Thank you. Please wipe all these scums off the face of the earth.

    Recommend

  • Shoaib
    Nov 2, 2013 - 5:49AM

    Drone strikes will only be effective if we launch a full scale war against these militants. Yesterday Hakimullah was enemy no.1, tomorrow it’s going to be someone else. The only way to defeat these terrorists is through a full scale war and revamping and keeping a check on the madrasa’s at the same time.

    Recommend

  • INXS
    Nov 2, 2013 - 6:05AM

    I wonder who gave information to the CIA about the whereabouts of Mehsud !

    Recommend

  • Morons
    Nov 2, 2013 - 6:40AM

    This is great news. Justice of God finally prevailed. May the terror TTP organisation be vanished forever!!

    Recommend

  • Nov 2, 2013 - 6:54AM

    You live by the gun, and die by it. Law of nature.Recommend

  • Insaan
    Nov 2, 2013 - 6:57AM

    Can some Pakistani reporter investigate if some one got 5 million dollars of bounty money? Pakistanis as usual playing double game with USA by agreeing and helping US with drone bombings and keeping Pakistani public happy by protesting drone strikes.

    Recommend

  • rasgullah
    Nov 2, 2013 - 7:08AM

    Karma will catch up with the evil ones.

    Recommend

  • WFJ
    Nov 2, 2013 - 7:22AM

    I love drones!

    Recommend

  • ivehadit
    Nov 2, 2013 - 7:39AM

    Pakistan continues to play it’s double game. Tell the people it hates the drones, tell the US it loves the drones.

    In Pakistan it seems, the politicians feel they can fool the people all the time.

    Recommend

  • go drones go
    Nov 2, 2013 - 7:45AM

    Alhamdolillah. This was only possible by a drone attack. Now everybody should know why some people in Pakistan are agaist drone strikes……because they don’t want these casualties.

    Recommend

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Nov 2, 2013 - 8:09AM

    I don’t think that with the death of Hakimullah Mehsud, the terrorist activities will come to an end in Pakistan.

    There are too many terrorist groups that have emerged and spread all over Pakistan and it is not only difficult but also time taking task to pick up one by one until the last terrorist is either killed or apprehended alive.

    Pakistan can only progress further when all sorts of militants are eliminated from Pakistan’s soil.

    Finally Hakimullah Mehsud has reached to the logic conclusion.

    It I’d good to know that one more key terrorist has died and the other terrorists will also meet the same fate.

    Recommend

  • Dr.A.K .Tewari
    Nov 2, 2013 - 8:25AM

    A Diwali gift to Pakistan by US ?

    Recommend

  • ayesha s
    Nov 2, 2013 - 8:44AM

    Let the Government protest but Im celebrating this drone attack!

    Recommend

  • Bilal
    Nov 2, 2013 - 9:02AM

    Never loved the drones so much as I do them right now.

    Recommend

  • Raza
    Nov 2, 2013 - 9:17AM

    Good riddance, I call for more strikesRecommend

  • iLiberal
    Nov 2, 2013 - 9:23AM

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Recommend

  • Shah
    Nov 2, 2013 - 9:32AM

    Finally!!!! Long awaited good news.

    Recommend

  • Rana
    Nov 2, 2013 - 9:33AM

    Kahimullah Mehsud was ready for talks with Pakistan Government! His replacement would be more lethal for future terror activities against Pakistan! He always remains easy target while killing thousands of innocent civilians during terrorist attacks in compliance with CIA manifesto.

    Recommend

  • Sohraab
    Nov 2, 2013 - 9:56AM

    Shukar Al Hamdulillah….That’s the way to DO IT!

    Khas kum Jahan Pak!

    Recommend

  • Ishtiaq
    Nov 2, 2013 - 10:03AM

    Good riddance; a murderer has finally met his fate.

    Recommend

  • Nov 2, 2013 - 10:41AM

    Last night there were cries of wailing and screaming in Afghanistan, Israel and India’s secret services. The Americans really now how to develop high technology and use it. Now the anathema to Pakistan is gone and let’s see who is appointed to further mess up Pakistani politics and state. Salams

    Recommend

  • Muzakeraat
    Nov 2, 2013 - 10:55AM

    Not a single comment condemning this except for IK and other so called religious politicians, which shows how much respect they show to the public opinion.

    Recommend

  • xor
    Nov 2, 2013 - 11:29AM

    Earlier commander Baithullah killed in same way, but what happened next? What change it has made on ground for people in general? These fake desi liberals enjoyed killings of Baithullah, now they got another opportunity to have some good time on coffee table with fellow desi liberals. But question is how safe is FATA now or rest of Pakistan? After sabotaging peace process do we are one step closer to bringing peace and stability in FATA, KPK and rest of Pakistan or we are now on the verge on new cycle of violence?

    Recommend

  • _
    Nov 2, 2013 - 11:56AM

    @Chan JI:
    You only show how ignorant and stubborn some americans are, god bless you

    Recommend

  • mind contrtol
    Nov 2, 2013 - 11:58AM

    High-profile hit: A life in infamy ends

    The elimination of Hakimullah Mehsud can be interpreted in various ways.

    A. It may be payback for Camp Chapman attack, killing several CIA operatives.

    B. It may mean retribution for the assassination of Maj Gen Niazi in Upper Dir.

    C. It can be seen as an attempt to disrupt ‘talks’ in order to destabilise Pakistan by killing one of ‘our own people’ and a ‘stake holder’.

    D. It can be seen as Shahadat of a brave Ghazi and Mujahid.

    All views will find some takers.

    Which view will prevail? Only time will tell.

    Recommend

  • A J Khan
    Nov 2, 2013 - 12:11PM

    Hakim Ullah is dead, but foreign logistics, funding & weapon supply still intact. Afghan Intelligence would nominate Indian sponcered candidate for the top slot.

    Recommend

  • imran ali
    Nov 2, 2013 - 12:21PM

    in 1971 seven fleet did not came and Pakistan surrendered in Dacca…in 2013 drone came and prevented Pakistan to surrender……….

    Recommend

  • drone
    Nov 2, 2013 - 12:47PM

    what’s wrong with drone strikes aimed at terrorists only with no civilian casuality? Not a taliban leader but a terrorist and killer of thousands of pakistanis is killed.

    Recommend

  • ahmed
    Nov 2, 2013 - 1:03PM

    why we didnt attack from air when his missile hit SUV was swarmed by militants. thanks to US we got no guts

    Recommend

  • B
    Nov 2, 2013 - 1:46PM

    I never thought I could say this but I am happy that ISI gave the Americans his coordinatesRecommend

  • Jatin
    Nov 2, 2013 - 1:50PM

    Can anyone say How USA comes to know the exact location of this terrorists… I am sure it must be very accurate information coming from very close people…. I still wonder who is close to both parties…

    Recommend

  • Zalmai
    Nov 2, 2013 - 2:51PM

    @ Modi

    If the TTP works for Afghan and Indian intelligence, the Quetta Shura and Haqqani Network work for the Pakistani intelligence and that my friend is called tit for tat. What goes around comes around and what goes up must come down.

    Recommend

  • LOK
    Nov 2, 2013 - 2:52PM

    Ch Nisar, any seasoned politician would know that this is the best time to negotiate.

    Recommend

  • Nov 2, 2013 - 3:01PM

    Imran Khan warned US that NATO supplies will be stopped if there is drone attack. Nawaz Shariff informed that dialogue process has already started. These two statements made one day before the drone strike which killed Hakimullah Mehsud. Is it not a doubt that these two leaders knew about the drone strike in advance.

    Recommend

  • Vakil
    Nov 2, 2013 - 3:58PM

    So NOW what are we going to see? Hakimullah’s relatives going to appear before yet another US Congressional panel (headed by Mr. Alan Grayson) pleading for “an end to Drone strikes” (in the name of “humanity”) ???

    Recommend

  • Nov 2, 2013 - 4:02PM

    “Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, in his immediate reaction, said the drone strike was aimed at sabotaging the peace talks with the Taliban. In order to control damage, he called up Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawwar Hasan and JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

    “The drone attack took place at a time when the government was about to send negotiators to formally engage the Taliban in talks,” sources quoted him as telling the two politico-religious leaders. Interior ministry officials were not available to confirm the phone calls.”

    Thank you Talib without growing beard.

    Recommend

  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:30PM

    MNS visit to US was successful

    Recommend

  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Nov 2, 2013 - 4:33PM

    After the hit US soldier went home. He saw few children at his door and said “Trick or Treat” and he/she handed out candies to children and said “both (trick and treat) Happy Halloween.”

    Recommend

  • Randomstranger
    Nov 2, 2013 - 6:11PM

    @Kojak:

    Just a correction to your statement, “you live by the gun, you die by it”. You should have said; “you live by the gun, you die by a hellfire missile”. Recommend

  • nirmal singh maunder
    Nov 3, 2013 - 8:33AM

    Whose agent was he?US can not kill its own agent.If he was an Indian agent Pakistan should be happy.But so much hullaboo by Pak govt & KPK on his death & threaten to break relations with USA makes us feel he was a ISI agent.Now why would ISI have agents to kill pakistanis?Any explanation.drone atacks have been gowing on for years & nobody raised protests to this pitch before..Does it mean,those killed in earlier drones were not important people?

    Recommend

  • powvow
    Nov 3, 2013 - 1:50PM

    @Modi – The guy worked for Indian & Afghan intelligence , AT LAST such a relief it is to hear about his death.. thank you god & thank you drone :)

    So, then what stopped your folks from going after him, rather than indulging in peace talks…After all you do have a standing army with all the modern toys.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Ahsan KHAN
    Nov 3, 2013 - 2:43PM

    “The team comprises government officials, politicians, clerics, intellectuals and defence experts,”

    Every Male Muslim is there, the Female Muslim and the Minority is absent. Perhaps, they are not “true” Pakistanis!!

    Recommend

  • genesis
    Nov 3, 2013 - 5:55PM

    If this is the attitude of the government spokespersons on the death of terrorist there is no surprise that investigations on the Mumbai attack will make no progress.

    Recommend

  • Fraz Waraich
    Nov 6, 2013 - 5:22AM

    Its like we reached the level 3 of drone games. Baitullah (level 1) and now hakimullah (level 2). What’s level 3? Imran khan?

    Recommend

More in KP & FATA