New initiative: Mehsud elders to mediate between govt, breakaway TTP faction

Published: October 27, 2014
A file photo of a tribal jirga. PHOTO: AFP

A file photo of a tribal jirga. PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR: Leading elders from the Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan Agency have decided to mediate between a breakaway faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the government, The Express Tribune has learnt.

The decision was taken at a secret meeting held in Tank on Saturday. Though Tank city has historically been dominated by Mehsud and Ahmadzai Wazir tribesmen, thousands of more tribesmen had shifted here in 2009 when the military launched Operation Rah-i-Nijat against the TTP in South Waziristan.

“The meeting was held with the consent of both sides [government and Khan Said, aka Sajna-led Mehsud faction of the TTP],” a Mehsud elder told The Express Tribune. “Now we are going to evolve a formula for reconciliation after holding talks with both sides,” he added.

The meeting agreed to form an 11-member Jirga for reconciliation which comprises Maulana Hisamuddin, Malik Sharang, Maulana Noor Muhammad, Malik Rapay Khan, Malik Mehtab Khan, Maulvi Abdul Rahim, Malik Haji Muhammad, Maulvi Inam Ud Din, Malik Aziz Ullah, Malik Muzzaffar and Malik Alam Shah. The Jirga will first meet Sajna group’s commanders.

The Mehsud faction split from the TTP just before the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azab in North Waziristan following bloody factional fighting in which TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah supported Sajna’s rival Shehryar Mehsud. The Sajna group also differed with the TTP strategy of carrying out attacks at public places, mosques, markets and on security forces.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 27th, 2014.

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