PESHAWAR: The cracks that had appeared amongst the ranks of outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) with the assassination of Hakimullah Mehsud in November 2013 widened Monday as his loyalists announced disassociation from its current chief Mullah Fazlullah. The group also denounced the TTP-led violence and the armed confrontation against government.
Sheheryar Mehsud, who leads the followers of the former TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud, declared disassociation from Mullah Fazlullah, spokesman Daud declared in an email.
In a similar development, Tehreek-e-Taliban Punjab, under Maulana Asmatullah Muawia, had also pledged loyalty to the government on Saturday and assured to remain peaceful for, what he called, larger interests of the country and its people.
However, Mehsud militants associated with the Sheheryar Mehsud faction reaffirmed stance on continuing armed struggle against “enemies of Islam”, without specifying who they were referring to. Similarly, TTP Punjab declared they will continue armed struggle (jihad) against the US led allied troops camping across the border in Afghanistan.
The TTP group headed by Sheheryar Mehsud becomes the fifth faction to be splinted from the once-strong TTP under Hakimullah Mehsud. The first faction was created when a group headed by Said Khan Sajna refused to recognize Fazalullah as TTP chief, dividing the militant organisation into two. Sajna was followed by another group who broke away when TTP and government entered into negotiations, announcing establishment of Ihrar-ul Islam.
In August, hard core militants from Mohmand Agency headed by Abdul Wali alias Khalid Khorasani announced the establishment of a new Taliban faction called TTP Ihrar, while declaring revolt against Mullah Fazalullah and his aides. TTP Punjabi, commonly known as Punjabi Taliban, was the fourth to follow suit, which not only announced disassociation but also declared an end to armed violence and hostilities against the government and security forces.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 16th, 2014.
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