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Mullah Fazlullah. — File photo
Mullah Fazlullah. — File photo

MIRAMSHAH: Mullah Fazlullah, the new head of banned organisation Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has returned to Pakistan's tribal areas, a spokesman for the militants said Tuesday, after several years based in Afghanistan.

Hardline cleric Maulana Fazlullah was elected as leader of the TTP last month after his predecessor Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by a US drone strike.

Fazlullah has been based mainly in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan since 2009, when a military operation ended his followers' brutal two-year rule of northwest Swat valley.

TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said Fazlullah was now “commanding the Taliban movement at an unknown location in the tribal areas”.

The TTP and other militants have strongholds in the seven semi-autonomous tribal areas along the country's rugged, porous border with Afghanistan.

Shahid's comments came after some local TV channels reported that Fazlullah had reached Waziristan.

“It is not true that Maulana Fazlullah is in Waziristan, he is in the tribal areas but at an unknown location,” Shahid told AFP.

Then-TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by a US drone attack in North Waziristan on November 1, while South Waziristan was largely cleared of militant hideouts by a military offensive in 2009.

Washington has pushed for a similar operation in North Waziristan, currently seen as the major hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

Fazlullah, who has a $500,000 government bounty on his head, has mounted some brutal and humiliating attacks on Pakistan's military, including the beheading of 17 soldiers after an attack in June 2012.

Comments (4) Closed

Faisal Dec 03, 2013 01:16pm

PTI is supporting NATCO for pressurising Afghan Government to sign the army deal on hold. TTP people are Murderor's and must be punished accordingly.

Rishi Singh Dec 03, 2013 06:43pm

We shud not c taliban only only from the eye of terroism/religion etc.

To my opinion it is a flagbearer of dignity of a poor, uneducated community of pashtoons.

pashtoons find it difficult to adjust in current world with dignity with nothing to save their pride.

Taliban is one such organization under whose umberella they feel dignified and safe and secure.

Let us be more sensitive towards pastoons and solve their problems ,insecurites and guide them to earn self respect and human dignity and desire to live alive longer in current wolrd with current moral values

pathanoo Dec 03, 2013 07:41pm

Now, Is Fazalullah a Good Taliban or a Bad Taliban? What does The Great Khan - Imran say about him? Is Fazalullah the one Imran supports negotiating with?

US CENTCOM Dec 03, 2013 08:48pm

We stand by the government of Pakistan and fully support their efforts in countering insurgency. We share a common stance against terrorism, and we are making common sacrifices on both sides of the border in fighting terrorism. Those who pose a threat to our peace objectives in the region will be dealt with accordingly. We have come too far and made too many sacrifices to let these terrorists succeed with their dangerous agenda. Our officials continue to meet to address our shared concerns and objectives. We certainly hope to remain unified in regards to the betterment of the region. The terrorists also see our nations as a common threat to their evil mission. Therefore, it only makes sense for us to work together for the safety of the region.

Ali Khan DET, United States Central Command