Researcher and journalist Doctor Ashraf Ali analyses the situation of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan group, following the recent death of the Taliban militant commander Maulana Fazlullah

The death of the Pakistani militant Taliban commander, Maulana Fazlullah, in a US drones attack is seen as a major blow to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The dreaded Pakistani Taliban commander Mullah Fazlullah was perished along with his four other fellows on June 13, 2018 when he was moving to his compound after attending an Iftar dinner in one of the militant camps in Marawara district of Kunar province in Afghanistan. He was killed in a US drone attack at 11 PM, the 28th of Ramadan, a spokesman for the TTP, Muhammad Khurasani disclosed in an Urdu language statement released to the media from an undisclosed location.

Born in 1974, Fazal Hayat alias Fazlullah Khurasani moved in to Afghanistan after Pakistan launched a military operation against the Sawat based militants in 2009. Since then Maulana Fazlullah has been organizing attacks on Pakistani installations.

Carrying a head bounty of 5 million US dollars, Maulana Fazlullah was the main actor behind attacking the Nobel laureate Malala Yousufzai in 2012. In December 2014, the Maulana’s men attacked the Army Public School in Peshawar to kill 142 school children along with other staff. This prompted the Pakistan government to launch a military operation Zarb-e-Azb against the FATA based militants (now part of KP) as part of its National Action Plan (NAP) to flush the militants out of the area.

Maulana Fazlullah was a chair lift operator in the picturesque Swat valley before joining the militant outfit – Tanzeem-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi (TNSM) spearheaded by his Father in Law Maulana Sufi Muhammad. The Maulana was amongst the 10,000 young jihadi zealots who crossed the border to join Afghan Taliban in their fight against the US-led NATO forces in Afghanistan when the Taliban’s government was toppled in Afghanistan back in 2001.

The Maulana along with his father in law and hundreds others was arrested on their return from Afghanistan. Maulana Fazlullah after his release reorganized the TNSM to lead the way. The Maulana and his militia had taken control of the picturesque Swat valley by 2007.

“Maulana rose to prominence when he started seditious speeches through his illegal FM radio channel”, said a Swat based Geo Television correspondent Mehboob Ali who has been following the events taking shape in the region since early 2000. “The people and particularly womenfolk contributed generously to the movement by donating their jewelries”.

The government’s military operation against the Fazlullah-led brigade forced over 2.5 million people to displace, one of the huge mass displacement in the political history of the country. Maulana along with his fellows moved their bases to the neighboring Afghanistan’s Kunar and Nooristan provinces that border Bajaur agency of Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Maulan’s was chosen to head the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan after its leader Hakimullah Mahsud was killed in a US drone attack back in 2013. At a time when the Pakistani Taliban are on the run in the wake of military operations in the country’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, the death of Pakistani Taliban commander is seen as a major blow to the strength of the movement. Pakistan had long been demanding of the US and Afghan government to deny space to the Pakistani Taliban on its soil and hand them over to Pakistan.

This may, however; result in increasing pressure on the Pakistani authorities to reciprocate the same by taking action against the Afghan based Taliban on Pakistani soil. The Afghan government and US have frequently been blaming Pakistan for providing sanctuaries to the Haqqani network that are attacking the NATO and Afghan government installation inside Afghanistan.

A high level US delegation led by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ms. Alice Wells is due in Islamabad sometime next week to demand Pakistan for doing more by taking action against the wanted leadership of the Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network. “Pakistan is left with hardly any option but to take a decisive action against the Haqqani network”, said Mr. Alamzeb Khan, editor Mashall radio (Radio Free Europe) in Islamabad.

Pakistan’s troubles got multiplied when the country’s name was put on the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in the recently held Paris moot.

Meanwhile the Taliban while announcing the death of its leader has nominated one Noor Wali Mahsud as its Amir to lead the movement. Noor Wali Mahsud, the author of recently published book “From British Raj to American Imperialism” is a hardcore militant commander who hails from the South Waziritsan Agency of the tribal belt. The 689 page book has some strange revelations about various terror attacks including that on former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, former Interior Minister Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, storming of the Army’s General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and Mehran Airbase in Karachi. The author explains how the one Ikramullah fired bullets on former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to assassinate her in December 2007 , adding, the assassin was still alive.

02/07/2018 - Toute reproduction est interdite.

Army members investigate the site of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack, in Manglawar, Swat valley April 14, 2013. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
De Ashraf Ali