TTP Chief Mullah Fazlullah ousts Commander Umar Khorasani

Published September 7, 2014
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah. — Photo by AFP
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah. — Photo by AFP

PESHAWAR: Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Mullah Fazlullah ousted its Mohmand Agency chief Umar Khalid Khorasani from the organization on charges of "conspiring against the Emirates of Afghanistan Emir Mullah Muhammad Omar, and having links to shadow militant organizations".

In what appears to be a further disintegration of the Pakistani Taliban structure, well-placed sources within the TTP told Dawn.com that a meeting of the Taliban Shura led by Mullah Fazlullah decided to oust Wali Muhammad alias Khalid Khorasani as Mohmand Agency chief, and also cancelled his TTP membership.

The meeting observed that Khorasani had been conspiring against the Afghan Taliban led by Mullah Muhammad Omar and had formed "dubious" organizations such as Junad-i-Hafza, Ihrarul Hind and now the splinter group Jamatul Ihrar. The Shura determined that this was damaging the TTP cause.

In the last few days, Umar Khalid Khorasani and his associates in Mohmand Agency had accused the TTP leadership of deviating from the TTP ideology, leading to the formation of splinter group TTP Jamatul Ihrar.

The group had announced they would no longer recognise or obey Mullah Fazlullah as their Emir. They also claimed the support of other like minded commanders from FATA and Malakand division.


A divided TTP


The TTP is now effectively divided into two factions.

One is headed by Mullah Fazlullah, who was elected last November following the killing of ex-chief Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike.

The other is headed by Umar Khalid Khorasani who is commanding the breakaway Jamatul Ahrar (freedom fighters group).

Fazlullah is the first non-Mehsud leader of the Pakistani Taliban and has struggled to impose his authority on the powerful tribe. He faced many challengers to become chief of the Pakistani Taliban last year after the death of the previous head in a drone strike. He has been hiding in Afghanistan since then.

Khorasani previously led a faction called Ahrarul Hind, which claimed several attacks during a ceasefire period between the government and Taliban earlier this year, including one on an Islamabad court complex that killed 12 people.

Analysts believe Khorasani has strong links to Al Qaeda and Zawahiri.


Who are the commanders?


Mullah Fazlullah

A Yousufzai from Swat, he took charge as the head of the TTP after the death of Hakeemullah Mehsud last year. He controlled large parts of the Malakand division for nearly three years before escaping to Afghanistan in 2009 following a military operation. The mastermind of GoC Swat Maj Gen Sanaullah Khan Niazi’s killing, he maintains strong relations with the Afghan Taliban and is popular and well-respected within the TTP and similar ranks.

Umar Khalid Khorasani

One of the founding members of the TTP, Umar Khalid Khorasani (aka Abdul Wali) is a former journalist from Mohmand agency. Within organisational circles he is known as a formidable military commander. He was also given additional charge of the Khyber agency chapter for a brief period where he orchestrated a bloody campaign against government-backed lashkars.

Opinion

Viral violence
25 Feb 2021

Viral violence

We need a law to expressly criminalise torture.
The political chessboard
Updated 24 Feb 2021

The political chessboard

It is now hard for the PTI to defend itself from the opposition’s onslaught.

Editorial

25 Feb 2021

IHK & human rights

WHILE the right-wing BJP government in New Delhi has tried to brush the Kashmir issue under the carpet, there is no...
25 Feb 2021

A better law

THAT the Sindh Police has taken an initiative to bring improvements to the criminal justice system is a positive...
25 Feb 2021

Power breakdown report

A NEPRA inquiry into last month’s power breakdown that left almost the entire country without electricity for up ...
Return of militancy
Updated 24 Feb 2021

Return of militancy

Extremism is a hydra-headed monster that needs a sustained, multifaceted approach to vanquish.
24 Feb 2021

FDI decrease

THE more permanent and non-debt-creating FDI inflows to Pakistan have shrunk by a whopping 27pc to a meagre $1.1bn ...
24 Feb 2021

Myanmar protests

THE protests against Myanmar’s Feb 1 military coup have refused to die down, with hundreds of thousands of people...