In this photograph taken on April 20, 2007, Pakistani warlord Mullah Nazir (C) talks to media representatives during a press conference in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan tribal district.—AFP Photo

WANA: Mullah Nazir, the main pro-government Taliban commander in South Waziristan, has ordered the Mehsud tribesmen and Mehsud Taliban fighters to evacuate the Ahmedzai Wazir area of the tribal agency, two days after a failed suicide attack targeting the powerful militant warlord.

The announcement was made following a grand jirga of the Mullah Nazir group, a 120-member 2007 peace committee of the Ahmedzai Wazir clan, the elders of all nine Ahmedzai tribes and their sub-tribes at main Rustam Bazaar market of Wana, the capital of South Waziristan.

Nazir was wounded Thursday when a suicide bomber exploded near his car at Rustam Bazaar, killing at least eight and injuring 17 others.

It was unclear who was behind the attempt on the militant commander’s life, but Nazir has a long list of enemies.

Announcements were made Saturday on loudspeakers in Azam Warsak, Karikort, Wana and Toikhula bazaar by Nazir loyalists, warning Mehsud Taliban fighters to leave their area by Dec 5 or face action. The group also asked all Mehsud tribesmen, who had taken refuge in the area being displaced as a result of an earlier Pakistan Army operation to cleanse the area of anti-government militants.

Nazir, an elder in the Wazir tribe, opposes Uzbek fighters and has had awkward relations with the umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction, which is dominated by members of the rival Mehsud tribe and lead by Hakeemullah Mehsud.

Tribal affairs and militancy expert Rahimullah Yousufzai warned earlier that Thursday’s suicide attack could spark a new wave of bloodshed in the restive tribal belt.

“It is difficult to say who could be behind the latest attack because Mullah Nazir has problems with Uzbeks, IMU and the TTP,” Yousufzai told news agency AFP. “The enmity with the TTP will rise further if Nazir’s group finds TTP’s involvement in the attack.”

Saturday’s announcements issued on mosque loudspeakers also warned local Ahmedzai Wazir tribesmen of dire consequences if they dared to provide shelter to Mehsuds — either fighters or the IDPs. Any local found guilty of giving shelter to Mehsuds would be fined about Rs 1 to Rs 1.5 million and their houses will also be demolished, said the warning.

Mullah Nazir also heads the 120-member 2007 peace committee of Ahmedzai Wazir tribes, which was assigned the task to evict Uzbek, Tajiks and other foreign fighters including the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) militants from the area.

He had carried out an armed campaign against Uzbek and other militant groups in collaboration with the security forces in 2007 to expel anti-government elements from South Waziristan areas dominated by the Ahmadzai Wazir tribe.

Since then the Ahmedzai Wazir area, apparently under the peace committee headed by Nazir, is said to have remained peaceful until Thursday’s suicide attack in Wana.

Mehsud Taliban fighters hailing from the outlawed TTP have also previously been warned by the Mulllah Nazir group not to use their soil for attacks, with tensions mounting over time between the two rival groups.

Although no one has claimed responsibility for the attack on Nazir so far, many believe the TTP might be behind it.

A senior government official on condition of anonymity told Dawn.Com that Mullah Nazir is important for the peace in the Ahmedzai area, otherwise, the security situation would deteriorate.

Nazir and North Waziristan commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, since the 2007 peace pact with Islamabad, are said to confine their militant activities to Afghanistan where they oppose the presence of US and Nato troops.

Saifullah Mahsud, executive director of the Fata Research Centre, a think-tank focused on the tribal belt, said Mullah Nazir and Gul Bahadur are very close to the Haqqani militant network of Afghanistan.

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Comments are closed.

Comments (8)

Mohammad Siddique
December 3, 2012 12:46 am
Who is this Mullah Nazir? Where he gets the authority to demolish people's homes. What happened to the Government of Pakistan who is responsible for implementing pucishment after due course of justice process. No one should be allowed to be a law enforcer until the person is authorized by the national or provincial assemblies. And where are those people in the khakis? What are they doing not implementing the writ of the government. They need to get off their seat and get into ection.
Bilal
December 2, 2012 2:29 am
whichever tribe is inclined to peace, should be given a chance and responsibility at the same time to isolate themselves from the violent millitants. The peacefull tribes should form aman lashkar to eliminate the terrorists from those areas..
Ahmad - Aus
December 1, 2012 1:51 pm
Kill the TTP leaders, is army so useless?
shahidmasud12
December 1, 2012 9:03 pm
Enemy of my Enemy is a Friend?
jan
December 1, 2012 4:32 pm
Saifullah Mehsud statement shows his bias towards Mullah Nazir, because he has started anti Hakimullah Mehsud campaign. Saifullah is just distorting the facts, to show his dismay/rage for Wazir, who have opted to get rid of terrorist Mehsuds.
Tahir
December 2, 2012 12:10 am
Can't the government implement its writ without the involvement of warlords? Use the toys that the poor people of Pakistan have bought for the military. This is our real war.
Guest
December 1, 2012 3:23 pm
Anyone who picks up arms to fight the Pak Army, should be destroyed. Period.
khuzaim
December 1, 2012 6:36 pm
A very positive step by elders.....
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