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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid