Pakistani Taliban face rift over spokesman’s removal

Friday, July 12th, 2013 10:58:26 by

Pakistani Taliban, blamed for most of the attacks in the country, face rift days after the leadership dismissed Ehsanullah Ehsan as the central spokesman over his alleged threats to the Afghan Taliban.

Ehsan refused to accept the central council’s decision and has approached the Taliban court against the decision announced this week.

A Taliban pamphlet distributed in North Waziristan says that Ehsan has tried to create differences between the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban.

Public announcement of Taliban leaders’ removal is rare but the group used a leaflet to make Ehsan dismissal public that angered him and he also contacted the media to reject charges against him.

The public accusations reflect the cracks within the TTP. Ehsan told the media that he has challenged the decision in a Taliban court and that he has also quit all positions in the group.

The TTP says that Hakimullah Mehsud also approved Ehsan’s sacking.

Ehsanullah Ehsan rejected charges against him and said he had not threatened the Afghan Taliban, saying that he was sacked because of his differences over some political affairs. He did not offer more about differences.

He accused the Shura members of making an excuse of the Afghan Taliban to sack him as they did not have solid arguments to defend their stance on political affaisr.

The former TTP spokesman talked about the Afghan Taliban last month when some armed groups planned attacked on the Pakistani Taliban bases in Mohmand tribal region, bordering Afghanistan.

Ehsan had stated that the TTP rivals in Mohmand agency – Lashkar-e-Tayyeba, Ansar-ul-Islam and the local ‘Lashkar’ or volunteers are using the name of the Afghan Taliban. He had stated that the TTP shows allegiance to the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” but had requested the Afghan Taliban leadership to clarify its position on the anti-TTP campaign in Mohmand agency.  

He said a delegation of the Afghan Taliban had been involved in negotiations but they never complained against him. “The Afghan Taliban had in fact spoken in my favour,” he claimed.

The sacked TTP spokesman said that the Council members have not yet appeared in the Taliban court to formally present their charges against him.

The judge had issued them notices twice to appear and prove their charges, however, they are reluctant to present their case,” Ehsan said, adding that he has presented all his media statement before the judge. He said the court could deliver the verdict if the council members failed to appear. “The Ameer and all members will be bound to accept the court’s order,” he went on to say.

He said he has quit as in-charge of the TTP political affairs and also relinquished all other responsibilities but said he is still member of the group and is loyal to the “Ameer” (chief).

Ehsan, who belongs to Mohmand agency, said that he had twice resigned as the TTP spokesman but the It is rare in the TTP to announce sacking of members


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