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TTP elect Fazlullah new chief; deny talks with govt

TTP elect Fazlullah new chief; deny talks with govt

talbanMIRANSHAH: Banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has appointed Maulvi Fazlullah new Amir of TTP and Sheikh Khalid Haqqani as Naib Amir.

The decision was taken during the TTP shoora meeting chaired by interim TTP Amir Asmatullah Shahin. Fazlullah is resident of Swat and Haqqani belongs to Swabi.

Meanwhile, TTP has denied any dialogue with the government.

Addressing a press conference TTP interim Amir Asmatullah Shahin said that Taliban would not hold talks with Pakistani government, adding that PML-N secured votes in the name of peace but it betrayed Taliban in the name of dialogue.

Accusing Imran Khan of just sloganeering on the issue of Nato supply line, saying the Taliban would believe the PTI chief when its KP government would practically stop the Nato supply.

The TTP Majlis-e-Shura (Executives Council) appointed Mullah Fazalullah new chief, but yet his name has been not announced formally.

According to sources, 17 members of the Shura took part in the election. Names of Khan Said Sajna, Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, Mullah Fazlullah, Umar Kahlid kharasani and Hafiz Saeed were considered for the post of new TTP Amir but the Shura members unanimously appointed Mullah Fazlullah new TTP Chief.

Mullah Fazlullah is currently present in Afghanistan and considered rigid and hostile towards Pakistan rulers.

Pakistan has repeatedly protested to the Afghan regime over Mullah Fazlullah’s presence there and anti-state hostile activities in the country.

Mullah Fazlullah is son-in-law of Swat’s Maulana Sufi Muhammad, chief of the Tehrik Nifaz-e-Shariate Muhammadi (TNSM), and 5 million rupees’ head money had been set on him.

“Fazlullah is the new TTP chief,” TTP caretaker leader Asmatullah Shaheen said at a press conference at an undisclosed location in northwest Pakistan.

“The decision was taken at a Shura (council) meeting,” foreign news agency quoted Shaheen as saying. “The supreme Shura also elected Sheikh Khalid Haqqani as the deputy chief of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.”

TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid also confirmed the announcement. “Following proper consultations … we chose our senior commander Mullah Fazlullah our new ameer (leader),” he told foreign news agency by telephone from an undisclosed location in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The election of hardline commander Fazlullah further dampens expectations of any peace deal between the insurgents and the Pakistani government.

“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.

Heavy gunfire was reported in celebration in Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal area, following the announcement of the new chief.

Nicknamed Mullah Radio for his fiery radio broadcasts in Swat valley, Fazlullah is considered hardline even within the Pakistani Taliban movement itself.

The killing of former chief Hakimullah Mehsud on Friday came as the Pakistani government said representatives were prepared to meet the TTP with a view to opening peace talks.

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