PESHAWAR/DI KHAN/WANA - The decision to appoint a new Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) chief has not yet been taken and Majlis-e-Shura will choose the new chief within two to three days, TTP spokesman for South Waziristan Agency Maulana Azam Tariq said on Saturday.
Talking to media on phone from an unknown location, Tariq said an appropriate and capable person would be nominated as the TTP chief. He said formal decision in this regard would be taken within next two to three days.
The Shura would continue to meet for a few days before taking the decision, Tariq said. He added the decision could take more time. The supreme council of TTP met Saturday to choose a new leader after the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud.
He said TTP was facing a deep shock as killing of its chief was a great loss for it. Tariq said until Pakistan did not clear its position and quit the US war on terror, holding talks would prove a futile exercise. “We have properly understood the dual policy of the Pakistani government and its hypocrisy,” said Tariq, adding they were proud of the martyrdom of Hakimullah Mehsud.
He said actually talks were held with independent and sovereign states, while Pakistan was not independent in making its own decisions, questioning how talks could be started in such a situation.
Meanwhile, it is also learnt that TTP named Khan Syed alias 'Sajna' as the new chief. However, it has not been confirmed by TTP.
Reportedly, the TTP Shura agreed on Khan Syed as its new chief at a meeting held at an undisclosed location in North Waziristan. The council reportedly considered four names for the post that included Khan Syed, Umar Khalid Khurasani, Mullah Fazlullah and Ghalib Mehsud.
The two main candidates to succeed Mehsud are Khan Syed, the Pakistani Taliban leader in the South Waziristan tribal area, and Mullah Fazlullah, the chief in Swat Valley. Omar Khalid Khurasani, who heads the group's wing in the Mohmand tribal area, is also in the run. It has been learnt that a majority of Shura members voted for Sajna, but they were still waiting for commanders from remote areas to arrive. One commander said the Shura had chosen a caretaker chief, Sheharyar Mehsud, to lead until the group chose a permanent successor.
Pakistani Taliban fighters secretly buried their leader early on Saturday after he was killed by a US drone strike and quickly moved to replace him while vowing a wave of suicide bombs in revenge.
“Every drop of Hakimullah’s blood will turn into a suicide bomber,” said Azam Tariq. “America and their friends shouldn’t be happy because we will take revenge for our martyr’s blood.”