DERA ISMAIL KHAN: The banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Saturday confirmed the death of its chief Mullah Fazlullah in a US drone attack in Afghanistan recently and announced the name of its new chief.

A spokesman for the TTP, Mohammad Khurasani, said the group’s Rehbari Shura had appointed Mufti Noor Wali of South Waziristan district as the TTP’s new chief and Mufti Hazrat as his deputy.

Fazlullah, who had claimed the attack in which Malala Yousafzai had been injured seriously, was killed along with five other militants in a drone attack on a vehicle in Afghanistan’s Kunar province on June 14.

Mullah Fazlullah was appointed as the TTP chief after the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud.

Mufti Noor Wali, aka Abu Mansoor Aasim, was born in 1978 in the Gur Gure village of Tiarza tehsil of South Waziristan. He got his basic religious education from a seminary at Aospas. He later studied at several seminaries in Faisalabad and Karachi.

Sources in the TTP said that Noor Wali had specialised in Islamic Fiqh from the Jamia Yaseen-ul-Quran, Karachi, and had gone back to his native village for two years to teach students at a seminary.

The new TTP chief authored a book, called From British Raj to American Imperialism, which was published in 2017. The 689-page book had information about various terror attacks, including the Karsaz attack in Karachi, the suicide attack on former interior minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, the attack on GHQ in Rawalpindi and the Mehran Airbase attack.

Noor Wali wrote in his book that slain TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud had masterminded the terrorist attack on the 2007 homecoming rally of Benazir Bhutto. In his book, he also discussed the attack on Ms Bhutto, in Rawalpindi in December 2007. He claimed that Ikramullah, who had fired the bullet, had managed to escape after the attack and was still alive.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2018

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