Why U.S. Targeted Hakimullah Mehsud
08 November, 2013
By Zaheerul Hassan
Fazlullah has been elected as the new chief and Khalid Haqqani as the deputy chief of Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan. TTP caretaker leader Asmatullah Shaheen announced from an undisclosed location in northwest Pakistan. The news came into air when I have almost completed my analysis on killing of Hakimullah Mehsud. Hence my last logic regarding replacing Hakimullah with Fazlullah stand proved. Therefore, I decided to let the article publish as written originally so that it can help in understanding the future Indo-US strategy in our region.
A U.S. drone hunted down the head of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud on 1 November 2013, when he along with his comrades entered into a house located in North Waziristan. Reportedly, NATO commander based in Afghanistan confirmed that information provided by earlier arrested deputy Commander of TTP, Latif Mehsud helped Pak/US/NATO alliance in killing Hakimullah Mehsud. Although the killing of Hakimullah might cripple and undermine an effort of Pakistan's government to engage militants in peace talks but fact remains there that deceased TTP Chief was involved in the murder of over 50,000 civilians and beheading the members of security forces. It is also mentionable here that he was on the hit list of Pakistani security forces too.
Anyway, PTI head Imran Khan, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam (JUI-F) strongly condemned the drone attacks and gave warning to stop logistic supply to NATO forces deployed in Afghanistan. Provincial Assembly of KPK also passed a resolution against US drone attacks and demanded that within 20 days federal government should take decision to cut the supply line to NATO, otherwise in this regards KPK government would be at liberty to take such action at her own. Meanwhile, U.S. Sectary of state, John Kerry stated that killing of Hakimullah has tensed the relations between Washington and Islamabad.
In fact, killing of Hakimullah Mehsud can be viewed and analysed from number of various angles like; (1) U.S never wanted success in negotiations between Pakistani government and TTP. Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ahmad Khan expressed on November 1 that killing of the TTP leader, Hakimullah Mehsud in the US drone strikes is a conspiracy to sabotage process of peace talk with the Taliban, (2) Hikmullah Mehsud was a terrorist who has been gun downed and thrown away like tissue paper after being used against Pakistan by U.S and India. It is not the first case when CIA eliminated her sympathizer after the completion of covert tasks. She used Gen Zia in war against Russia but question of blown out of his aircraft still unanswered, (3) there could be the chances that terrorist commander had changed his affiliation from CIA to KGB. He was notorious ruthless leader, known for attacking a CIA base in Afghanistan and a bloody campaign that killed thousands of Pakistani civilians and members of the security forces.
Thus, CIA decided to eliminate him with a view to level the score of attacking CIA base in Afghanistan and also tried to please military and Nawaz Sharif Government after martyring of Major General Sanaullah Khan Niazi and others in September 2013. Last but not the least, CIA, RAW and Afghan intelligence agency might have decided to replace Hakimullah Mehsud with Mullah Fazlullah as future TTP Chief. He was the chief of TTP in the northwest Swat Valley. He also claimed the responsibility of Killing of General Sanaullah. Mullah Fazlullah is deadly against talks with Pakistani government and a known Indio-U.S. teddy bear. Presently, he is based in Afghanistan and is carrying out subversive activities against Pakistan. Thus, replacing Hakimullah with Mullah Fazlullah would help in materializing grand design against Pakistan.
Anyhow, timing of killing of terrorists chief Hakimulllah was not appropriate, it provided chances to so called religious leaders and journalists to declare him as Shaheed and hero . In this regard JUIF leader Fazlur Rehman stated that anyone killed by US is a 'martyr'. He also said, "If US kills a DOG, we will consider that DOG as Shaheed" ... Munawar Hassan of JI also called Hakimlullah as Shaheed. The religious champions should clarify the status of those security elements and civilians who have been beheaded and killed by the terrorist Hakimullah and his comrades. Therefore, supporting such a criminal and anti-Pakistan character plus calling him shaheed is leaving the biggest question mark on the loyalty, religious thoughts and approach towards country's affairs.
Actually, at this stage when U.S led NATO troops decided to leave Afghanistan in 2014, religious leaders and Imran Khan's demand of cutting down supply line to NATO troops and calling a terrorist as Shaheed are unjustified. It would only be taken as scoring political millage by cashing the prevailing anti-U.S sentiments in the country. Just after killing of Azam Tariq, the Pakistani Taliban spokesman in Waziristan tribal area provided the first official confirmation of Mehsud's death.
"We are proud of the martyrdom of Hakimullah Mehsud," Tariq told The Associated Press by telephone from an undisclosed location. "We will continue our activities."
In fact, the obvious TTP threat of continuation of subversive activities is not related to the killing of Hakimullah. Taliban are divided in 37 groups and never been serious in negotiations since most of the group commanders of TTP are not interested to leave their command and playing in foreign hands. Hakimullah himself, Mullah Fazlullah and many others only believe in brutality and openly stated that they will not go for any kind of negotiation under constitution of Pakistan. They always created hindrance for those several individuals who really interested to say goodbye to terrorism and wanted to come down from the mountains.
However, religious leaders and supporters of TTP in Pakistan should behave maturely and back armed forces to go for operation. At the same time TTP terrorists should surrender and learn the lesson from killing of Hakimullah Mehsud who has been used as tissue paper by his master. Moreover, government should watch against Indo-US grand design of establishing TTP state in Swat and Waziristan.
Our government should insist the Afghan government to apprehend terrorist Fazlullah and hand him over to Pakistan.
The writer is expert on international issues and defence analyst. He can approached through email@example.com