PESHAWAR: The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) led by Mullah Fazlullah appear to have suffered a serious blow as the newly formed splinter group Jamatul Ahrar claims that it has the support of 70 to 80 per cent of TTP commanders and fighters. The group says they are not under TTP's command any more.
Speaking to Dawn, Ehsanullah Ehsan, the spokesperson for the new group Jamatul Ahrar, claimed that they were administratively a separate group now. Responding to a query if they would follow the orders of the TTP Ameer, he said: “We, Jamatul Ahrar, have been administratively separated from them now."
When questioned further about the control exercised by the Mullah Fazlullah-led Taliban, Ehsan said: “I’ll not comment on this question, however, I can claim about 70 to 80 per cent of the TTP, including Swat, is now part of TTP Jamatul Ahrar”.
The Jamatul Ahrar spokesperson added that the group was focused on the implementation of Shariah globally, but as a starting point, "Pakistan is our first preference”. He was responding to a question on whether the group would focus attacks on US/Nato forces in Afghanistan.
The newly formed group claimed its first attack on the Khasadar force in Jamrud which left three personnel dead and one person injured.
Key commanders belonging to the outlawed TTP had announced the formation of TTP Jamatul Ahrar last month, with Maulana Qasim Khorasani as the new Ameer.
Learn more: TTP commanders form new splinter group 'Jamatul Ahrar'