ISLAMABAD  - After the killing of Tahreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief Hakimullah Mehsud along with some of his companions in a US drone strike on Friday, the banned militant organisation is in the process of choosing his successor.

Sources claimed that Qari Walayat Mehsud, a first cousin of Hakimullah, has been elected as new chief of TTP. But, no name had yet been announced by the militant organisation.

Interestingly, informed sources revealed that the militant organisation, which seeks to bring Sharia system in the whole country, has used a democratic way to elect its new chief. The sources said that voting was carried out by the Majlis-e-Amla (central council) of the Taliban who met in Miran Shah Bazar on Friday. Qari Hadayatullah, head of the council, conducted the meeting, it was learnt.

However, some television reports suggested that Said Khalid alias Sajna was being made top commander of the TTP. But some Taliban sources believed that it was highly unlikely because of differences between Hakimullah and Sajna groups.

Sources told The Nation Friday night that Qari Walayat was expected to be announced as new chief of the defunct TTP. Walayat is said to have escaped Friday’s drone attack because he was out in a training camp. He was on the way for the meeting of Majlis e Amla when the drone struck the meeting venue.

“Being most senior commander after Hakimullah, Walayat – who is first cousin of Hakimullah Mehsud and son of Qari Waliurehman Mehsud – is expected to sworn in as new TTP chief soon,” said a credible source. He added that Walayat had masterminded the Peshawar Church attack and he was in-charge of TTP’s training camp.

According to sources, Roshan Wazir Group facilitated the US in killing Hakimullah. TTP chief was attacked in a house near Noor Wali Mosque in Miranshah where he had shifted two days ago with his family, three wives and five children, the sources added.

The meeting of the TTP Majlis-e-Amla was held after Isha prayer under the chairmanship of Qari Hidayatullah in Miranshsah Bazar, and around 15 members of the Majils attended the meeting. "The Majlis was given the option between fourth and fifth level commanders Qari Wilayat Mehsood and Shahid Ullah Shahid who were contestants for the new Ameer of TTP," a Taliban source said.

After voting, Shahid Ullah, who is also a spokesman for the militant organisation, secured only 4 votes and Wilayat Mehsood obtained 11 votes and was elected as the new TTP chief. According to sources, the newly appointed TTP chief stands on the eleventh number in the sonority list of TTP top commanders but due to his 'achievement' (the attack on Peshawar’s All Saint Church) he was promoted to 4th position.