Taliban ‘court’ stays TTP spokesman’s sacking

PESHAWAR: A militant ‘court’ has stayed the removal of Ehsanullah Ehsan as central spokesman for banned militant group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for another 45 days, says a signed order by the ‘court’ in Pakistan’s tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, a pamphlet by the TTP central council (shura) had announced the removal of Ehsan — a prominent figure close to the TTP’s top brass — for making remarks that angered the Afghan Taliban and raised the danger of divisions between the two militant organisations.

However, the “Dar-ul Qaza” court of the Pakistani Taliban has issued a ‘stay order’ against the decision until members of the ‘central council’ appear for a hearing, says the leaflet, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com.

The July 10 ‘order’ is one of a series of signs of growing divisions within the TTP, an umbrella group of different militant factions.

The document also shows the existence of parallel ‘militant courts’ operating in Pakistan’s volatile northwestern tribal areas.

Ehsanullah Ehsan had earlier challenged his removal by the Taliban central council in the ‘court’, after which it had summoned the council and the former spokesman.

Members of the Pakistani Taliban central council, however, twice failed to show up for the hearing, citing “holidays until the 10th day after Eid-ul-Fitr,” says the document.

In the order dated July 10, the ‘court’ subsequently stayed the removal of Ehsan as central spokesman until members of the central council appear for a hearing and allow the sacked spokesman to plead his case.

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usman hashmi

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