By Islamuddin Sajid
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the mother organization of Pakistani militants, on Saturday announced Mufti Noor Wali Mahsud as the group’s new head.
The announcement came 10 days after then-TTP head Mullah Fazlullah was killed along with four other militants in a U.S. drone strike in eastern Afghanistan, a development that pleased Islamabad, which had accused Fazlullah of involvement in numerous terrorist attacks in recent years on its security forces and civilians.
A written statement Saturday by TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani acknowledged Fazlullah’s death.
The group’s central Shura (central consultative council) also named Mufti Mazahim a.k.a. Mufti Hifzullah the group’s deputy chief, the statement added.
New TTP chief
Wali joined the Afghan Taliban in 1999 and took part in fighting against its then-Northern Alliance. He returned to Pakistan in 2001 following the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, and joined hands with the local Taliban in 2003.
In 2007, then-TTP chief Baitullah Mahsud appointed Wali top judge of the group’s so-called central court.