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Said has no basic education, conventional or religious, but he is battle-hardened and has experience of fighting in Afghanistan. — Photo courtesy of Radio Mashaal
Said has no basic education, conventional or religious, but he is battle-hardened and has experience of fighting in Afghanistan. — Photo courtesy of Radio Mashaal

PESHAWAR: A meeting of the Pakistani Taliban's council on Saturday decided on Khan Said ‘Sajna’ to lead the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a day after a US drone strike killed its former leader Hakimullah Mehsud in North Waziristan.

Most of the members of the shura (council) were present at the meeting which was held at an undisclosed location.

Out of 60 members attending the meeting, 43 members voted in favor of 'Sajna' whereas 17 others voted against him, militant sources told They said that the appointment of Said, who leads the Taliban in South Waziristan, was not confirmed by several splinter groups of the militant organisation.

A spokesman for the Taliban in South Waziristan, Azam Tariq, declined to say whether ‘Sajna’ had been chosen to lead the TTP umbrella group. He, however, said a formal announcement will be made in the coming days.

Meanwhile, there were reports that at least two other senior Taliban commanders were opposed to Said’s elevation as TTP supremo.

Mullah Fazlullah, the powerful leader of the Swat Taliban who said to be currently based in Afghanistan’s Nuristan province, was reported to be holding separate meetings to determine his group’s future strategy.

Fazullah, along with Umar Khalid Khorasani who heads the Taliban in Mohmand tribal agency, were both frontrunners to succeed Hakimullah. Both are to be opposed to Khan Said ‘Sajna’.

Said, who is 36, is believed to be involved in the attack on a Naval base in Karachi and is also credited with masterminding a 2012 jailbreak in which the Taliban freed 400 inmates in the northwestern city of Bannu.

“Sajna has no basic education, conventional or religious, but he is battle-hardened and has experience of fighting in Afghanistan,” an official had said earlier.

Mohmand Taliban leader Khorasani is the only surviving senior Taliban commander who had directly commanded operations under Hakimullah.

Swat Taliban chief Fazlullah is less likely to replace the assassinated TTP chief as he does not belong to the Mehsud clan.

Comments (44) Closed

zia Nov 02, 2013 02:12pm

Simply not understand able Pakistan so much interested in TTP

Ahsan Nov 02, 2013 02:44pm

All I want is a drone for my Sajna!

Saad(DXB) Nov 02, 2013 03:28pm

klm Nov 02, 2013 04:11pm

Sad that our politians shed so much tears and raise hue and cry when these murderers, terrorists, enemies of the state die. Every day the people of Pakistan die at the hands of these thugs and the people in the corridors of power do not really care. Are we really fit to be called civilized.
Religion is being used and abused to gain power and wealth. State has got no real control and the politicians are fleecing the public and raping the nation. The people have to wake up and forget there differences. Unite and take a stand against what is happening

khalid Nov 02, 2013 04:34pm

@zia: dea Zia, that is a very good point. why are they so interested in ttp?.

Laeeq Nov 02, 2013 04:54pm

Sorry for his fate

Emran Nov 02, 2013 05:09pm

Wow! TTP ameer elected democratically securing 43 votes out of total 60. I thought they were against democracy (the kufr).

ali Nov 02, 2013 05:22pm

To be a taliban chief one needs to be an hardened criminal like this guy Sajna is and all previous ones were the same, on top of that this new chief has no education and without even knowing the abc of shariah he wants to implement it like his predecessors, these are all gun tottering murderers.the government should let IK go and talk to these guys in the mountains and wait and see what happens, they probably won`t even let him come back.

Muhammad Farooq Nov 02, 2013 05:22pm

The succession has proved again, drones cannot remove the root cause. One face has been replaced by another face.There is a need for immediate dialogue and resolution of conflict, of course, within the ambit of the Constitution of Pakistan

Agha Ata Nov 02, 2013 05:31pm

How can you have peace talk with someone who is NOT educated AT ALL and trained only to FIGHT? He is a very wrong selection even for TTP. He sounds like the type who will not only kill his enemy but also the messenger.

Bahadur Nov 02, 2013 05:56pm


Insaan Nov 02, 2013 06:29pm

I like this name Sajna

DrK Nov 02, 2013 06:43pm

Pakistani Taliban seems to be more democratic that Pakistan itself. But I wonder where are the bodies of the 17 who opposed Sajna bhai.

syed baqar ahsan Nov 02, 2013 06:53pm

Even these coming one after the other knows their fate will be same but still not understanding this new gul jan will die

hawk Nov 02, 2013 06:54pm

who told DAWN about this news?? i cant understand :/

Rationalist Nov 02, 2013 08:10pm

Drone Operators in Las Vegas have their job cut out with a brand new target! Give them a few months and they will take this one out, just like the others in the past. $$ will buy informants, even in Waziristan and there goes this chappy's head.

Saima Nov 02, 2013 08:18pm

I don't understand why Pakistani politicians are so upset that the ruthless TTP murderers are killed in drone attacks. These people have proven ties with Hamid Karzai, Indian intelligence agencies, I think USA has done a favor on us by killing him. These monsters are the ones who live on Heroin,kidnapping for Ransom, killings,extortion money. What kind of Sharia they want to implement? They are not the torch bearers of Islam instead they are criminals and this is what they deserve. If Pakistan want to have peace, TTP should be demolished like Sri Lanka got rid of Tamil Tigers.

aqabdul Nov 02, 2013 08:41pm

Govt military secretly supports drone attack and publicly condemns drone attack. Poor Pakistanis believe every word of it. Military is pounding both militants and civilians in the valley while Imran wants to block NATO supply, but he does not have anything to say about his own military killing civilians everyday in the SWAT, Balochistan, and NWFP province. Pakistanis are big hypocrites.

Khalid Nov 02, 2013 08:54pm

@Bahadur: Couldn't agree more. We really need another drone for Sajna. I hope you are in Pakistan because Pakistan needs people like you and please keep writing. Otherwise, the majority illiterates will continue to rule Pakistan and we all know where it will take us.

John F Nov 02, 2013 09:44pm

Will someone shed some light on what is happening in Pakistan: The reaction of anger and out burst of two ruling parties is shocking. This was one Drone strike which deserved THANK YOU note to US. Why PMLN and TIP are so upset on the death of someone who killed thousands of Pakistani civilians and soldiers. There are some explanations offered in North America and an interesting one is that TTP was working as the militant wing of PMLN. Now IK is trying to win them over to his side. It is a political tug of war to recruit these criminals in one party or other. To give credence to this theory is the deep anger shown by two parties rather than usual muttering of protest in the past. It seems that two ruling parties lost an ally or supporter in Mehsud. If there is something they know and we don't then they should come out in open to prove that the death of this killer has derailed the peace process as he was killed with paper of surrender in his hand which he was about to sign.

Ahmed Nov 02, 2013 09:56pm

@Ahsan: well said!

bmurr Nov 02, 2013 10:33pm

This guy is probably only a decoy. Based on their short life span, the name of the true leader of the TTP will no longer be announced to the public. I wouldn't be surprised if it were actually Iman Khan.

Samina Nov 02, 2013 11:10pm

So the Govt specially IK plans to handover fate of the nation to someone name Sajna so that he can interpret for all of us how to behave and what to wear! I find it hilarious more than anything.

marghoobahmedsiddiuqui Nov 02, 2013 11:33pm

If the meeting was at an undisclosed location, how you got so much detail. It means location was known to you and you have close contacts with Taliban. Why can't an action be taken against them when such minute details are in your knowledge?

Jalbani Baloch Nov 02, 2013 11:33pm

Wide coverage of the killing of a terrorist, whose hands are soaked with the bloods of thousands of Pakistanis, make one believe that he was a hero, and represented a large section of Pakistan, like in politics, and has won the sympathies from some walks of life. In fact, the murder of terrorist should have been given a least coverage, otherwise, there is any hardly difference of a killing of a patriot Pakistani or a rebel, who is only creating a terror and horror in the minds of millions of Pakistanis. There should be no debate on national televisions, and a very little coverage be given to terrorists, who either killed by Pakistani Agencies or American Agencies. Media and politicians are advised to act wisely and responsibly.

beavis Nov 03, 2013 12:19am

@Ahsan: you are funny man

El Cid Nov 03, 2013 12:27am

@Ahsan: "All I want is a drone for my Sajna!"

Go, say it to his face...if you have an iota of manhood in you!!

El Cid Nov 03, 2013 12:34am

@Agha Ata:"How can you have peace talk with someone who is NOT educated..."

Standard response of the arrogant ignorant...

Nadeem Chaudhry Nov 03, 2013 12:47am

Democratically elected "Sajna"!! With no formal education (religious or otherwise) he is not too far behind other TTP leaders. With the other " Hash Partiers" unhappy by an illiterates election to the top job.......There Will Be Blood!

Let the party begin!

Modi Nov 03, 2013 01:14am

@Agha Ata: That strengthens my conviction which I had always had, that you cannot negotiate with savages. They don'y understand anything except killing. IK and Pakistani political leaders have gone completely mad with their misguided notion of negotiationg with criminals.

Modi Nov 03, 2013 01:18am

@Muhammad Farooq: No, I don't agree. Using drones is not fighting. Why should the Americans risk the lives of their soldiers in helping Pakistanis fight its mortal enemies. So, the Americans use their technology and use drones as weapons. But what is wrong with Pakistanis. The Pakistan Army should be fully capable of fighting a serious battle with the talibans and defeating them. But the damn politicians in Pakistan do not allow the Army to fight a battle.

Mr Q Nov 03, 2013 01:58am

@Agha Ata: so the fighting warrior would produce a degree so he can talk.........seriously

Ajaya K Dutt Nov 03, 2013 02:26am

Good. We know who is the new guy. He deserved to die, because Pakistan will not or cannot rein them in.

Raj Modi Nov 03, 2013 02:37am

No education, but he's their chosen leader.

Great job Taliban. BTW, do you know what's meaning of Taliban? A scholar.

A hood heading group of so called scholars.

What a joke.

Imran A. Nov 03, 2013 03:03am

Next time we should plan to get the shura where they will decide for the next Ameer. Just imagine getting rid of 60 Taliban in one sho - how peaceful Pakistan will become. The only request I have is to allow our army the permission to annihilate them, instead of depending on drone attacks leaving us no choice but praise US. May Allah protect us!

neo Nov 03, 2013 03:04am

TTP claims masterminding all mass murders civilian and military and yet IK wants table talks? captaan je if ur losing a match you fight back u dont ask for a dialogue.

mustafa Nov 03, 2013 03:31am

I want to be the first one to Thank the US for killing that barbarian and his associates, they did what the Pakistani government should have done a long time ago, these animals have killed 50,000 of our civilians yet people like Imran Khan and Nawaz Sharif want to reason wit them, they are uneducated animals, they are not even well versed or educated in the Holy book or Islam, so the only thing they are preaching is terrorism! I find it disgusting that our leaders are actually condemning this and are threatening action against the US and summoning their Ambassador, so technically we are upset that they killed someone who has murdered thousands of us ? what a joke this country has become

Raj Modi Nov 03, 2013 03:35am

Why are you sorry?

Mustafa Nov 03, 2013 06:46am

Why worry about Sajna's education. His face with powerful beard is his best qualification.

kublai Nov 03, 2013 07:34am

Hey US, see a 4x4 truck with a crew cab, loaded with with 2 extra people in the truck bed with guns. That would be him.

MHA Nov 03, 2013 07:38am

Keep the drones killing these low life, uncivilized, anti islamic terrorist. Government does not need to negotiate with them. Wipe them off from the face of earth.

Mohsin Nov 03, 2013 01:00pm

Sajna you can run but you cannot hide for long...

Roxana R Nov 04, 2013 02:17am

@Rationalist: Good point. The posted rewards for leaders of Taliban and Al-Queda are very high. If one could claim them, one could live a full life on the proceeds, not to mention fund all kinds of businesses in Pakistan to bolster Pakistan's economic growth. Just one such reward. And I am sure there are many. Pakistan now knows who the enemy within is; what will Pakistan do about it? Instead, the man who purportedly identified where OBL hid was jailed. It is absurd. He should be given a reward and feted for helping to rid the world of such an evil man.

El Cid Nov 04, 2013 10:04am

@Samina :"Sajna so that he can interpret for all of us how to behave and what to wear...I find it hilarious" will certainly be more becoming than what Bollywood tells you about what to wear and how to behave. Now that is not only hilarious and shameless but also..."