LAHORE - Against the backdrop of infighting among the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ranks, some of its militant leaders are planning to kill Maulvi Fazlullah – the disputed chief of Pakistani Taliban who is hiding in Afghanistan, The Nation has learnt.
Tribesmen close to TTP commander Khan Said Mehsud alias Sajna talking to this correspondent from an undisclosed location in a tribal area informed on Friday that Sajna is making bids to unite all the anti-Fazalullah militants in TTP under his command, apparently to dethrone the disputed Fazlullah.
Sajna was tipped as the strongest contender for assuming Taliban leadership after Hakimullah Mehsud’s killing in a US drone strike, claiming himself as being the most suitable candidate to run the militant organisation comprising as many as 43 different militant outfits.
The sources said Sajna now emerging as a rival to the present TTP leader. They said he is exploiting the differences among the Mehsud tribe over the leadership issue, and he is even contacting with the militant groups outside the TTP to bring them under his command.
When asked whether assassinating disputed chief could be the only motive of Sajna, they said, “Apparently, his efforts are focused on eliminating the command of Maulvi Fazalullah, as he never accepted his leadership.
About the possibility of Sajna’s forming a new militant outfit, the tribesmen remarked, Khan Said alias Sajna has the potential to form a new amalgam of militant groups, however to establish his command he has either to get oath of allegiance from majority of TTP commanders or eliminate them, while Fazalullah will be his prime target.
Sajna, who is believed to be the strong supporter of peace with the government during the time of Hakimullah Mehsud, is fighting a fierce battle with Shehryar Mehsud in South Waziristan. Shehryar was close to Hakimullah, who believed that war was the only way to fulfil Pakistani Taliban’s agenda.
A member of an elite security service told this scribe that security services intercepted some communications of the warring TTP groups in South Waziristan, which suggest that Sajna was planning to undertake ‘something big’. He informed that several encrypted communications of TTP from first week of the April when deciphered strongly suggest that the infighting will increase further and new alignments and alliances would take place among the TTP and in this process, many key commanders are likely to be assassinated.