With Fazlullah away, Khalid Haqqani to oversee TTP operations

Published: November 15, 2013
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Mullah Fazlullah. PHOTO: FILE

Mullah Fazlullah. PHOTO: FILE

Days after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced Mullah Fazlullah as its new chief, newspaper reports on Thursday said that the faction’s deputy chief Sheikh Khalid Haqqani would in fact be its operational head in Pakistan.

With the death of former chief Hakimullah Mehsud, and the remoteness of new chief Fazlullah who is currently in Afghanistan, Haqqani has been appointed the functional chief responsible for the organisation’s day-to-day undertakings.

Haqqani hails from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Swabi district. With Fazlullah, a Swat Valley native, and now Haqqani at the helm of the TTP’s affairs, it is the first time that the group’s leadership comprises men from urban areas and not from Fata.

In October 2008, he was also involved in a failed suicide attack targeting the president of the Awami National Party, Asfandyar Wali Khan, in Charsadda. He was once described by the TTP’s media wing as a close associate of Hakimullah and Qari Hussain Mehsud.

According to reports, tribal circles rejected rumours of Fazlullah’s return to Fata after his appointment as TTP chief. They explained that while Fazlullah expressed his desire to return to Pakistan, he was advised against returning because of the US drone programme in Waziristan.

Fazlullah is believed to be in his base in Nuristan, a thickly forested Afghan region favoured by militants hiding from drones. “He is a non-resident commander, he is not present physically,” an intelligence source told Reuters. “But he has two advantages: He’s got a lot of money and he has Afghan support.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 15th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (33)

  • Syed A. Mateen
    Nov 15, 2013 - 10:20AM

    It is the fault of our government that why it did not eradicated TTP in te very first instance long time before?

    Now TTP has become pain in the neck.

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  • Nov 15, 2013 - 11:42AM

    Where does he get the money from?Recommend

  • Tanvir Abid
    Nov 15, 2013 - 12:08PM

    It’s amazing how these Taliban terrorists organize their activities freely within Pakistan. Can’t we find out their location or maybe we don’t want to???

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  • S
    Nov 15, 2013 - 12:09PM

    @Mateen, the reason is in the article, because its commander hid in AF

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  • Realists
    Nov 15, 2013 - 12:34PM

    @The Failed Rebel:

    Local charities, Highway checkpoints in Afghanistan etc.

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  • kapt slim
    Nov 15, 2013 - 12:50PM

    We have two new assignments for Drones
    Khalid Haqqani and Fazullah

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  • believer
    Nov 15, 2013 - 1:04PM

    what a true believer!!!. we should respect him at the most

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  • Saz
    Nov 15, 2013 - 1:09PM

    So will he do telephonic kitabat to the talibs via phone now, i wonder

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  • Wali
    Nov 15, 2013 - 1:29PM

    Operations head while chief is away….looks more organised than the government!

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  • Manu
    Nov 15, 2013 - 1:35PM

    He looks like a lollywood film hero.

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  • Nov 15, 2013 - 2:16PM

    @Realists:
    No. I don’t think that local charities and highway taxes can congregate enough resources to run an army. I know who is behind the funding to the TTP, do you?Recommend

  • Farooq
    Nov 15, 2013 - 2:25PM

    All news regarding such terror groups should be ban to isolate them..

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  • Imran
    Nov 15, 2013 - 3:04PM

    Majority financing comes from our brotherly GCC nations @The Failed Rebel:

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  • Parvez
    Nov 15, 2013 - 3:12PM

    @Realists: You are being sarcastic, aren’t you ??

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  • Last Word
    Nov 15, 2013 - 3:46PM

    With a face like Fazlullah, drone can never miss its target.

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  • Feroz
    Nov 15, 2013 - 3:48PM

    Is he away on his honeymoon and has he taken his radio with him ?

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  • Ali
    Nov 15, 2013 - 4:01PM

    Drone them both, the away and the present one. Targeting leadership helps disintegrating any organizaation, athough in the short run. Amry, along with the civil leadership should resolve toeliminate this cancer of TTP and ban parties who are their aids like JI and also warn PTI. Drones must also continue although with precision strikes. This is the only way we can fight with these monsters.

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  • Hassan
    Nov 15, 2013 - 4:02PM

    Pakistanis now a days are divided into religious and secular, pro-Americans and anti-Americans etc. Many people fail to realize that there are huge number of anti-American people (in billions) who support Talibans and they don’t believe that they are involved in the killings of innocent (but they do kill army men as a punishment of supporting Americans in their war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq).
    If you want to save Pakistan, get rid of America totally.

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  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Nov 15, 2013 - 5:03PM

    Fazlullah is believed to be in his base in Nuristan, a thickly forested Afghan region favoured by militants hiding from drones.” Just like OBL was hiding in tora bora

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  • Jim Hogarth
    Nov 15, 2013 - 5:07PM

    Most of the pakistani’s now like to violate US drones in there terittory,what a surprise?

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  • Lard humberg
    Nov 15, 2013 - 5:18PM

    Pakistan can hand over there whole balochistan terittory to US, so that US can take over TTP.Pakistan can keep karachi and gwadar under there custody.This is the only way pakistan become peaceful.

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  • B
    Nov 15, 2013 - 5:31PM

    @The Failed Rebel:
    What do you think all those ‘donation boxes’ are for?Recommend

  • Jibran
    Nov 15, 2013 - 6:11PM

    Drones are working great. A month ago they were killing our soldiers, policemen, citizens at will. One drone strike later, they are in total disarray. It also fully exposed PMLN, PTI, JI, and JUI-F. Way to go USA. Down with the coward government of Pakistan. Maulvi Nawaz Sharif, please get some courage, and eliminate these thugs now.

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  • rasgullah
    Nov 15, 2013 - 6:27PM

    Why this guy has no mustache, but a huge beard?

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  • Jibran
    Nov 15, 2013 - 6:56PM

    @Hassan:
    How naive of you. It is the other way round. It is because the US is going after the criminals who otherwise have a complete reign of terror and blood of innocent Pakistanis on their hands, with the PMLN and PTI government looking the other way, that many Pakistanis believe that drones are doing the right thing. If the US eliminates our killers, why do we need to stop it, if we ourselves are not accomplice in the crimes of TTP.

    And don’t give us the crap that we are fighting this war for 10 years. Under first 5 years of MMA’s rule, these groups gained control over large parts of settled areas. In the past 5 years, they retreated from settled areas, but PMLN, PTI, JUI-F, and JI couldn’t agree on attacking their den. Now is the time to do it for once and for all.

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  • Nov 15, 2013 - 7:09PM

    @B:
    Good question. They are mostly for positive measures and not this.
    Often the Jihadi organizations mention the cause to the ones donating.
    Several factions in TTP are funded by CIA/RAW directly, or through proxies. Why? It is a very long debate.

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  • Nov 15, 2013 - 7:41PM

    @B:
    If you want details regarding it, and as I mentioned it is a long debate.
    Have this link, it might enlighten you:
    http://thefailedrebel.blogspot.com/2013/11/why-ciaraw-are-funding-militancy-in-kp.htmlRecommend

  • Nov 15, 2013 - 8:20PM

    @Jibran:
    Incorrect. Do not be under the impression that the USA is doing this for Pakistan.
    What my people fail to realize is that drones will not stop at the tribal areas, soon under pressure, their coverage will increase. our slave-rulers are cowards, as long as their homes are safe, and they have safe-havens abroad, they will never feel the pain of living in insecurity.
    Today it is Waziristan, tomorrow it can be Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi. How safe will one feel if you know a drone can strike anytime in your neighbourhood or even at you. Bombs don’t differentiate between enemies and friends.
    Why should we not learn from a mistake we have been doing since this war started? If force is not finishing them off, then we are adopting the wrong strategy. Militancy has increased if anything. Instead, those who initially were against the USA, are now conducting terrorist attacks here on our soil. Hardly the response we expected.
    What my people fail to realize is the dirty game our slave-rulers played by using force on our own people. We decimated their homes, we killed their women and children. These people don’t have access to post-trauma therapy, the coalition took away all they had to loose and now they have gone rogue. They went to the only sanctuary that was available, TTP. Why do you think that these factions are gaining support day by day? It is exactly because of our failed strategy.
    There is an interesting thread about this:
    http://thefailedrebel.blogspot.com/2013/11/about-military-response.html

    Recommend

  • unbelievable
    Nov 15, 2013 - 8:44PM

    Pretty clear that drones are effective – OBL told his lieutenants to flee Pakistan because they were drone bait – now the Taliban leader is afraid to enter Pakistan because he doesn’t want to be a target.
    Of course everyone knows that troops on the ground are far more effective than drones – but that doesn’t apply in Pakistan because Taliban leaders choose to live down the road from Pakistan military bases. One of those elephant in the rooms things that Pakistan civilians don’t want to see/question.

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  • MK
    Nov 15, 2013 - 9:40PM

    @Lard humberg:

    Hey LARD, TTP is based in FATA not in Baluchistan, Plus US failed to counter Taliban in Afghanistan and was only partially successful against AQ in Iraq, what makes you think they can do any better when assisting Pakistan.

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  • Khurram
    Nov 16, 2013 - 2:37AM

    Blockquote

    Haqqani has been appointed the functional chief responsible for the organisation’s day-to-day undertakingsemphasized text

    Organisation??..since when TTP becomes an organisation?..is this ISO-9001 certified?…or listed on Karachi stock exchange?…who is Managing director and Human resource manager?

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  • Zif
    Nov 16, 2013 - 3:27AM

    Very cunning of Fazlulah. In order to save his hide from drone, he has appointed Khalid to run operations in Pak which means to be target of drone. Shame on him!

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  • Abid P. Khan
    Nov 16, 2013 - 4:47AM

    @Syed A. Mateen:
    “…Now TTP has become pain in the neck.”

    .
    For you maybe but for the Tsunami Lover they are the best company one can dream of.

    Recommend

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