News / Asia

Pakistani Taliban Elects New Leader, Rejects Peace Talks

FILE - A Pakistani journalist watches a newly released video of radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah in Peshawar, July 23, 2010.
FILE - A Pakistani journalist watches a newly released video of radical cleric Maulana Fazlullah in Peshawar, July 23, 2010.
Ayaz Gul
A spokesman for the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella organization of Pakistan-based militant groups commonly referred to as the Pakistani Taliban, says its Shura, or leadership council, has selected hardline cleric Mullah Fazlullah as its news leader during Thursday meetings in the North Waziristan tribal region.
 
A spokesman told reporters by phone from an undisclosed location that Shura participants also voted against holding peace talks with Pakistan's government, citing Islamabad’s alleged covert support of U.S. drone attacks against Taliban fighters, including the strike that killed previous group leader Hakimullah Mehsud earlier this month.
 
The choice of Fazlullah has dampened hopes of any peace process between the Pakistani Taliban and the government of Pakistan. Nicknamed Mullah Radio for his fiery Islamist radio broadcasts in the Swat valley, Fazlullah is considered hard line even within the Pakistani Taliban movement.
 
Fazlullah led the militant group's brutal rule in Pakistan's northwest Swat valley in 2008-2009 before a military operation retook the area.
 
Analysts like former Pakistan Air Force officer Shahzad Chaudhry fear extremist violence may increase in the country under the new TTP leadership.
 
“How will Mullah Fazlullah react or act in sort of establishing or asserting his leadership: it is of course [a question] related to his personality, which is obviously of that of a fairly violent man because that is what the state of Pakistan experienced against him in Swat," he said. "And although his people were driven out and he managed to escape to Afghanistan, he has been attacking the Pakistani state and its people from across the border.”
 
Authorities believe that Fazlullah has taken refuge in neighboring Afghanistan and has been ordering cross-border attacks against Pakistani posts as well as civilian targets. His alleged presence on Afghan soil has become another irritant in uneasy relations between Kabul and Islamabad.
 
The militant commander has claimed responsibility for some of the deadliest attacks on security forces, including the recent bombing of an army convoy that killed a top Pakistani general near the Afghan border.
 
Pakistani intelligence believes Fazlullah also has links to the attempted killing of activist Malala Yousafzai in Swat in October 2012, an attack that was claimed by Pakistani Taliban. The teenager was openly campaigning for girls’ education in the conservative northwestern area when gunmen critically wounded her.
 
The incident has since turned Malala, who now lives in Britain with her family, into a figure of international renown.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Sunny from: Nigeria
November 08, 2013 3:42 AM
Why make a child killer a big deal ?send in 100 drones to fly over TTP militants sky every 5mins and take who need to be taken out for peace to be.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid