Pakistani officials deny Taliban selected new leader
Even though Waliur Rehman Mehsud and Hakeemullah Mehsud conducted several phone calls to the press and confirmed Baitullah is dead and Hakeemullah is the new chief, Pakistan's Interior and Foreign Ministers continue to insist the Taliban are fighting over who will be the new leader. From Daily Times:
“It is all speculation until Hakeemullah Mehsud himself comes forward and says that he [is] the TTP chief,” he [Interior Minister Rehman Malik] added. “Our information is that they have not been able to appoint anyone despite the lapse of so many days since Baitullah’s death because now they are fighting among themselves.”
Foreign Minster Shah Mehmood Qureshi also said he doubted the TTP had appointed a new leader, Reuters reported. “My information is that there is no decision taken yet,” Qureshi told a news conference in Istanbul.
“There are a lot of claimants. There is confusion. We have to wait and see who the next chief is going to be.”
One wonders what it would take to convince Malik and Qureshi at this stage that Hakeemullah is the new leader of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan.