Ali Haider Gilani says his kidnappers not from TTP

Ali Haider Gilani. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Friday confirmed to a private TV channel that the government has received video footage of Ali Haider Gilani in which he said that his kidnappers were not from the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Gilani, the son of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, is also alleged to have said that his family is not taking serious steps for his release.

The kidnappers have asked for Rs500 million for Gilani’s release instead of the earlier demand of Rs2 billion, said Nisar, adding that the captive can be seen bounded by chains in the video.

This is the first time that any contact was made by him and his captors with the Gilani family since his abduction in from Multan on May 9, 2013 from outside a Pakistan People’s Party office.

In the said video, Gilani says that he will be killed if serious steps are not taken for his release.

Meanwhile, Newsweek quoted a security official in its news report, who said that Gilani questioned his family.

“Why are you people not paying the ransom to the militants to get me released from their custody?” Gilani asked in the video.

The official further added that Gilani appeared haggard and was handcuffed.

“He looked very weak and requested his family to pay the money as soon as possible.”

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Negotiators to meet TTP leadership in North Waziristan

ISLAMABAD: Members of a team of Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTTP) nominated negotiators are meeting with the militant group’s top leadership in North Waziristan on Saturday to update them on the progress of the peace talks with the government.

“I can confirm that the government has provided a helicopter at Peshawar to Professor Muhammad Ibrahim Khan and Maulana Yousaf Shah to fly to North Waziristan to meet the TTP’s top leadership,” a top government official, requesting not to be named, told Daily Sitara sindh news papaer

“They have already been sent on their way to North Waziristan,” he said.

The two members would meet the TTP leadership at an unknown location in the tribal areas and would apprise them of the first round of talks with government negotiators, the source said.

Yousaf Shah is a spokesman for Maulana Samiul Haq, the coordinator of the TTP committee.

Other sources confirmed that the TTP had already convened a meeting of its supreme Shura at an undisclosed location in North Waziristan. The session, chaired by Taliban commander Sheikh Khalid Haqqani, is to be attended by the two TTP committee members.

Negotiators from both sides formally met Thursday for a first round of peace talks aimed at ending the militants’ bloody seven-year insurgency.

The two sides laid down a roadmap in the form of demands from both sides future deliberation, with the government insisting that any negotiations be held within the framework of the constitution of Pakistan.

The peace process was dealt a blow on Friday when a member of the three-man TTP committee – chief cleric of Islamabad’s Red Mosque Maulana Abdul Aziz – rejected the condition of holding talks under the constitution.

Aziz said the Taliban do not recognise the prevailing constitution and that it should be replaced by the teachings of the Quran and the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

The firebrand cleric said he would only be part of further negotiations if a clause is included about the imposition of Islamic law in the country.

When asked about Aziz’s statement, the official said the government had only come to know of this through the media and that no formal message regarding Aziz’s demand have yet been communicated to them by the TTP negotiators.

The government committee is headed by Irfan Sidduqi, who is also the prime minister’s special assistant on national affairs.

Aziz’s move threatened to further undermine the talks – the government side had already voiced doubts about the composition and authority of the TTP’s representatives.

The government delegation skipped an initial meeting on Tuesday citing confusion over the militants’ team after two members – Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and Mufti Kifayatullah of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) – pulled out of the negotiations.

LOST IDENTITY: NEW TALIBAN CHIEF AND FUTURE OF TTP

At last Tehrik e Taliban has confirmed about death of Baitullah Mahsud and about their new Amir. TTP announcement has also cleared the fog which was surrounding TTP and creating confusions and conspiracy theories about Taliban in fighting’s. But again I am confused that Instead of Omer Khattab, the newly appointed media face of TTP, Wali Ur Rehman and Hakeem Ullah Mahsud broke the news of the power sharing and selection of New Amir of TTP and Mahsuds.According to AP, Hakeem Ullah Mahsud and Wali Ur Rehman both Phoned AP Jointly and Announced that Baitullah Mahsud has died few days ago. He got Injured on 5th august drone attack and expired after 18 days due to injuries. They also announced that TTP Shura has Chosen Hakeem Ullah Mahsud as New Amir of Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan and Wali Ur Rehman as Amir of Mahsud Tribe and SWA agency.According to very reliable sources, there was a dispute amongst Taliban over the succession of Baitullah Mahsud. But due to intervention of elders and Al Qaied it never reached the point of armed confrontation between two key contenders. Taliban elders wanted to see Wali Ur Rehman as new Amir due to his education and his cool minded and Balance approach but , Hakeem Ullah who is Nephew of Baitullah Mahsud and Cousin of Qari Hussein( Some Sources believe QARI HUSSAIN IS IMPORTANT REPRESENTATIVE OF AL QAEDA IN TRIBAL AREAS) was supported by Al Qaeda and in the end Al Qaeda’s support played decisive role and Hakeem Ullah was chosen and Wali Ur Rehman forced to accept Leader Ship of Mahsuds and SWA. According to Reports Al Qaeda’s influence on selection of new Amir has also taken a toll. Two important allies of TTP in South Waziristan Agency have switched sides and have joined anti Hakeem Ullah side. These include Azmatullah Shaheen group and Awal Khan Bhitani group. Both Azmatullah Shaheen and Awal Khan were right hand people of Baitullah Mahsud but the way during the selection of New Amir they were treated they separated them selves from TTP and joined forces of Their tribesman Turkistan Bhitani.Hakeem ullah Mahsud is Nephew of Baitullah Mahsud and cousin of Qari Hussein (father of Suicide Bombings in Pakistan). His original Name is Jamsheid Mahsud who opted Zulifqar Mahsud as his name when he was made Spokes man of Taliban and latter opted Hakeem ullah Mahsud when became operational in charge of TTP in Khyber, Aurak zai and Kurram agencies Hakeem ullah is in early 30’ and is seen as emotional commander who some times can act very cheap. He is seen as anti Shia sectarian minded commander which may be due to him under the influence of Qari Hussein. According to express news, Hakeem Ullah Mahsud has not much into religion. He is more criminal then Taliban. Al Qaeda’s support to him is largely due to his hate for Shia’s and his ability to plan and exhibit military genius in operations. Hakeem ullah’s support Base is not in SWA, His actual support comes from Aurak Zai agency and Kurram. Hakeem ullah is a cruel ruthless man and it’s expected that his policy will focus on anti Shia activities and crimes like robbery, drug trafficking etc. Sectarian violence will increase in Pakistan, especially in NWFP.Hakeem Ullah has wowed to take revenge of Drone Attack which killed his uncle Baitullah Mahsud. He may create some troubles for Americans . I dont think he will launch operations in Afghanistan area. I think Al Qaeda don’t have interest in Afghanistan any more and is trying to concentrate in Pakistan that is why Hakeem ullah’s concentration( he has full support of AL Qaeda) will be to fight Pakistani government and forces. I also believe that his emotionalism and cheapness of Character will in coming month result his fall and he will not survive more then 6 months to year. On other Hand Wali Ur Rehman who has support in Taliban Circle and is known to be as educated and cool minded person have become Amir of Mahsuds and SWA. Wali Ur Rehman will be commanding Mahsuds who are real power of TTP. I believe in coming days Hakeem Ullah and Wali Ur Rehman are bound to fight because ultimately Hakeem ullah’s Criminal aptitude will damage the movement resulting in end of Support in tribal areas and ideological Taliban revolting against him and coming under Wali Ur Rehman camp.Baitullah Mahsud is dead which means TTP’s center of Gravity has broken. Al though TTP has not disintegrated but now it has many Commanders who think they are better then Amir. It will be an impossible challenge for Hakeem Ullah to hold united TTP from Malakand to SWA. I think TTP has become hollow and its matter of Time it will completely fall.

Hakimullah Mehsud

Hakimullah Mehsud, the chief of the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was killed in a US drone strike in the North Waziristan tribal region on Friday evening.

Mehsud first came into public prominence after orchestrating audacious raids against the Pakistan Army.

According to reports, Hakimullah is a nom de guerre he later adopted (his birth name is Zulfiqar). He was initially a bodyguard to Baitullah Mehsud, his predecessor and founder of the umbrella group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, and later became his close aide.

He was also appointed as a spokesman for Baitullah and succeeded him as leader after the latter was killed in a drone strike in August 2009.

In his early life, Hakimullah received basic education at a madrassah in a village in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Hangu district.

It was only in 2007 after the capture of 300 Pakistani soldiers that his name and prestige among the Taliban rose dramatically.

He was made the Taliban commander in Khyber, Orakzai and Kurram and was regarded as the mastermind behind the attacks on Nato supply lines in the tribal region.

In 2010, Hakimullah appeared alongside a Jordanian militant in a farewell video in which the latter claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Afghanistan in which seven CIA agents were killed.

Under Hakimullah, the Taliban formed complex alliances with other extremist militant groups spread across Pakistan.

Regarded by several Taliban militants as being their best leader to date, Hakimullah was known to be a fierce and ruthless leader who inspired respect amongst other militants.

His unknown whereabouts and numerous reports of his killing only added to his prestige among Taliban militants.

In 2009, he was reported to have been killed after a drone strike – one of at least two reports that later turned out to be false.

The United States had also offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to the capture of Hakimullah Mehsud.