Pakistani Taliban appoint Mullah Fazlullah as new chief

Eurasia News

PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban’s Shura on Thursday decided to appoint Mullah Fazlullah, a fugitive leader of Swati Taliban, as their new chief, the TTP caretaker leader Asmatullah Shaheen told media from an undisclosed location in northwest Pakistan.

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) Shura also appointed Sheikh Khalid Haqqani as deputy chief of the terror outfit.

Moreover, the TTP refused to hold talks with the Pakistani government as Mullah Fazlullah is not in favor of peace talks, the TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said.

“There will be no more talks as Mullah Fazlullah is already against negotiations with the Pakistan government,” said the spokesman, rejecting the idea of any further peace talks.

The appointment of Fazlullah, also named as Radio Mullah, as the TTP new chief came a week after a US drone strike killed former TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud in the restive North Waziristan tribal agency bordering Afghanistan.

Mullah Fazlullah took shelter in Afghanistan’s Kunar province after the Pakistan military launched a massive operation in Swat to purge the valley of militants. He is also said to be involved in the high profile killing of Major Gen (retd) Sanaullah Khan Niazi, General Officer Commanding Swat, in Upper Dir in an IED blast.