Fazlullah has joined hands with killers of Taliban, says splinter group

Published September 5, 2014
Photo of key commanders of TTP Jamatul Ahrar. — File photo
Photo of key commanders of TTP Jamatul Ahrar. — File photo

PESHAWAR: The outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and its splinter group Jamaatul Ahrar (JA) are on a collision course as the latter has accused TTP chief Mullah Fazlullah of joining hands with people involved in the killing of militant commanders.

In a statement on Thursday, JA spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said those who were involved in the killing of TTP commanders Nadeem Abbas, Asmatullah Shaheen Bhittani, Tariq Mansoor and 200 fighters of the Mehsud tribe were now sitting beside Fazlullah.

Ehsan, who earlier served as central spokesman for the TTP, said that being head of his group Fazlullah should bring the killers to “justice”.

He said the TTP chief lacked qualities of a good leader, which had resulted in the killing of many commanders.

The JA spokesman said the Fazlullah-led TTP group “now comprised only a few people”.

He said that Fazlullah had no authority to expel Umar Khalid Khurasani of Mohmand Agency from TTP. Khurasani was now an active member of JA and the group’s leadership had the authority to appoint a leader for Mohmand.

He claimed that a majority of Taliban commanders had joined JA and the families of both Baitullah Mehsud and Hakimullah Mehsud had become associated with it.

He said JA had expressed allegiance to Mullah Umar and had faith in the leadership qualities of the top leader of Afghan Taliban.

Ehsan said some elements in the Fazlullah-led TTP were hatching conspiracies to drive a wedge between JA and the Afghan Taliban.

The JA spokesman said that Fazlullah should reveal the names of people who killed Nadeem Abbas alias Inteqami, who was the TTP leader for Rawalpindi, Asmatullah Shaheen and Tariq Mansoor Afridi.

It is the first time that a Taliban-linked group has acknowledged the death of Nadeem Abbas, who escaped from police custody in Peshawar in August, 2011, and was reportedly involved in several acts of terrorism.

In 2011, Abbas and another TTP leader Zakim Shah were brought to the Khyber College of Dentistry for treatment. They ran away when being moved back to the central jail in Peshawar.

Asmatullah Shaheen, who was an acting chief of TTP, was killed outside his residence in Miramshah, North Waziristan, in February last year.

Ehsan also clarified that JA had no links with the Janud Khurasan group and that Ahrarul Hind had merged with JA. He said a majority of TTP commanders in Malakand division had joined JA.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2014

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