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Hakeemullah Mehsud orders Taliban to end attacks on Pakistani military in North Waziristan: report


Waliur Rehman Mehsud (left) and Hakeemullah Mehsud (right), from their latest propaganda tape. Image from Dawn.

Hakeemullah Mehsud, the emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, has ordered his fighters to end attacks against government forces in North Waziristan, according to a report from Reuters:

The Pakistani Taliban said on Saturday they would not attack the Pakistani army in the Taliban stronghold of North Waziristan but concentrate attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan instead.

Thousands of Pakistani soldiers are stationed in North Waziristan, along the Afghan border.

There have been infrequent clashes there between the soldiers and Taliban but a leaflet issued by Taliban leader Hakeemullah Mehsud ordered those to stop. A senior commander confirmed the pamphlet's veracity.

The report confirms that the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan continues to operate in North Waziristan, despite claims from Hafiz Gul Bahadar, the top Taliban leader in the tribal agency (who is not part of Hakeemullah's group), that the group has been expelled.

Hakeemullah and Bahadar are part of the Shura-e-Murakeba, an al Qaeda-brokered alliance that also includes the Mullah Nazir Group and the Haqqani Network. The Shura-e-Murakeba was formed at the end of 2011. The members of the Shura-e-Murakeba agreed to cease attacks against Pakistani security forces, refocus efforts against the US, and end kidnappings and other criminal activities in the tribal areas. Despite the agreement, Hakeemullah and Bahadar's forces occasionally attacked Pakistani military units.

It is unclear as to why Hakeemullah issued the pamphlet, or if he is even serious about abiding by it. It is possible that with tensions between the Pakistani and Indian militaries at the Line of Control (two Pakistani and two Indian soldiers have been killed during clashes over the past week), Hakeemullah is easing up the pressure. The last time Pakistan and India nearly came to blows, after the Lashkar-e-Taiba launched the assault on Mumbai, India in November 2008, the Taliban vowed to back up the Pakistani military, and a senior Pakistani military commander described Hakeemullah's forces as "patriots."

READER COMMENTS: "Hakeemullah Mehsud orders Taliban to end attacks on Pakistani military in North Waziristan: report"

Posted by bb at January 13, 2013 5:36 AM ET:

See how efective it is:

Posted by ayamo at January 13, 2013 8:40 AM ET:

That doesn't seem to work out as planned. A bomb killed 14 Pakistani soldiers - no one claimed responsibility, but given their history ...

Posted by Will Fenwick at January 13, 2013 12:18 PM ET:

It appears that the Salafist Deluge is ready and waiting for the 2014 withdrawal to assail the east of Afghanistan once the US troops defending it are gone.

Posted by mike merlo at January 13, 2013 10:16 PM ET:

this edict by Meshud will be met with indifference & hollow actions on the part of his followers

Posted by Hibeam at January 14, 2013 8:24 PM ET:

Hakeemullah Mehsud orders Taliban to end attacks on Pakistani military. Schoolgirls won't fight back (Inshallah).

Posted by Neonmeat at January 15, 2013 6:12 AM ET:

Maybe he colluded to get rid of Nazir so he could get the job as the latest 'Good Taliban' and get all the benefits that goes with it.

Posted by Mr. Nobody at January 16, 2013 1:24 AM ET:

Maybe he's hoping to avoid the same fate as Nazir? The great game continues.

Posted by sundoesntrise at January 16, 2013 4:27 AM ET:

Is it just me or does Hakeemullah look way, way different now? He looks like he's gained quite a bit of weight.

They both look like criminals, on that note.

Posted by mike merlo at January 16, 2013 11:19 PM ET:

I couldn't agree more. Hakemullah Meshud has the look of a well feted opium fiend