PESHAWAR - Mehsud faction of Taliban Wednesday formally announced parting ways with Mullah Fazlullah-led central outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), accusing the latter of falling into the hands of ‘plotters’ promoting kidnappings for ransom, extortions, killings and robberies.
“The Mehsud group tried to reform the TTP. However, despite its efforts, conspirators in the organisation emerged successful. Thus Mehsud group of Taliban had to disassociate itself from the TTP,” said Azam Tariq, spokesman for Mehsud faction of Taliban, while talking to media persons from an undisclosed location in Waziristan.
The spokesman for the Mehsud group, who was also a central member of the Taliban Shura, accused the TTP of indulging in major crimes. He added the leadership of TTP had fallen into the hands of ‘plotters’ promoting kidnappings for ransom, extortions, killings and robberies.
He said his group, led by Khalid Mehsud alias Sajna and now called as ‘Halqa Mehsud Group’ considers crimes like kidnappings, killings etc as ‘haram’ unlawful). The spokesman for the group said that promotion of belief and ideology of a certain sect created rift among the Taliban and they were deviating from the real cause. And that’s why other Taliban factions were also becoming distrustful of the main organisation. He said that under the umbrella of TTP its members were involved in extortions and robberies.
He said Mehsud Taliban believe that attacks on innocent people, abduction for ransom and targeting public buildings was illegal. He made it clear that his group had immense respect for shrines and other Islamic sites.
Moreover, Azam Tariq said the present Taliban regime was carrying out bomb attacks on public places and claim responsibility for them on fake titles. He added money was also being extorted from madrasas and other institutions.
The TTP is also involved in false propagandas against the Islamic state of Afghanistan and the Afghan Taliban,” Tariq said, adding certain members of the TTP were working as a tool for agencies.
Azam Tariq said that they felt it necessity to expose the real face of TTP in front of the people. He said that Mehsud group would function in accordance with the guidelines provided by the Afghan Taliban, adding that they believed in establishing the system of khilafat to advance the cause of jihad against the false ideology and false system.
Infighting has been going on among Taliban factions since March. Differences among TTP emerged after Hakimullah Mehsud was killed by a US drone in November last year and with a dispute over future leadership of the organisation. The infighting among the factions has also impeded and undermined the peace negotiations with the government.
Observers said the split was a victory for the government’s strategy of pitting militant factions against each other and gaining the loyalty of key commanders. Peace talks between the government and the Taliban that began earlier this year faced suspension a month ago.
The breakaway faction belongs to the Mehsud tribe, widely considered the most important within TTP. Khalid Mehsud alias Khan Said Sajna was a contender for the TTP’s leadership, however, the slot was given to Mullah Fazlullah who hails from Swat.